Everest

Please note you will be mailed a set of Everest 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!

I want to climb Everest, but there are so many options and the cost is high! Why should I choose AC? What makes AC different to other companies out there?

We know that when you make a decision to climb Everest it is one of the most financially challenging trips to come on. Our prices compared to other outfitters that provide the same (or lesser!) product, are actually cheaper! We invite you to shop around and compare, both in price and quality. We feel strongly that you will find us to be the best in the business. 

One of the main things that sets us apart 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.

Which route? North or South?

The South Col route from Nepal offers the best chance of success for most climbers.  High royalty fees by the Nepalese Government have created a large disparity between the costs of Everest expeditions from Nepal and Tibet.

We encourage you to research details about both sides of the mountain. People will argue the virtues of either of the two approaches. However, we maintain that the ‘entire package’ of the Nepal side makes it the preferred option: the delightful approach through the Sherpa homelands via the Khumbu Valley, enjoying Sherpa hospitality in modern lodges with good food, and all the while being impressed by the spectacular scenery of the incredible peaks of the lower Khumbu.

The Khumbu Icefall has a fearsome reputation and it is indeed, a phenomenal route to climb. Yet it is an integral characteristic of the south side that it is a ‘climbers route’ that requires a mountaineer to be well skilled in the use of crampons and ice axe. The Western Cwm is renowned for its phenomenal views of Lhotse, Nuptse, Pumori and Cho Oyu. Our Camp 2 is situated directly beneath the imposing black hulk of the notorious Southwest Face. As one climbs higher up the route to South Col, the views become even more outstanding with incredible vistas along the Himalayan chain and out towards the lowlands of Nepal. We ascend 900m from the South Col on summit day via moderate snow slopes with the occasional rock step to climb over. As we approach the South Summit, the dawn breaks to reveal astounding views from Kanchenjunga in the east to Shishapangma off to the west, with all the peaks of the Khumbu well below us. The traverse along the summit ridge is exposed and exciting. When we make our way up the Hillary step we can look 2,400m straight down onto our Camp 2 in the Western CWM and 3,000m down the opposite side of the ridge into Tibet! The summit itself provides ample space for the obligatory summit photo and is a time to reflect on the journey thus far. For many it is one of the most poignant moments of a lifetime.

After the summit, we descend via the same route, losing height quickly and generally we arrive back at the South Col some 3-4 hours after leaving the summit. On the north side, climbers must do a long traverse and it is this feature where climbers cannot lose elevation quickly that can cause the demise of tired climbers, especially those who have run out of oxygen.

We only climb on Everest during the spring season because the weather becomes progressively warmer and the days longer. Winter winds have already scoured away much of the snow, which significantly reduces the snow avalanche hazard as well. Contrast this with the fall. Typically as the expedition goes on, the days get shorter and colder with more snowfall. Consequently very few expeditions are undertaken in the fall and those that do have quite a low percentage chance of success.

By the time you first arrive at Base Camp at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall, a route will already be established with ropes and ladders through to Camp 1.  Our strong Sherpa team will be busily involved in ferrying loads of equipment up the mountain.  After a few days acclimatisation at Base Camp, you will climb through the Icefall to Camp 1 and rest there for a day.  The following day, you will continue up the more gentle slopes of the Western Cwm to Camp 2 to rest and acclimatise for several more days.  A day-climb up the Lhotse Face towards Camp 3 will complete this first foray before returning to Base Camp.  During this time the guides and Sherpa climbers will be establishing the higher camps and stocking these with bottled oxygen for the summit climb.

The second trip on to the mountain will involve sleeping one night at Camp 3 for acclimatisation before returning to base camp for a rest period. In a perfect scenario, weather and health would remain constant, and these two trips up the mountain would take around 3 weeks. In reality, factors such as weather can add several days to the acclimatization process.

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 Mount Everest. The Max Ox O2 option provides up to double the standard flow rate when we are on O2.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 Everest 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 climbers there in your private group. Please contact the office for details or click here for more information.

Can my friends and family come along to Base Camp for the expedition?

Sure! This is one of the best parts of the start of the expedition, having family and friends trek to Base Camp to see you off on your journey. Base Camp for non-climbers is not a very hospitable place, but we strive to make your guests comfortable and welcome. Guests for the duration of the expedition are allowed on a case by case basis. The reason for this is simple... on the trip, our job is to be climbing, spending time just at Base Camp can be quite boring sometimes, so we usually encourage guests to trek in at the beginning or end of the expedition so as to join you during the most exciting parts of the trip! Contact us for details or click here to learn more.

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 into a single room in the hotel in Kathmandu whilst it is twin-share in the lodges on the trek into Base Camp. A single supplement is available and 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 adjacent to the Narayanhiti Palace Museum and 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. At 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 which are significantly tastier than freeze dried, as they are real food vacuum sealed and ready to heat and eat! At Camp 2, our advanced Base Camp, we have Sherpa cook staff who prepare more ‘Base Camp like’ food...pizza, pasta, eggs and bacon! We work really hard to make sure our food is second to none. As evidence of this, other companies have tried to steal our master chefs over to their companies!

