Please note you will be mailed a set of Cho Oyu Team Reference Notes upon registration. This extensive booklet includes detailed information to assist in the planning of your trip; from travel and medical advice to equipment lists and photography tips. The following is to serve as a helpful guideline but please feel free to call or e-mail if you have any further questions. Our team is here to help!
Why should I choose AC? What makes AC different to other companies out there?
One of the main things that sets us apart from other operators is our attention to detail. Nowhere else will you find a team of people more dedicated to your success! From the time you contact the office to the time you step on the mountain, our customer service is second to none. Why should you choose AC? We invite you to contact some of our past clients to hear their stories. Contact us at the office for details or click here for more information on choosing a provider.
How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since.
What is MAX OX? How does it work?
The MaxOx option is simple, in this era of better O2 systems we wanted to offer our team members every possible advantage to summit Cho Oyu. Max OX allows double the standard flow rate, thus increasing your chance of a safe and successful summit bid. Click here to learn more about Max Ox.
I have heard from others that AC provides a great private trip option, how does that work and what are the costs?
Seeing as your Cho Oyu expedition is a once in a lifetime experience, we wanted to make sure you have every possible advantage. Some clients enjoy the added privacy and schedule flexibility that a private expedition allows. A private means you will have your own guides, your share of the Sherpa carry staff, a private dining tent, and optional private communication facilities. This allows you to climb at your own pace, and enjoy the mountain on your own terms. The costs vary depending on how many clients there are in your private group. Please contact the office for details or click here for more information.
Will I be sharing a tent or room with other climbers? Is there a single room option on this trip?
You will have your own tent in Base Camp, but on the mountain, you will be sharing a tent with others. We generally book you in to a single room in the hotel in Kathmandu whilst it is twin share in the hotel in Lhasa and in the lodges and tents on the trip into Cho Oyu Base Camp. A single supplement is available. Please contact our office for further details.
What sort of hotels do we stay at in the city?
We stay at the Radisson Hotel in Kathmandu which features a rooftop swimming pool and on-site dining. Ideally located in Lazmipat, the hotel is within walking distance of popular attractions including Durbar Marg and Thamel.
What kind of food do you have on the mountain and at Base Camp?
This will depend on what camp we are in. In Base Camp, we import tons of food from the USA and New Zealand. So don’t be surprised by our sushi nights, fresh muffins, yoghurt for breakfast, and pizza! On the mountain we usually have a wide variety of MRE meals, these are significantly tastier than freeze dried, as they are real food vacuum sealed and ready to heat and eat! We work really hard to make sure our food is second to none. As evidence of this, other companies have tried to steal Chongba, our master chef, over to their companies!
Can I bring food and other gear not on the list?
Absolutely! Most members of our expeditions end up bringing “the kitchen sink!" We encourage you to bring some of your favourite goodies and tech toys, as Base Camp will become our home for four weeks. The more comfortable you are, the more energy you have for the climb, so every little thing helps!
Can I arrive early or depart late?
Of course. On a trip as long as this, we request that you arrive in Kathmandu by the assigned date, to assure your baggage makes it on time, and you have time to recover from jet lag before going to altitude. It is impossible on this expedition to catch the group if you are arriving late and still waiting for lost baggage! We can arrange extra nights in the hotel. Many people depart from our Nepal expeditions later, to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kathmandu, but do keep in mind that this is a long expedition and we find that people often want to head home as quickly as possible after the climb finishes.
Are there any entry or visa requirements?
Expedition members will be required to obtain visas for both Nepal and China. A Nepalese multiple entry visa is easily procured at Kathmandu Airport upon arrival. Chinese Embassies will not issue individual visas for Tibet without the proper paperwork from a Tibet based travel agency, in our case the Tibetan Mountaineering Association. For this reason it is easier to obtain your Chinese visa from the Chinese Embassy once you have arrived in Kathmandu. There is a one-day service available for this at a cost of US$114 and this will take place on day 2 of your trip. The total cost for American citizens is higher at US$198. Our agent in Kathmandu will assist members with this task.
You can print the forms for your Nepal visa from http://treks.com.np/visa or you can complete them on the plane as the forms are handed out on your arrival flight into Kathmandu. Be sure to have the suggested USD amount in cash for your visa application and have a passport photo for your arrival in Kathmandu.
