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Mount Everest Base Camp Trek

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who am I booking with?

Travel Escapes are a licensed and bonded travel agent, license number TA0348 and are in business since 1992. Based in ‘The Park’ retail park in Carrickmines, Dublin 18.

Who will look after me in Nepal?

Like all our holidays we try to find partners that understand the culture and the people of Ireland and we are delighted to advise that Nepal is no different. Our partner Suman, studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology in  Kevin Street. He left Dublin in 2010 for his home in Nepal and now runs a successful tour company offering tours and expedition treks to our clients throughout Nepal. His family also operate a ‘ Jungle Safari Lodge’ in Chitwan National Park.

Do I need a visa to enter Nepal?

Yes, all non-Nepalese nationals, except Indian citizens, need a visa to enter Nepal. The visa is attained and processed at the arrival airport in Kathmandu.

What do I need to get my visa?
You need a valid Passport, two Passport size photos and visa fees. The fee is US$25 and is payable in cash only in Euro or US dollars.  If paying in Euro the exchange rate may not be favourable.

When is the best time to visit Nepal?
October and November are considered the best time of the year to trek in the Himalaya. The sky will remain clear with a pleasant temperature. March to May is also a good time for trekking, as you will see rhododendron in full bloom along most trails as well as more snow on the mountains for photo ops! In spring, days are warmer and longer but the air is hazy at lower elevations. The monsoon season is from June to August. December to mid – February will be snowy and cold in the mountains.

What will the weather be like in Nepal?
Nepal’s weather is generally pleasant. There are four climatic seasons: March to May (Spring), June to August (Summer), September to November (Autumn) and December to February (Winter). The monsoon starts about the end of June to the middle of September. Close to 80 percent of the annual rain falls during this period. Spring and Autumn are the most pleasant seasons; Winter temperatures drop down to freezing with a high level of snowfall in the mountains. Summer and late spring temperatures range from 15 to 28ºC in the hill regions to more than 40ºC in the Terai. In winter, average maximum and minimum temperatures in the Terai range from a brisk 7ºC to a mild 23ºC. The central valleys experience a minimum temperature often falling below freezing point and a chilly 15ºC maximum.

Much colder temperatures prevail at higher elevations. The Kathmandu Valley, at an altitude of 1310m (4297ft), has a mild climate, ranging from 19 – 32ºC in summer and 2 – 20ºC in winter.

Will someone come to the airport to pick me up upon my arrival?
Yes, your tour includes all transport. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Kathmandu.

What types of hotels do you use?
In Kathmandu, you will be staying in a 3* hotel with the option to upgrade to 4* (at time of booking) for a supplement. But on the mountain trip, we use locally built lodges with basic facilities.

Can I have a single room? Or do I have to share?
You can have a single room in cities by paying a single supplementary charge. However, on the trek, it is impossible to guarantee a single room. Most of the lodges in the mountain have rooms with 2 beds for double occupancy and due to the small size of the lodges, the chances of getting a single room for a single person are low during the peak trekking season.  Even if you pay the single supplementary charge you should be prepared to share a room.

When is the peak season?
We have chosen April and October for our tours. These coincide with the peak season and therefore early booking is advised. October to November and March to May are the peak trekking season in Nepal.

Is the trip destination safe?
Security and safety of our clients are always our highest priority. However, there are always little risks associated with adventure travel & therefore, we cannot assure you that they are perfectly safe.Together with our local partners we constantly review every aspect of your adventure. We only use expert and licensed guides who are fully conversant with the demands of travelling in remote regions. The re-routing of a  trip may be necessary if the destination is found unsafe due to any unavoidable circumstances or situation beyond our control. As risk is involved in every adventure travel, it is a condition of joining the tour that you have adequate travel insurance, Travel Escapes have enlisted the help of our insurance partner in Dublin to ensure that the correct cover is in place for our clients availing of the insurance offered by us. Alternative insurance is acceptable but it is up to you to ensure that it is comparable or better insurance cover than that offered by Travel Escapes.

What is of more concern is the toilet/washing facilities – just how basic are they?
Reasonably good ‘Western Standard’ toilets, i.e. you can sit on the toilet. From time to time, you will encounter ‘Asian style’ i.e. a hole in the ground.

