Posted on February 20th 2019 by Jason Rawles
I absolutely love delivering Everest Base Camp expeditions. When I first started on this journey it was under my own name but things grew too quick from an adventure perspective. I Founded Aspire Adventures to ensure there was a more robust business to deliver to people who put their trust and aspirations with me.
Either you’ve just booked, or are thinking about booking, this trip of a lifetime so I’ve put together some responses to questions which may help you along…. 🇳🇵
Note: When we/our is mentioned below, I mean from myself and the team at Aspire Adventures.
What do I do about a visa?
You need a visa to enter Nepal and you can either do this in advance or at the airport. It’s swings and roundabouts. Sometimes there is a bigger queue on the visa side and sometimes not. If you choose to get your visa at the airport, definitely bring a couple of passport sized photo’s with you as a precaution. The visa machine takes your pic but there may be a power cut.
Details below from Gov.co.uk –
If arranging at the airport you’ll need cash to pay and US Dollars is absolutely fine. You may have a chunk with you as that’s how you may be paying the final instalment of the expedition.
What currency do we use and where can we exchange?
The local currency is Nepalese Rupee (NPR) which is what we use on the trail. Your final payment for the expedition is due (if relevant) in US Dollars (USD). You can exchange money in Kathmandu but it’s recommended to bring the USD with you and then exchange to NPR in country.
How much money is needed?
This depends on what you’d like to buy. Breakfast in Kathmandu is included, and on the trail the meals and drinks like hot lemon are included too. Soft drinks, chocolate bars, bottled water etc. can cost anything from 30p to £4 depending on where you are. The higher up you go, the more it costs. People can spend anything from £20 to £100 (total cost) depending on personal choices. Cake and alcohol are also available but again, come at a cost.
The celebration dinner in Kathmandu can be nearer to UK prices as well as coffee in places like Himalayan Java (Aspire Adventures personal fave!).
You could allow anything from £5 to £10 per day on the trail You’ll also need to budget for dinners, drinks and sundries around Kathmandu for the the team celebration dinner. It’ll be worth considering UK’ish costs as steak and chips could cost £12 and a beer around £3.
When should I arrive/leave Kathmandu?
Please arrive on the first day of your expedition and that may mean flying overnight so leaving the day before. Please arrange to leave Kathmandu on the last day of your expedition. Please send us details of your flights and whether you’d like to stay extra nights before or after.
Who should I book flights with?
Flights are not included in our costs so people can choose favourite airlines and places to fly from. Some of the more popular are Air India, Jet Airways, Qatar Airways or Emirates. There are also comparison websites to help find the best price. Flights can cost anything from £400 to £700 (plus more) depending on airline, class of travel, airport and how late you book them.
What about insurance?
There are lots of companies that specialise in trekking insurance for Everest Base Camp. Some of the more popular are World Nomad, The BMC and True Traveller. There are lots. Make sure it covers the altitude of Everest Base Camp (up to 6,000m is the general height mentioned) and includes helicopter rescue.
Please get insurance as soon as possible in case you have an injury or need to cancel for some reason. Insurance can cost around £100 depending on local conditions in the region and also whether you have any pre-existing medical issues to declare or if you want to add more belongings cover.
What about tips?
This is personal depending on how you feel things have gone with the team. They are not included in the costs. You may wish to give anything from $75 to $120 which will be shared amongst the team of porters and Sherpas.
Can I leave stuff at the hotel?
Yes, of course. It will be kept in a secure room and you’ll be given a luggage tag to use when you get back. We tend to leave stuff like clean underwear, clean polo shirt and jeans and anything we don’t want on the trail.
Can I book extra nights before or after?
Of course, depending on availability. Cost will be in the region of $65 per night and payable when you check out of the hotel. Email email@example.com with your requirements and we will confirm once sorted.
What about wi-fi or connectivity in country?
Some people get themselves a local Nepal SIM card and load up with credit. To get a SIM you’ll need a passport photo. Wi-fi is available in a lot of places on the trail and comes at a cost depending on MB usage. The expedition leader will post on to social media most days so your friends can connect in with him/her if you wish for a digital detox.
Connect to Aspire Adventures via social media –
Feel free to share these connections with family, friends and colleagues.
Can I charge my tech on the trail?
There will be opportunities but it will come at a cost (perhaps £2 to fully charge a phone) or even get a big (but still light, and portable) power pack and charge it to full in Kathmandu. It will also be first come, first served to the plugs and the tea house owners may turn off the power overnight to conserve energy.
What plug should I use?
The standard UK 3-pin is widely used but worth bring a worldwide converter for charging at the airport etc. It’s worth considering a plug with multiple USB ports and then just bring the cables needed for the technology.
Where do we sleep and eat on the trail?