Even though you will be away from Nepal for the majority of the time it is necessary to get a 15 day visa when you first arrive in Kathmandu. Your initial Nepalese Visa is most easily obtained at the airport on arrival and will cover you for the time in Nepal prior to the expedition. Another 15 day visa will be issued at the Nepal border on your return from Tibet. These visas cost US$25 each. Alternatively you can obtain a 90 day multi entry visa when you first arrive into Kathmandu for US$100 which will save you a little time when we re-enter Nepal from Tibet at the finish of the expedition.
What is the best way to get to Nepal? From US? UK? Australia/NZ?
Most airlines fly direct to Bangkok from North America, Europe and Australia/NZ. From there Thai Airways fly direct to Kathmandu once a day. Silk Air (Singapore Airlines) also has flights three times weekly and there are flights via Doha, Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong to Kathmandu.
When should I book my ticket?
Generally we ask you to wait until 90 days prior to your trip start date to ensure your trip has met the minimum numbers and will operate. If you see a good deal and want to book your flights then ensure you can make changes to your tickets or you run the risk of losing your ticket if we do have to cancel the trip. In such situations we are usually able to help you book on to an alternate departure, either with us or another operator.
Can I get a cheap ticket online?
The problem with these tickets is that you usually end up having to pay quite a lot more if you have to make any changes to your ticket. We highly recommend using a travel agent for your travel as there are many intricacies that they can help you with. In the long run they save you money! We use professional travel agents for all our staff and guides' travel bookings.
Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
Our Cho Oyu expedition originates at the Kathmandu airport. An Adventure Consultants guide or agent will be there to pick you up off your flight on the scheduled arrival date. If you are arriving before the scheduled trip start date, we can often make arrangements for a pick up, though taking a taxi is generally the easiest form of transport before your trip starts.
What are the skills/prior experience required for this climb?
You cannot just decide to write a cheque and go and climb Cho Oyu! A comprehensive climbing resume is required to join our team. Usually we look for a few minimum requirements; such as Denali, for the cold and glacier travel experience, and Aconcagua, for the altitude experience. Beyond that, we look for well-rounded climbers with a wealth of experience. Summit day experience on a 6000m peak such as Lobuche East, prior to going to Cho Oyu, is highly beneficial. Do contact our office for further details and to discuss your individual background.
What is the conditioning level needed for this climb?
You should be in the best shape of your life! This is one of our longest expeditions. It requires patience, stamina, mental fortitude, and a strong will. Summit day can sometimes be over 20 hours long! Day by day the challenges are different, but the more prepared you are, both mentally and physically, the smoother your trip will go. Click here for more information on fitness for the climb.
How do you train for a trip like this?
Our standard response to this question is that for Cho Oyu, you become a climber first, and everything else during this portion of your life comes second. This is the level of dedication to your training, both mental and physical, that you need to have. We have specific ideas around training and great book suggestions to help you along. Please look over our training page for details. If you require more information please contact our office and we will be happy to put you in touch with one of our senior guides for a consultation and we can also link you with our training coach to design a training programme for you.
How heavy will my pack be?
We have the luxury of a strong Sherpa team that will carry all the team equipment, food and oxygen on the mountain. Whilst there are some instances where the Sherpa will take a couple of small items for you to the next camp, this is only occasional and you are expected to carry your personal gear. This is achieved by taking small amounts of your gear to the higher camps each time you go, however there are times when you must carry all your personal gear at one time making for a fairly heavy load.
When you put all your gear into a pack it still amounts to between 18-25kg so the load is not insignificant and you must come prepared for the high level of physical output. This reinforces the need to take just the right amount of equipment with you on the mountain and to ensure you are ‘pack fit’ before you arrive on the expedition.
How long is a typical day on the mountain?
It depends on the day and your level of acclimatisation. At the beginning of the trip, everything seems slower and longer, but as you get more adjusted to the mountain, the days go quicker. Average days can be 5-10 hours long. Summit day can be up to 20 hours long.
How many climbers will be on this expedition?
We have a maximum of 12 members with 3 guides on our Cho Oyu expedition, but most often the groups will be much smaller. This is to ensure we can maintain safety and our attention to detail. There may be more in Base Camp and in the camps on the mountain if there are private expeditions, but they will generally travel separately from the main team. For specifics on this year's team, click here.
Can I contact other climbers or guides for this expedition?
Yes, we encourage that. Perhaps there is someone in your area that can become a training partner, perhaps they can help you source some hard to find gear. The bottom line is that it’s a good idea to have some contact with folks that you will share this experience with. We respect the privacy of each team member and check with each person before releasing any contact details.