Are there flush toilets here and there on the trekking routes?
With the ‘ Western Standard’ toilets you might have to wash it down with a bucket of water, it is also discouraged to flush toilet paper. Although there is running water in places it is not to be expected.

What experience do I need? Am I fit enough?
Firstly, You don’t need any mountaineering experience to join this tour, this adventure is first and foremost a holiday and can be undertaken by anyone in a reasonable state of health and fitness. Secondly, As long as you are in good physical shape to start with you should start some physical fitness programs such as running, swimming, and hiking. A combination of all three is even better and you should feel healthy, well enough and possess a positive mental attitude before considering this trek. It is also advisable to consult your GP and tell them of your intentions.

Do I have to carry a backpack?
You have to only carry a light day-pack containing your water bottle, camera, an extra layer of clothing, sunglasses, a raincoat or windbreaker, and snacks. The porters or pack animals will carry all your other gear. Although your flight allowance will be 20kg we strongly advise that you keep your overall baggage weight to 15kg

What about backpack and shoes?
The backpack, with a capacity of about 25 litres, should fit comfortably. You need to carry only the daily necessities such as water bottle (1 litre), camera, personal toiletries, and extra clothing dependent on the weather for the trek.

What equipment should I bring?
Once booked, equipment will be advised to you. A good camera is essential!

How far do we walk each day?
In the mountains, hikes are measured in hours, rather than km. On most days, we hike 5 to 7 hours for each full day in hilly terrain with a lunch break of 1 to 2 hours. In the morning we usually walk from 8 to 11 am and in the afternoon from 1 to 4 pm. A full day for rest is also planned. It’s encouraged that you walk at your own pace enjoying the natural beauty around you. There will always be a guide or staff member at the rear of the group to make sure that you arrive at the camp safely.

Can I walk by myself?
Yes. once you stay behind the lead guide. Of course, the trek leader will need to know what your plans are. If you wish to explore during the mid-day break or while at the evening campsite it will be your responsibility and you again must advise the trek leader.

If I need help on the trail can I get it?
Both your guides and helper’s first priority is your safety. Therefore, they are ready to help you on the trail should you so wish.

What will the trail be like?
Most of the trails are centuries old so most of them are well maintained. Due to the rugged nature of the Himalayas, there is more exposure to heights and the grade is steeper than that of foe example Djouce in the Wicklow mountains. Ups and downs are the inevitable part of these trails.

What arrangements for drinking water are made while on the trek?
You should bring a one-litre water bottle with you on the trek. We prefer that you purify water yourself using iodine in order to save scarce fuel on teahouse trek. At times boiled water is available so you can fill your water bottle in the evening, and a water purifying chemical is optional.

How is our water supplied? Is it carried by the Sherpas or do we purchase it at stations along the route?
Bottled water is available along the route and costs from €0.50- €2, generally the higher you are the more expensive the water. The Nepalese Government discourage bottled water on the route because of pollution risks, there’s a water purification centre on the route but iodine tablets would still be recommended. Any good trekking shop in Ireland sells these and are for sale at about €5 a pack, they are also available in Nepal.

I note “hot water” is not included in the price. What exactly does that mean?
Hot water is produced from Solar Power so if it’s a cloudy day and there are lots of people trekking there may not be any hot water available for a shower. A shower costs roughly €5- €8. A small basin of hot water which is heated by fire/gas is €1- €2.

What will the weather and temperature be like in the mountains?
Weather in the mountains is notoriously difficult to predict. These are highest mountains in the world, and exceptions to the norm can happen. At night it is generally cold, and in autumn and winter, the days can be quite beautiful if the sun is out. There can be snow or rain storms any time of the year. At elevations between 1000m to 3500m the temperature could range from 5º C to 35º C. At higher altitudes, the temperature ranges from -10º C to 20º C.

How should I dress during a trek?
While trekking during the day at lower altitudes, lightweight trekking trousers and T-shirts are recommended. It’s always a good idea to carry a waterproof jacket and some warmer clothing with you as mountain weather is notoriously unpredictable. For the cold nights, thermal underwear, a warm fleece jacket and even a down jacket will help you to keep warm. Good shoes are of great importance as well.

What does the bedding in the lodges consist? Is it recommended to bring a pillowcase/sheet etc?
A sleeping bag liner is recommended of course you will have to have a sleeping bag as well. A pillowcase is a good idea. Generally, the beds are made up of a single plywood base with a light foam mattress covered with a sheet which is not changed every day.

