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Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek
Old 05-27-2013, 07:13 AM   #1
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Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek

Has anybody been on a Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek?
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Old 05-27-2013, 08:35 AM   #2
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No, but I do have a loosely formed bucket list that has a Base Camp expedition....although once I formally price it out, I might decide to do 5 other bucket list items for the same wad of cash. Saw it advertised on JetSetter (kind of a higher-end Groupon for limited time travel sales) a few months back for (I think) something like $8,000 per person, excluding flights.
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:36 AM   #3
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I did the Chomolhari-Laya-Gasa trek in Bhutan with Canadian Himilayan Expeditions himalayanexpeditions.com/ and found them to be decent and not as expensive as the other providers.

They do an Everest base camp trip as well.
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Old 05-28-2013, 11:40 AM   #4
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I must be either cheap or old fashioned or both, or maybe I don't have the means most of the members here have for the treks.

I'm curious - do you guys and gals pay so much for convenience?
Or for somebody to carry your gear?

I had a look at one of the treks I did on my own (Annapurna Circuit) and the price was $2895 ( or 1795 tea house style).
I don't think during the whole trek I spent more than $150 on food and accommodation. The trekking permit was $15 I think (now about $40)

Similar situation for "O" trek I did in Torres del Paine this year - Prices are about $2-3k for the trek where I spent maybe $200.
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Old 05-28-2013, 12:11 PM   #5
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Sailor, I'm kinda in your camp. And I don't want to go anywhere exotic, so I think it costs less. The two treks on my bucket list are the Camino de Santiago and the Lycian Way. Nothing at altitude--I'm a sea level girl!
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Old 05-29-2013, 12:36 PM   #6
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Read this month's article in National Geographic about Everest. You might just change your mind.
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Old 05-29-2013, 01:40 PM   #7
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I kind of have to agree with Yvon Chouinard about the people that pay for these package deals. If you don't know what I am talking about, watch 180 South. Great documentary.
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Old 05-29-2013, 02:31 PM   #8
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Check out the Annapurna Sanctuary.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:21 AM   #9
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deadhorse: I'm planning for EBC this Oct. It's much cheaper than what few folks listed in your reply. Everest Base Camp Trekking -Everest Treks | Nepal Vision Treks

Tip for Airfare: Instead of pricing an itinerary for KTM(Nepal) directly...divide into two parts:
1) USA - DEL(New Delhi) India - USA. United/Airindia flies direct from EWR/JFK (About 1400-1500 Dollars)
2) DEL-KTM-DEL with local Indian Airlines (Jet Airways/Air India/Indigo Air) -- $200
You may need transit visa for India - google it for more details.

No need to worry about obtaining a prior visa for Nepal - You get that on arrival at KTM airport.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:10 AM   #10
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Deadhorse - I trekked as a FIT (free-independent-trekker, in Nepal trekking terms - no guide, no porter) to EBC a couple years ago as part of the 3-passes trek in the Khumbu region. If you're considering whether to go solo or guided, there are definitely some big pros and cons to consider beyond the obvious cost and pack weight issues:

*Flexibility - as a FIT, you can wait out a day or two of bad weather, spend an extra day acclimatizing, or add a last minute side trip to Ama Dablam basecamp if you choose. As a part of a guided group, you have no such flexibility, and it could easily cost you a highlight of the trip (missing Kala Pattar due to clouds, for example).

*Lodging - as a FIT on the very popular EBC route, you will be treated as the absolute lowest priority client by guesthouse owners. The owners want repeat business - the highest priority will go to guided groups, then solo trekkers with guides, then solo trekkers with porters, then finally FIT trekkers. Of the 20 nights I spent at altitude, I got kicked out of various rooms (politely, at least) 3 times so they could make space for guided groups. It didn't matter that I had already taken the room and unpacked - they asked for the key back and pointed me to a lodge that had space. At least 4 other FIT trekkers I met experienced this same problem. It's not a huge deal since you can always just go next door to another teahouse, but it's still a pain. Note that this was only happening on the popular route to EBC - no one on the Gokyo side experienced this while I was there.

*Flights/Permits - it's not all that difficult, but definitely an effort, to arrange permits and flights as a FIT. At least you can book flights ahead of time, but you still have to make a face-to-face visit with an agent to pick-up tickets. Permits must also be picked up face-to-face at an official TAAN location. Also, changing your flights due to weather, change in plans, etc., can also be a pain as a FIT. If you are on a guided trip, the guides will coordinate any and all permits, flights, changes to your flights, etc. If you are a FIT, you're going to be spending a few hours running around between the airlines offices and TAAN offices trying to sort things out with the less-than-pleasant airline and govt. workers. Also, FITs generally get lowest priority on flight changes.

That said, for me, the whole point of going to see the Khumbu region was to see the sights and I didn't want to be tied to a rigid schedule, so I wasn't going to do it any other way than as a FIT, but I can also understand why guided trips may appeal to some, esp. anyone that hates planning.

