Please note you will be mailed a set of Team Reference Notes for your chosen expedition 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!
CHOOSING A PROVIDER
How long has Adventure Consultants been in operation?
Adventure Consultants started in 1990 and we have been guiding internationally ever since.
A few outfitters ‘claim’ to have the same level of experience and prestige with that of Adventure Consultants. In this league, what makes you a first choice for your climbers?
We are renowned for the quality of our service and strategy applied to our expeditions. Our reputation is attributed to our meticulous planning and logistics coordination done by our head office. Once on the ground in Nepal, the AC team of guides and sherpas will ensure that this is run to our high standards and hence, this will be an enjoyable expedition with a great group of people.
FOOD, ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES
What showers and washing (clothes) facilities will be available on the expedition?
We do offer shower facilities on all our 8000m expeditions and these will be made available as often as possible either at the lodges, or at your Base Camp. We advise people to bring wet-wipes for the impromptu wash in between available showers. It is also possible to hand wash clothes at Base Camp between climbing cycles.
Would you let us know what food will be available?
If you have any special treat you like, we encourage you to bring some along. You’ll get breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as snacks, and ample hot and cold drinks. We can cater for vegetarians as well as many other special diets as long as we are informed of this prior to the trip. All of our expeditions provide excellent local and western food! Our food is rated so highly that our guides are frequently seen chasing guides and clients from other expeditions out of our mess tents!
What is the food like?
Our well-trained cooks prepare high quality ‘western’ food as well as popular local dishes. Please indicate any specific dietary requirements you may have on your application form. We are happy to accommodate for those with specific diets.
Do I need to arrive the day before the trip starts? And when should I book my flight to leave?
No, our trip programmes all have an arrival day and a departure day built into them. You are welcome, and encouraged, to arrive a bit earlier to explore your arrival and departure city if you have the time. Please do not book to depart from Kathmandu before the scheduled final trip itinerary day.
My travel agent says I can just get an ‘e’ ticket (electronic ticket) and will not need to be actually issued a physical ticket.
'E' tickets are the standard practice these days and are now acceptable in most locations. Do ensure you print your itinerary and have your booking number with you, as this allows our local agents to assist with changing your return flight plans if need be, while you are in the mountains.
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; or offer a full refund.
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. Some of the places we go to aren't straightforward, and we highly recommend using a travel agent for such 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 to our expedition and trek destinations.
Where do we meet? Will I be picked up?
If your expedition is in Nepal, plan to fly into Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) and if Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto International Airport. Do note that by April 2015, it is expected that the new Islamabad airport, Gandhara International is due to be completed. An Adventure Consultants guide or representative 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 if I am arriving early or departing late?
Adventure Consultants can make reservations for you and can often make recommendations for attractions you can enjoy while waiting for your trip to begin. Please let our office know your specific plans.
Do I need to get a visa?
Yes, for Nepal expeditions the easiest and best place to obtain this is on arrival into Kathmandu. For expeditions to Tibet visas are processed in Kathmandu following your arrival there. Expeditions to Pakistan require you to get a 60 day entry into Pakistan before arriving in Islamabad. Do make sure that your passport has at least six months validity and more details on this process are included in your comprehensive set of reference notes, which will be sent to you upon sign up.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
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 so please bring everything on the list! AC have a dedicated equipment coordinator that will assist with your equipment enquiries/purchases during the lead up to the expedition start date.
Given the large amount of equipment that I need to bring, can I send freight ahead?
Sending your equipment ahead by freight is not as easy as it sounds. The costs can be considerable with expensive clearance and duty fees, and time delays getting your gear out of customs. We advise against it, but if considering it, please contact us to discuss the process and associated costs.
How warm do we need our sleeping bags to be? Will there be extra blankets available if required?
This will be clearly stated in your recommended gear list. It will depend on where you are going, but in general you will need a sleeping bag warm enough for you in conditions that can be as cold as freezing. Blankets are generally not available so pay careful attention to what bag we recommend. We suggest buying a sleeping bag big enough to allow you to wear some clothes in if it is especially cold. Sleeping in a warm hat can greatly improve a bag's warmth.
ACCLIMATISATION AND OXYGEN
What altitude medication will be available on the expedition? Do we need to take tablets before/ during the trek/expedition?
All our guides carry extensive medical kits including Diamox, Dexamethasone, Nifedipine and Sildenafil for altitude illness, and some of our bigger expeditions even have their own doctor. You need to bring any medications you regularly use (don’t forget to tell us about them) plus extra. Also bring a small first aid kit including a blister kit and mild headache medication for the normal altitude headaches.
