EBC in May Prep

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Jan 31st, 2014, 06:13 AM
  #1
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EBC in May Prep

In May I'll be doing the Everest Base Camp trip, and am in the process of working on gear and basic research. There are some conditions that are unique to this area- never been to Nepal before- and I'm interested in others who have done this trip around this time who can advise on the weather.

Summited Kili last November, no issues with altitude there but quite clear that this is a very unpredictable factor. More interested in issues such as dust, trail conditions, weather, temperatures at altitude. I just bought a pair of Keen Alamosas for this hike and would like input on whether these with hot hands for feet are going to do the job for the high bits. I over prepared for Kili with some gear.

Experienced folks, kindly add your thoughts here on your "wish I'd have broughts" and "wish I'd known this about the trek." I will be doing a trip report, albeit that depends on how much access I have to technology. As a writer, my best friend in the mountains are pen and paper although I do have a solar power generator for a laptop. Is that worth taking? Input here most welcome. It was bought just for this kind of trip.

I'm a 61 yo adventure traveler and author, other threads on Tanzania, Argentina and this year, Vietnam. Readers of my threads know I've got a wicked sense of humor pointed straight at myself and I suffer no fools starting with me. Some of my best traveling companions show up right here. First trip to Nepal but no stranger to physical challenges. Very eager to collect wisdom as there is much on these forums.

So for starters, what did anyone wish you'd brought, didn't bring, and absolutely rued the fact later? Or was so very happy you DID bring? What was indispensable?
I will be doing lots of research but your personal insights are so very welcomed.
Thanks to all.
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Jan 31st, 2014, 08:46 AM
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My advice: If you want an adventure, skip EBC. You can actually drive to it from the Tibet (China) side, and the camp is filled with trash. Opt for one of the really beautiful, scenic treks in Nepal.
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Jan 31st, 2014, 03:23 PM
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I'm with Kathie. Far too many people trashing up Everest already, no need to add another.
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Feb 2nd, 2014, 09:13 AM
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I signed up for the EBC through The Clymb, as part of a small group, so I'm already committed. From what I've already researched, thursdaysd, we're under pressured to pack out what we take in, which is what I do as a backpacker anyway. What I'm interested in are the weather conditions and other experiences of people who have done this hike during the late May time frame. I do appreciate your viewpoints however, but at this point, the agenda's set.
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Feb 2nd, 2014, 01:02 PM
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There's an old thread (Everest Base Camp Trek at the beginning of May) on the Lonely Planet site that has some advice that might be useful: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntre...readID=1901196
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Feb 4th, 2014, 07:34 AM
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karenclang,

Excellent and most helpful. Thank you so very much! The more specific the better. That one also gave some suggestions about local rafting which I hadn't realized was available. Terrific. Thanks again.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 09:11 AM
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For anyone looking for good sleeping bag ideas, I researched ultralight and uber warm sleeping bags (Outdoor Gear Lab on Google) and ended up buying one from zpacks. What I got- they had one in their bargain bin, just so happens- was a 20 oz, zero rated bag that was 900 fill goose down. It was so light, so airy and in such a small package that I seriously doubted that it could do the job. Then I read the reviews on the website. This bag is TINY. The size of a bread box and barely over a pound. For those of us who do this a lot and get cold at those high altitudes, this is the bee's knees. OGL recommends a variety of good bags but for those of us who like to travel very light, and stay very warm, I strongly recommend this one. Pricing is going to come in around $400-450 all depending your size, preferences, temperature ratings. Check it out. This bag is so light that my bag liner weighs more than the bag does. Funny.

Another recommendation (and it was on again this morning) The Clymb regularly runs sales on great hiking books. This morning there were super sales on previous year's inventory for Merrell, Keen, Adidas and other brands of highly rated boots which would work well for climbs just about anywhere. That's where I got my boots (at less than half price) for this coming May. For those of us trying to save a little dime on truly good gear, this and Zozi are great resources for excellent stuff on super sale, and by that I mean more than 50% off. Backpacks and knives and camp gear and even nutrition supplies.

Again, any thoughts on typical weather in the late May, early June timeframe, most particularly rain patterns? Mountains are notoriously unpredictable but if anyone has experience, I'd love to hear it. Thanks to all.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 08:14 PM
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For what it's worth, the vast majority of Everest ascents have been roughly between May 15 and May 26. See here:
http://www.8000ers.com/cms/download....artdown&id=153

Perhaps this suggests that by late May, early June the monsoon weather pattern has arrived? Bring an umbrella!

I've done 5 treks in Nepal, four of those were long high altitude trips, but I always elected for post-monsoon (Oct/Nov) trips. One reason was because the air at lower elevations is typically less dusty then.

The air in Kathmandu could be extremely dusty when you are there. You may want a dust mask handy. The last thing you need is to start out the trip with a respiratory infection. This happened to a guy on one of my trips who had spent time in India beforehand. He got HAPE at 15,000' and had to be evac'd.