What about security during trekking?
Your security is very important to us. Our partner, their guides and other support crew are carefully chosen for your trip. They are very honest and reliable. Nepal is no different than Ireland and like any country in the world, we recommend you exercise caution and advise you to take care of your own personal belongings. Please do not leave your bags unattended at any time for your own safety. You have to take sensible precautions yourself at all times. Never leave your baggage unattended and always lock your room when you go out.

I note you supply a first aid kit – what will it contain?
Blisters and Diarrhea are the main cause of concern while trekking to Base Camp, so you should ensure you have an adequate supply of kit to counteract these. Our First aid kits include:
Hand sanitizer, ibuprofen tablets, Bandage, Diarrhea stopper, Wipes, Antihistamine tablets, Sterile non-stick absorbent dressing/gauze, Antibiotic cream, Small utility tool, Safety pins, Tiny roll Micropore Medical Tape, Diamox, Cold-cough tablet, Water Purifying Tablet, Razor Blade, Paracetamol

What happens if I get sick?
It’s important that all trek members are kept healthy and safe during the trip. Despite this, if you got sick, the most important thing is DON’T PANIC. Always ensure that you have a well-stocked and appropriate medical kit as well as sufficient insurance in case you should have to be evacuated. A slight case of diarrhoea, cold or a minor cough is common, as well as joint and muscle aches – all a part of walking in the hills and a change of diet. Altitude sickness is extremely dangerous but mostly avoidable if you follow a few simple rules: Just in case someone feels unwell on the trek, the staff will pay extra attention to his or her health and will provide basic first aid treatment as well if necessary or will take them to the nearby health post if there is any. If the illness is too serious, they will be evacuated to a good hospital or back to Kathmandu. Therefore, we recommend every trekker purchase adequate health insurance that covers such events.

Are inoculations required/recommended prior to departure?
At this point, there are no compulsory inoculations, it’s best to consult your local GP as each person will have a different medical history.

What happens in case of emergency?
In the case of a serious sickness or a casualty (which we believe will not happen), you will be rescued by a helicopter. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before purchasing the policy or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back to Kathmandu. While requesting the helicopter for evacuation, please send the name of the sick person and give exact location from where the helicopter can airlift him/her. Do not leave the place even if you feel better once you have ordered the helicopter.

Are the trekking staff insured? What about their equipment?
Our partner has been carefully chosen and their staff including porters are well insured, they provide sufficient equipment to them depending on the trek. They are paid above average. This means that you are paying slightly higher rate and supporting to create decent and equitable working conditions for all staff.

Is communication possible while on a trek?
There are telephones and internet service available in many villages along the popular trekking routes from where you can make international calls or check your email. Mobile Phones also work along the many popular trekking routes.

What kind of money should I bring for the trek?
Upon arrival in Katmandu, you can convert your currency into Nepalese rupees at the hotel or at the money exchange counter.

What about staff gratuity/tips?
Usually, tipping is not compulsory in Nepal HOWEVER, in the trekking area the guide and porter expect tips. We advise you to tip from 6-10% of the cost of the trip. this is a total amount as the guide and porter will divide the tip between them. Extra clothing gifts are encouraged as well.

What is the weight limit on Domestic Flights?
The weight limit is 15 to 20 kg depending on the area you fly. The weight limit is 15 kg for Lukla and Phalu.

Should I presume we bring our snacks with us from Ireland?
You can buy most snacks in Kathmandu unless you have a craving for your favourite snack like Tayto etc, it’s not going to be an issue.

How do you match solo travellers? IDEALLY, I would prefer to be on my own but my bigger ‘worry’ is about personal hygiene/toilet/washing etc especially if, God forbid, one had a dodgy tummy or worse!
It’s dependent on the group. Your single request will be carried out to the best ability of the guide, but you should be prepared to share.

Would Travel Escapes consider organizing a briefing/talk by an expert at a venue in Dublin a few months before departure? I for one would welcome a familiarization briefing in advance.
Travel Escapes will hold an informational briefing to our customers. Date and venue will be notified well in advance.

How can I book the trip?
Call us on Dublin 01-2941000, email us at book@travelescapes.ie or click here for 6th April Departure

Or Click here for the 05th October Departure

Back to Everest Base Camp Trek details

The information above is given as a guideline only.