Do you have a recommended list of clothing we should bring?
Yes, you will get be sent a personal clothing and equipment list once our office has received your trip registration form and deposit.
Do I really need all the equipment on the equipment list?
Yes, these lists have been carefully prepared. Please bring everything on the list!
What type of communication is available on the expedition?
We will make our satellite phone(s) and e-mail system available for the duration of the expedition so email, phone calls, and even skype video calls are available at Base Camp and we power our whole set up with solar. On the mountain, you can call out by satellite phone. If you need a private communications setup, this is also possible for a fee. Contact our office for details.
I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
We send daily internet dispatches, and we receive updates from our guides while they are in the field. The best place to reach a loved one is through our office.
Will there be any power source for charging batteries and electronic equipment throughout the expedition? What voltage requirements?
We take solar panels and battery power packs on our expeditions. Our first priority is to charge our computers, satellite phones and expedition electrical equipment. There is usually enough power to then charge your personal electrical equipment. If your equipment has a cigarette lighter type car charger, bring that and you can plug it in to charge. We do NOT recommend bringing rechargeable digital cameras; they tend to run out when power is not available. Use cameras with replaceable batteries and we recommend lithium batteries. We can cater for special power requirements at an extra cost - please enquire with our office. Many of the hotels on the approach also have power available with typical Asian plugs (two nail like horizontal prongs) and they have battery recharging systems and pricing on offer.
How much should I budget for this expedition? How much cash should I plan to bring?
As this is one of our longer trips, we usually suggest members to bring USD$1200 -$2000. This will cover everything from your Chinese visa, gifts, shopping in Lhasa, to bottled drinks, tips, and cash to have on hand should you need to depart from the expedition early. ATM cash machines work in Kathmandu, but only give the local currency, Rupees.
How much should I tip my guide staff?
This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from 20USD to 10,000USD for an 8000m expedition tip. Tipping is not required, but a small way to show your guides thanks for their help. The level of the tip should reflect the level of personal involvement with your guide.
What is your cancellation policy? Refund policy?
Our cancellation and refund policy for the Cho Oyu Expedition is outlined here.
Can I pay by credit card?
We can accept the trip deposit payment on credit card, and we add a 3% fee to accept the balance payment by credit card for your trip. Please contact our office or visit our secure credit card page to send us your credit card details - your card is not charged at the time as we process this here in our office and not via an online payment system.
What is included in the cost of my trip? Does it include airfare?
Click here for information on what is included in your expedition fee. International airfares are not included in the trip price. We can however recommend excellent travel agents whom we have worked with in your country should you require help with arranging your airfare.
Why are you sometimes more expensive than other operators?
Many of our trips are very similar in price to our competitors. Some companies even wait for us to set our prices and use ours as a guideline! Some of our main selling points, which sometimes do cost more, are; internationally qualified western guides, proven dependable local operators, small group sizes and safe client:guide ratios, quality equipment and high summit success rates, among other things. You do get what you pay for which is why we stand out from the rest. Many clients come to us after failing on one of our competitors ‘less expensive’ trips. Click here for more on choosing a provider.
What insurance will I need?
You need general travel insurance and trip cancellation insurance, as well as rescue insurance. Read your policy's fine print to make sure it covers you for climbing and helicopter evacuation.
Do I need evacuation insurance?
Yes, it is very important. In the unlikely event you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP.
Who do you recommend for insurance?
Once you book on for the expedition, you are looked after by one of our friendly and knowledgeable Client Liaisons in the build up to the expedition, and they will have a consultation with you to help determine your best option for all aspects of the travel insurance required for an 8000m peak expedition.
Read more about Expedition Insurance here.
What is Trip Cancellation Insurance?
Trip cancellation insurance is an option that may allow you to cancel your trip without losing the total cost of the trip. Adventure Consultants highly recommends cancellation insurance for all of our trips. If circumstances cause us to cancel a trip (minimum numbers are not reached or travel to a country becomes too dangerous) then we refund your fees paid but trip cancellation insurance covers your airfare and any other costs you may have incurred.
What about the Maoists in Nepal?
The Maoist problem which partly crippled the economy of Nepal for the past decade garnered major international interest. The Maoists have now formed part of the Nepalese government and there is a comprehensive peace agreement in place so we hope the troubles of the past are put behind the Nepalese people. Our sources in Nepal keep us up to date with the political situation and if there are significant changes we will be sure to advise you.
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