We sleep in lodges which are locally known as teahouses. The rooms are basic but have a roof. Toilets could range from shared to en-suite. They are single beds and generally have a blanket but a sleeping bag for higher altitude is highly recommended along with a sleeping bag liner for when you may just wish to use the blanket.
Food is plentiful and ranges from eggs and toast for breakfast, noodles and pasta for lunch and hearty dinners of the same. Of course, Dal Bhat (rice with a lentil soup) is always available. As the Sherpa community say, Dal Bhat power….24hr!
Some of the teahouses will have showers and some may even be hot! They will come at a charge and could be around £3 give or take.
It’s also worth bringing ear plugs as the walls are thin and people make noise! Sleep and rest is needed.
How cold does it get?
It can get as low as -10 when higher up on the trail. That’s why you need to bring layers and have a suitable sleeping bag. It can be colder first thing before the sun rises over the mountains and then it can get really hot.
Which vaccinations should I get?
Please follow the advice below and also consult a travel nurse –
It’s your personal responsibility to be correctly vaccinated as well as having any necessary personal medication with you.
Will I be okay at altitude?
Altitude is very individual and the route is chosen to give everyone the best chance of succeeding. The great article below from the NHS explains more about how it can impact you. You may also wish to discuss a drug called acetazolamide which is commonly known as Diamox. This is a prescription drug (discuss with Doctor) but also available to buy online. It can help with acclimatisation and it’s strongly recommended that you bring some.
With this being a very individual subject we will happily discuss any concerns with you personally and in more detail. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a discussion.
What kind of training should I do?
You don’t need to be an athlete to complete this expedition. That said, a fair level of fitness will make things more comfortable. Definitely get some walks in and start to build in carrying a rucksack with the same kind of weight as you’d carry on the trail (2litres of water, snacks, waterproofs, camera etc.).
Build this up and include some hills and perhaps think about back to back days which then replicates the expedition. Walking days can vary from 3hrs and 6km in distance with minimal height gain to 6hrs and 350m of vertical height gain in that same day.
Time on our feet will vary from just the morning to about 6hrs of walking. We walk slowly and have plenty of breaks.
How do I get to and from the airport in Kathmandu?
Please tell us your flight details and we shall arrange transfers. Someone will be waiting for you outside arrivals with your name on a board.
What about snacks?
This is completely personal preference. Things like snickers, mars bars etc will be available to buy at a supermarket in Kathmandu and also on the trail. Consider that the cost of snacks will increase as we get higher. What may cost you 80p lower down may be £4 up higher. Quantity and volume is down to you. If bringing snacks consider the weight as it’ll eat up (pun intended!) valuable luggage space.
What if there is an emergency at home?
Your expedition leader will have a Nepal SIM card and will give you the contact number if you’d like to share with people at home to contact in an emergency.
What else should I think of?
Definitely bring copies of your insurance document and photocopy it also. Bring a photocopy of your passport and it’s good practice to bring a couple of passport sized pics also. It’s worth photocopying the front and back of a credit card just in case stuff is lost.
There can be dead time in the evenings so perhaps bring some cards to play games. Also, a Kindle or some books to read. Some people bring headphones and perhaps watch a movie downloaded on a tablet. Headphones also double as being able to listen to podcasts or even some tunes during the uphill sections.
What if I have medical concerns or worries?
An understandable worry. Please do email us on email@example.com and we will discuss with you. All discussions will be confidential. There is a lot we can do to help what you feel may be impossible, to become possible. Let’s discuss.
What should I do with my passport?
You can leave your passport in Kathmandu which will be held in a safe. This means that it won’t be on the trail with you. It’ll be given back to you once we get back from the trail.
What if I have questions?
Please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we shall answer everything. We look to get back to you within 48hrs.
Are training weekends available?
Yes. Have a look at https://aspire-adventures.com/skills-and-learning and you’ll see a range of dates available to help improve your success chances. You could also book some 1:2:1 training via email@example.com who can advise on dates and costs.
If if you’re not booked on an Aspire Adventures expedition you’re more than welcome to attend one of these training courses.
What happens after I pay for my space?
You’ll receive an email to confirm your spot. We will then set up a What’sApp group to help connect the team and deal with questions or worries. In the lead up you’ll receive some emails (from a group email list) as reminders along with a link to upload your medical information which is held securely. You’ll also be contacted about flight, insurance and passport information so we can start to get things arranged in Kathmandu.
Why should I trust you..?!
Don’t just take my/our word from it. Hear from Adam and also Dan and Lucy who have been on these Everest Base Camp expeditions –
For now, I hope this either helps you make the decision to go or helps you to get excited about your trip. If you want to book FOLLOW THIS LINK and you’ll arrive at the Aspire Adventures, Everest Base Camp page!
See you on the trail.