Sherpas: The People of the Mountains

Sherpas are some of the most well-trained and experienced climbers in the Himalayas. Their wisdom, strength and sharp instincts—in despite of their small figure—often leads outsiders to believe they have a ‘sixth sense’ or ‘magical powers’ in these isolated places. For this reason, companies wouldn’t think of going on an expedition or trekking tour without their guidance and assistance.

Yet, if you were to ask a Sherpa about these ‘heighten instincts’, they’d respond by saying (very humbly and modestly) that they don’t possess any special powers or characteristics; rather, they simply listen to the mountains and respect the custom that She (the mountain) always decides who goes up and who doesn’t, not man.Read More

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Annapurna base camp

Sleeping and Eating on ABC Trek

You’ve booked your flight, arranged your trek with a local company and are now counting down the days till you begin your adventure in the Himalayas. As you snuggle into your warm queen size bed and pull your soft duvet cover up to your nose, you begin to wonder what conditions will be like once you’re in the wilderness.

What sort of beds and accommodations are available at tea houses? Do they even have beds???

As you prepare your breakfast the next morning and replenish your rumbling belly, you begin to wonder what food will be like in the mountains.

Do they have toast and coffee? I need my morning coffee! How will I cope without my morning green smoothie?

It’s not uncommon for trekkers flying in from overseas to have concerns, or are curious to know what daily amenities are like in the mountains.Read More

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Everest Base Camp and Altitude Sickness. Am I susceptible to AMS?

Altitude Sickness—known as AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness)—can affect ALL trekkers both new and seasoned. While the Everest Base Camp trek is a rewarding adventure, trekking in the mountains at high altitudes comes with certain risks such as AMS which should never be overlooked and undermined.

Everest Base Camp sits at an elevation of 5,545m or 18, 192 ft, and most often trekkers arrive in Kathmandu the day before their trek starts—leaving little time for acclimatization. Kathmandu itself sits at an elevation of 1,400m or 4,593 ft, so if possible try and arrive a few days before your trek start date. There are many incredible places to visit and see in and around the city, and the more time you have to acclimatize before your trek the better.Read More

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Clean drinking water on the Annapurna Base Camp trekking

ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) is a project under the NTNC (Natural Trust for Nature Conservation) which is meant to preserve and protect the Annapurna region. Annapurna is home to many species of plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, along with local Sherpa’s and villagers. By obtaining your trekking permit and paying the permit fee, you’re supporting ACAP’s mission to conserve the park, the wildlife and the Sherpa villages. On the NTNC website they provide a few suggestions of how you can do your part to conserve the park:

  • Carry out what you carry in.
  • Return batteries to your home country for proper disposal.
  • Use toilets wherever possible or when in the woods, stay at least 50m away from water sources, and bury your waste.
  • Purify water yourself instead of buying bottled water.

The aim is to eventually be 100% plastic free in the Himalaya’s and while there is an NGO – Plastic Free Himalayas – dedicated to the preservation of the Nepal Himalayan environment, the campaign to ban all plastic bags and mineral water bottles is a gradual process.Read More

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Packing list for Everest Base Camp Trek

Heading to EBC?

Not sure what to pack?

There’s nothing worse than NOT being prepared; especially when dealing with the unpredictable weather conditions in the mountains. Having the proper gear and equipment ensures you’ll be comfortable and warm, so you can relax and enjoy your trek, instead of focusing on your cold toes!

Here’s a detailed packing list of what you need to bring so you’re prepared for the Everest Base Camp trek. Keep in mind, this list also applies to those trekking other tea house treks in Nepal such as Annapurna Base Camp (ABC).

1. What to bring vs. what to buy in Nepal

Should you forget any gear at home or require some additional equipment, you can easily purchase or rent all that you need for a trek in Thamel upon your arrival. Keep in mind, just because the product says, “The North Face” doesn’t mean it’s North Face certified. However, the quality of most products sold by local vendors are suitable for your EBC trek. But whoever you end up buying from, be sure to check the zippers and the stitching on all jackets, pants and bags; you want to make sure the make is strong and durable. Also, if you plan to do your Everest trek with Wind Horse Adventures, your down jacket and sleeping bag is included in your trekking package (click here to see what else is included). If you have your own equipment do bring it along, but if you’re on a budget and are looking to get suitable gear at a low cost, wait until you arrive in Kathmandu.

Personal Tip: I buy all of my trekking gear from V-Tex International on Mandala Street in Thamel. Their products are high quality, affordable, and durable.Read More

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