Thanks for the recommendation on The Clymb. That was new to me, I'll check it out. I recently got a new lightweight sleeping bag and wound up with one from Western Mountaineering, which OGL likes. I'm very pleased with it, good luck with yours.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 08:16 PM
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P.S. Bring your own TP. The pink stuff they have (had?) over there starts to feel a bit like sandpaper after a while.
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May 5th, 2014, 06:00 PM
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Hey, just got back from a month in Peru, thanks so much for the suggestions. I have both the dust masks as well as a buff, based on some strong recommendations about the Khombu cough. I suspect my face is gonna be hot but that's a minor consideration. Also on the TP, there's always a big roll in my bag in a ziplock bag. Don't leave home without it along with wet wipes. Nelson, I am particularly interested in your experience with the guesthouses in terms of temps, and boot choices. I am bringing- at this point- a pair of La Sportiva mountaineering boots that are designed to handle snow and ice as well, and a pair of Keens which are for the day hiking. What I'm thinking is for feet that tend to get cold, the Sportivas, with some warmers available at 15-18k. I have layers for the body. Feet and hands can suffer. The Keens are good to 14.5-15k without rain or snow, both have Goretex.

I respect the unpredictability of mountain weather, we have it here in Colorado, but we only go up to 14k. Kili was 19.5k and a lot colder but I got there very early am.

Also since I'm a writer, seriously considering bringing a solar battery charging pack on this trip. Your thoughts. Worth the trouble? I write every night. This one is specifically for laptops, not a weenie charger. Light, attaches to the backpack. I carry it, not the porters. Recognizing availability of power at the guesthouses. Input very welcomed. Not wi-fi, power.

Finally, Nelson, did you use a Platypus and if so, did you have issues with the line freezing? I'm carrying extra bottles just in case.

Thanks again, very much appreciate the wisdom.
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May 6th, 2014, 02:20 AM
  #11
 
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Jhubel, there are some very experienced Nepal Trekkers on TA. They're generous with their info & you might get some good, current advice there, if you haven't checked it out already.
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May 6th, 2014, 05:42 AM
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Thanks, will head over to TA and see what's there too. I appreciate it from all. I did find some excellent information about the altitudes along the way and that was most helpful.
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May 7th, 2014, 10:18 AM
  #13
 
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Jhubbel, I'm on a road trip right now and online sporadically, but happened to have a look today.

Regarding boots, when you say La Sportiva mountaineering boots, do you mean plastic double boots, or more of a heavy duty single leather boot? I don't think you need double boots for an EBC trek, unless your feet get REALLY cold. Walking in those on moraine rubble is extremely tiring. Well broken in heavy leather mountaineering boots are OK though.

I have rarely slept in the guesthouses, more often in a tent on my treks. Morning temps are cold, below zero at camps above 15K, but as mentioned my trips were Oct-Nov, which is colder than May.

I have never used a solar charger, but sounds like it will be worth it in your case. I'm not sure about the availability of a guaranteed charge in the lodges. Maybe someone else with more recent information will know.

I used water bottles, not a platypus but I would be worried about the line freezing. But once again my experience is tents, a different situation.

I have some photos here if you are interested:
http://nelsonchenkin.zenfolio.com/f813707221

Hopefully that link takes you right to the Nepal gallery, using my wife's iPad which is showing the link differently than I'm used to.

I live in Fort Collins by the way.
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May 7th, 2014, 07:48 PM
  #14
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Hey Nelson, thanks for the look. The boot question is an interesting one. The LaSportiva is that double plastic for high altitude work, and the Keen is a single leather very comfy hiker. I can save at least two pounds leaving the LaSportivas at home and the climbs will be far easier on the pegs. This is why I'm asking. It has everything to do with keeping the feet warm at those highest altitudes, which is why I'm asking whether it makes sense to bring both. I can always switch when it gets cold. Since I have Reynaud's my extremities do get REALLY cold. That's why the warmers. It's no problem to lug the extra weight and take a few other things out of the bag.

Since the charger is so light (large but light)it's not going to be hard to carry, just hard to protect!

Thanks for your thoughts, I very much appreciate the time you've taken.
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May 8th, 2014, 08:58 AM
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We didn't do a long trek, but we just spent three weeks in Nepal. While we normally travel with a platypus, this time we also purchased a camelbak purifier. It is a great piece of equipment if you have access to water other than viscous, dirty water from a stream. Fill the bottle with water. Put on the lid. Shake for 60 seconds while the ultraviolet purifier does its work. And, you've got potable water.

In India we met a guy who had a waka waka solar charger, and it looked great. I think we'll buy one. http://us.waka-waka.com/
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May 11th, 2014, 02:01 PM
  #16
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Thanks ever so much, Julies. Loved the suggestion. I just found a perfectly sized laptop briefcase for a 17" laptop for the charger. Fits great.

One more item. If all goes well and I don't have difficulty flying back out to Kathmandu I will have about 3-4 days around the area. Any suggestions for day trips from anyone?
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May 11th, 2014, 02:16 PM
  #17
 
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Answered on the trekking after 60 thread.
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