The trip is so long... can I bring food and other gear not on the list?

Absolutely! Most members of our Everest 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 two months or so. The more comfortable you are, the more energy you have for the climb, so every little thing helps!

What if I arrive early or depart late

Of course. On a trip as long as this, we request that you arrive in Kathmandu on the assigned date to assure your baggage makes it on time and you have time to recover from jet lag before trekking. It is hard to catch the group, if you are arriving late and still waiting for lost baggage!  Many people depart from our Nepal expeditions later so that they enjoy the sights and sounds of Kathmandu, but do keep in mind that this is long expedition and we find that people want to head home as quickly as possible after the climb finishes. We are happy to help arrange any extra hotel nights that are required.

Are there any entry or visa requirements?

Yes there are. You can apply online 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. Currently a 90-day visa costs US$100

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) has flights three times a week and there are flights via Doha, Delhi 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 please ensure that 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?

An Adventure Consultants guide or agent will be waiting at Kathmandu Airport to pick you up off your flight on your arrival date. 

What are the skills/prior experience required for this climb?

You cannot just decide to write a cheque and go and climb Everest! 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 an 8000m peak such as Cho Oyu, prior to going to Everest is highly beneficial. Click here or contact the 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 our longest expedition of the year. 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. Check out our training page for more information on fitness for climbing.

How do you train for a trip like this?

Our standard response to this question is that for Everest, 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?

The weight of your pack will usually not exceed 10-15lbs, 5-7kg. What used to happen was on a “carry” day, where you moved your personal gear between camps, your pack would be 20-40lbs, 9-18kg , sometimes higher if you chose to carry more of your equipment and on “move” days, the weight went down to 10-15lbs, 5-7kg. Now, since we include carrying your personal overnight gear as part of the expedition, your pack weight is always in the 10-15lbs, 5-7kg range.

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 Everest expedition, but we have most often had a group size of 8 members with 2 guides. 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 have one of the most sophisticated communication systems around. A Wi-Fi connection is available at Base Camp and included in the expedition fee (fair-use policy applies).  We power all our communications equipment with solar,  using generators only as backup. On the mountain, we discourage phone calls as they distract from the climb and we often are limited by our power availability. 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 lodges 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 our biggest and longest trip, we usually suggest members to bring around US$2500. This will cover everything from gifts, to bottled drinks, tips, and anything else that catches your eye on the trail. ATM cash machines work in Kathmandu, but only give the local currency, Rupees.

How much should I tip my guide staff? What about the Sherpa staff?

This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from US$20 to US$15,000 for an Everest 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.

You will have a high degree of contact with some of the Sherpa staff, while others will be working away in the background providing necessary services to keep the expedition running and therefore we feel it is appropriate to include them in the tipping pool. We generally recommend each climber bring US$1000-$2000 to contribute to the tip pool.

What is your cancellation policy? Refund policy?

An expedition member may cancel his/her participation on the following basis:

  • prior to 20 January 2018 then on the basis of a 50% refund of the 20 October 2017 balance payment
  • after 20 January 2018 but before departure to the mountain from Kathmandu then on the basis of no refund of any monies paid.

Team members should take out private insurance if they wish to be covered against cancellation due to medical or personal reasons. This is called trip cancellation insurance and can be obtained from your normal travel agent. For full payment details, click here.

Can I pay by credit card?

We can accept the trip deposit and balance payment on credit card, and we add a 3% fee to accept the deposit and / or 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, but 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?

In addition to evacuation & medical insurance, we recommend to all our expedition members to buy trip cancellation insurance on sign up for your expedition.  It is also highly recommend purchasing a Comprehensive Travel Insurance policy to provide cover for trip interruption, baggage loss, damage or theft, delayed flights or other such incidents that may occur during your trip. Contact us for expedition insurance advice. 

Do I need evacuation insurance?

Absolutely!  Evacuation from the mountain can be expensive and you need to be insured accordingly, as well as having coverage for repatriation and travel medical expenses.  Read your policy's fine print to make sure it covers you for mountaineering and helicopter evacuation.

Who do you recommend for insurance?

You will be sent information specific to your expedition as part of your welcome package and requirements differ depending on where you are travelling and your home location.

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.

 


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Dispatches

 


Everest News

 

23 May 2017 - Australian businesswoman Leah Jay has reached the summit of Everest in memory of her son who died in 2008 after a battle with Motor Neuron Disease.
 
23 June 2017 - Sometimes the biggest accomplishments in life happen by chance. For 45-year-old Wendy Gustin, of Golden, it was a bad break in her career that led to her standing atop the world.
 
24 March 2017 - Veteran Everest blogger Alan Arnette interviews AC CEO Guy Cotter on his recent expository blog article on 'Fixing Everest'.


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