What sort of O2 masks do you use?
We use Summit and Topout masks and regulators for all our Sherpas, Guides and climbers.
What is the oxygen bottle size?
We use 4 litre Poisk bottles which are the lightest available at 3.5kg each.
What is Max Ox? How does it work?
The Max Ox option is simple, in this era of better O2 systems we wanted to offer our team members every possible advantage to summit. The Max Ox O2 option allows you to climb on a higher flow rate, thus increasing your chance of success.
EXPEDITION TEAM MEMBERS
Who goes on your trips?
Our climbers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, countries and skill levels. From those seeking skill development, to those seeking assistance with the world's highest mountains or purely adventure, we provide courses, expeditions, treks and guided ascents for all levels of outdoor enthusiasts.
Can my friends and family join me on the trek into Base Camp?
Yes, this is possible on some of our expeditions so if interested in exploring this option; please do enquire directly with the Adventure Consultants office.
I would like to arrange a private trip, is this possible?
We are happy to arrange a private group trip to the destination of your choice and we have run many successful private trips and expeditions including summits of 8000m peaks such as Gasherbrum 2 and Kanchenjunga, all Seven Summits and remote destinations such as Antarctica. There is no specific group size, but obviously larger groups are more cost effective.
HEALTH & FITNESS
What kind of physical condition should I be in for a climb at high altitude?
We invite you to check out our Fitness Training for Expeditions page and recommend checking with your physician before embarking on strenuous physical activity. For our high altitude climbing, you should be comfortable walking for 5-9 hours with a weighted pack. Pack weight can be 15-25kg on carry days on high altitude expeditions, but only 5-7 kg on summit day and on the trek in. Enquire about Sherpa Support to help keep your pack weight realistic for you. Working out every day, then day long hikes with a weighted pack on the weekends is generally a good realistic training programme.
COMMUNICATION & ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Will there be any access to a satellite phone? If yes then what would be the charges for usage?
Yes, most of our expedition guides take satellite phones and you are welcome to use these at US$3 to $4 per minute depending on the region.
I want to contact my friend or relative, who is on one of your trips, how can I reach them?
Most of our expeditions 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.
What weather report service do you use?
We receive comprehensive weather forecasts from our Swiss meteorologists which enable us to plan our ascent around favourable weather. Additional meteorological interpretation provided by veteran high altitude guides through our head office in New Zealand helps manage the decision making process.
What insurance do we need to get?
On all of our international expeditions there is a requirement for each expedition member to have insurance to cover any personal or medical mishaps that may occur before or during the expedition. This should cover you for any costs incurred in the event of any illness, medical emergency or evacuation that occurs while on expedition as well as trip cancellation, baggage loss, damage or theft, or any other such mishap that may occur.
Do I need evacuation insurance?
Yes, it is very important. Many of our expeditions are in remote places with no roads and third world medical services. In the unlikely event you get sick, you want to get to good medical care ASAP.
Who do you recommend for insurance?
Coverage varies based on your nationality and the trip that you are taking with us. When you have booked on for a trip with us we will send you comprehensive information on various insurance options which will serve as a good starting point for obtaining the best coverage available for yourself.
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, including our courses. 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.
Read our Expedition Insurance page for more details.
FEES & PAYMENTS
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?
Each specific trip page on the website has a section as well as a downloadable pdf document with exactly what is and what is not included on the trip. 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 international airfare.
How much should I budget for this expedition? How much cash should I plan to bring?
In addition to staff gratuities, you will also need to take funds for the likes of laundry, bottled water, alcohol, showers and any other sundry purchases that you may make. Approximately US$300-500 will suffice for the trek in and out.
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 ‘cheaper’ trips.
How do I sign up for a trip?
The best way to reserve your space on a trip is to call our offices or complete our online booking form. Return this with the trip deposit either through a telegraphic transfer (information is on our trip notes downloaded from the specific trip page) or by using our secure credit card page. Phone our New Zealand head office on +64 3 443 8711 (Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:30pm PST + 19 hours) or Freephone 1-866-757-8722 from North America.
From the AC Blog page
Elbrus 2017 - Hiking in Heat
Everest 2017 - Wrapping Up
Dhaulagiri 2017 - It's a wrap!
Greenland 3 Peaks 2017 - Last Days
Mera Peak 2017 - Kathmandu
Island Peak 2017 - Final Word