Finally, if you want to see Everest but aren't married to the EBC trek, I would highly recommend going up the Gokyo valley instead. It's more beautiful, far less crowded, and you get a better view of Everest (although from further away). And nowhere on the EBC trail will you be able to see 4 of the 6 tallest mountains in the world (Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu) at once, like you can from the top of Gokyo Ri. Also, if you're going in the fall, note that there actually is not a base camp at Everest most years in the fall - they setup a fake 'welcome to everest base camp!' sign on the tourist side of the icefall so the fall peak crowds don't endanger themselves trying to cross the glacier to visit something that isn't there.

So...back to the original question, I don't actually have any experience with any specific trekking agency since I did the trek as a FIT, but hopefully the above will be somewhat useful if you're still trying to decide what to do...
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:43 PM   #11
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Came across an interesting article about Mt. Everest treks on the National Geographic website

Everest Maxed Out

Talks about overall safety rates, big range in qualifications of tour groups, the wear and tear/environmental toll on the mountain from all of the hikers, and related topics.
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Old 07-29-2013, 02:58 PM   #12
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Wife and I are planning to go in December-January, to do the EBC + Gokyo trek.

The best sites for getting information are the Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor Nepal forums.

Nepal Forum, Travel Discussion for Nepal

Nepal - Lonely Planet travel forum

As far as flights between the USA East Coast and Kathmandu go, the best deal I have found for 2013 -- by far -- is on Turkish Airlines, from IAD (Washington Dulles) to Istanbul to Kathmandu, then back the same route. The trick is to stay one (or more) days in Istanbul on the way home -- since the connect time from the KTM->IST flight to the IST->IAD flight is only 50 minutes, you cannot make that direct connection. So you have to stay over -- but you can't book it as a roundtrip flight (since the layover is over 24 hours); instead, must book it as a multi-city flight (3 legs: IAD-KTM, KTM-IST, IST-IAD). But the cost is about $1450 per person, vs. $2200+ on other airlines. Plus whatever it takes to get for you to get to Washington Dulles, of course.

And a day in Istanbul is well worth it. The Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque are fantastic buildings, and the Turkish people are pretty pleasant.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mountaintosea View Post
Read this month's article in National Geographic about Everest. You might just change your mind.
Had not read the article..

Many years ago watched a documentary on Everest. Looked like the world's tallest garbage dump. A large assorment of abandoned oxygen tanks, trash, and the sprinkling of dead climbers frozen in time.
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Old 07-29-2013, 09:10 PM   #14
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And a day in Istanbul is well worth it. The Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque are fantastic buildings, and the Turkish people are pretty pleasant.
+1

Don't forget the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul:

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Had the opportunity to be there in both 1992 and 2001. Very cool place (historically as well as just the massive combination of so many little stores).
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:17 AM   #15
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Had not read the article..

Many years ago watched a documentary on Everest. Looked like the world's tallest garbage dump. A large assorment of abandoned oxygen tanks, trash, and the sprinkling of dead climbers frozen in time.
Of course, the article is about climbing Everest, not about trekking to the lower reaches of it to get a good view.
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Old 07-30-2013, 10:45 AM   #16
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I'm wondering what people going to these locations are truly looking for? Some seem to see it as a mystical experience.

If you are tempted to do this, what is your thoughts on motivation?
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:53 PM   #17
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Has anybody been on a Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek?
"Base" camp, altitude 17k ft or so...

I would go just for the scenery, as it were, but I'm not sure my finances will hold out long enough for me to get that far down the bucket list.
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Old 07-30-2013, 05:59 PM   #18
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If you are tempted to do this, what is your thoughts on motivation?
I have a secret desire to climb Everest, and since I know I never will, a trek to the basecamp would probably satisfy about 90% of that desire with just 10% of the risk.

However, I currently have no plans to trek to base camp, but have toyed with the idea.

The fact that it is become such a common thing to do however (both the climb and the EBC trek) makes it much less appealing to me however.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:41 PM   #19
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Did it two years ago....pricing should be no more than $3500. I have a guide that I have used twice ($50/day and will carry your pack). You did not say how many are going on your trek, but you split the $50. If you are a real solo traveler, you can go on your own. Do stay at the tea houses, though. I recommend a guide, there are hundreds of people that have gone missing on the EBC Trek.

PRICING: Air $1500 plus $200 to Lukla; Guide $600; rest of your expenses $1200.

write if you need my sherpa's name.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:48 PM   #20
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I recommend a guide, there are hundreds of people that have gone missing on the EBC Trek.
Bob, where did you hear/seen such statement?
I'm unable to confirm it using my limited google foo, and it is contrary to what my friends told me.
My internet searches find only few people missing (like 12 people since 2003), and not "hundreds", although in some interviews Sherpa guides use much higher numbers (as in "I've seen 20 people lost during my 20 year of guiding")
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