Pre Trip ANEA question

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Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby mpdillon » Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:00 pm

Two friends and I are planning on participating in the Everest Adventure – ANEA in 2011. One of them has been on numerous GAP trips and has nothing but great things to say about them. So here we are.

Our first task is to decide during what month to go. Can anyone offer some advice? Our first priority is clear weather. What time of year is the least hazy? Less likely to rain? And are wildfire induced haze a problem as it is in the American West?

This brings me to gear. I read the suggested list. I want to make sure I understand.

I should bring a sleeping bag. What Temp range based on the months you recommend above?

I should bring a sleeping pad.

What about a tent? Can I bring my own? How would this be worked into the weight limit? I am certain my mountaineering tent is completely waterproof. I am leery of using someone else’s. What would you advise?

I see there is a 16.5 lbs porter limit per person. How much can I carry? This isn’t a trick question. Last summer I spent 2 weeks in the Ansel Adams Wilderness Area. My camera gear alone weighed 31 lbs. So with tent, bag, pad, bear canister, etc I am used to carrying a heavy load. Can I bring my own backpack? What kind of access during the day will I have to my gear that is packed? Rain gear, etc?


Thanks in advance,

Pat
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby Zuleika » Thu Sep 23, 2010 11:46 am

All the answers to your questions and much much more can be found here:
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=100&hilit=+nepal
The only problem iss - it may just take you 3 days to read it all - its around 25 pages long now
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Happy reading
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby mpdillon » Sat Sep 25, 2010 7:26 pm

Thanks,
That took most of an afternoon. I posted my unanswered questions there as it seems that thread is still active.
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby Zuleika » Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:57 am

No worries, the thread really helped me when I went, and things I hadnt even thought of!!!! - I can answer a few of your questions, briefly -
October is the clearest time to go - (but the busiest)
No fires in Nepal.
You need a 4 season bag rated to AT LEAST -10C
ANEA - says on the trip front page - accomodation is in tea houses - so no tent/pad necessary.
Weight limit - porters are limited to 10kg - your bag is weighed at the hotel. You are limited to 5KG in your daypack - because there is a weight limit on the flight to Lukla of 15KG PP total - and everything is weighed at the airport.
No access to your stuff during the day, carry your rain gear.
I really recommend a down jacket and thermals - its damn cold up there after 5pm

Hope this helps - have a fab time.
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby mpdillon » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:21 am

Thanks for your answers. I saw the tea house sentence but I just assumed there wasn't a tea house at base camp. That would mean it is an up to base camp and down from base camp in one day. Is that right? I think that is what the itinerary suggests. It just seems like a long day compared to the other days. Thanks for the clarification.

I have accumulated a ton of gear over the years. I would normally think synthetic bag for a long stay in a tent because of the condensation. I have never used a bag in an unheated room before but I am guessing the "ventilation" would prevent condensation on the outside of the bag. Did you have condensation problems in the morning?

Didn't know about the 5 Kg limit on the day pack. That could be a problem. Actually, that could be a deal breaker. I am not going if my photo gear isn't going. Just weighed it and it is 16 lbs without the day pack. If I put camera gear in my duffel bag to lighten my day pack will I be able to retrieve it before hiking? I am thinking my tripod could go in the duffel. If I buy a waterproof duffel before I go, will the porters use it rather than their own. That may sound like an inane question but gear is one of my idiosyncrasies. I can use a bag I take white water rafting and I know my stuff will stay dry. I won't know how waterproof their bags are until it rains.

What is the best way to contact GAP to discuss the day pack issue? I have emailed them 10 days ago and they never responded. For a company that so many people love, I am underwhelmed with their customer service.

Have you posted any shots on line that I could see and share with my fellow travelers. I put most of my stuff on Flickr.com. You can see my Sierra trip photos at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mpdillon/s ... 181837797/
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby Zuleika » Sun Sep 26, 2010 10:13 am

Condensation is definitely a problem - I would go synthetic bag - we were cracking ice off the inside of the windows to see out in the morning!!! and everything was damp - put your next day clothes in the bottom of your bag to keep warm and dry - also -hint nab an extra blanket as soon as you get to the teahouse - they are in short supply/demand in October. ANd I slept with my batteries!

Its not really a 5kg limit - more a total 15kg limit for the flight.

Can you get - if you haven't already - a carbon fibre tripod - yes I know they are expensive, but can weigh a lot less.
You may be able to retrieve stuff at Lukla before the porters take off - tell your guide - but I wouldn't be unduly worried - the first day hiking you dont get to see anything special, no views - just hoards and hoards of people. yuk. After Namche the people thin out and then its better.

I'm not sure about using your own duffel - we all used theirs - how ever I had several smaller drysacs that I put all my stuff in, inside the duffel then I knew everything would be water proof. Although it didnt rain the whole time I was there, but this can never be guaranteed of course.
I would imagine yours would have to be a similar size/shape - as they load 3 duffles on to one carry basket and lash together - so they carry 30kg each.

Of a very personal opinion - I much preferred Annapurna, mainly because it was far less crowded, but also it was peaceful, prettier, greener, better imo, and the villagers were living and going about their daily business - you dont get that on Everest as everything is about the trek - but thats obviously just my opinion.
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby mpdillon » Sun Sep 26, 2010 8:30 pm

Again thanks so much for taking the time to bring me up to speed. I am really surprised about the condensation. I guess the tea houses are more air tight than I would have anticipated. Synthetic it it will be.

I already have the Carbon fiber tripod and aluminum ball head. Even that weighs in around 3.5 lbs. Glad to hear about the flexibility in the weight. I still don't know how I am going to keep it down to 15 kg for everything but I will figure it out. I have never been a light weight hiker. I take what I want and just deal with the weight. Last summer my pack was 52 lbs with two weeks of food, clothing, tent, bear canister, bag, pad and pack. Not too bad until I added 31 lbs of camera gear.

I have quite a few light waterproof nylon stuff sacks lying around. I probably need a couple more for clothing and I will be all set. Thanks for the tip. The bright colors of these stuff sacks will make it easy to identify my stuff.

Since I am not going alone I doubt an itinerary change is possible. But Annapurna sound like a good reason to return. Maybe with my son, if he ever gets his head screwed on straight.
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby Zuleika » Mon Sep 27, 2010 12:47 pm

Glad to be of assistance! I want to go back too, but I want to go somewhere even less travelled - I like wilderness and no people! :) Something like Manaslu Circuit, or Tibet or Bhutan. You'll be hooked once you've been - the whole place is just stunning!

Can you be cheeky - and bag some space/weight in your friends bags for the trek???? Or have they got lots of gear too?
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby charlotte.p » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:36 pm

Zuleika wrote:Glad to be of assistance! I want to go back too, but I want to go somewhere even less travelled - I like wilderness and no people! :) Something like Manaslu Circuit, or Tibet or Bhutan. You'll be hooked once you've been - the whole place is just stunning!

Can you be cheeky - and bag some space/weight in your friends bags for the trek???? Or have they got lots of gear too?


Hi, just wondering, but is the stuff going in the duffels bag prepacked before we board the plane to Lukla?

and do you have an idea what the weather and temperature will be like in late April?
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby mpdillon » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:28 pm

charlotte,
Your gear will be weighed in the hotel the night before. You will have a chance that evening to reduce the weight if necessary. You will get your own duffle bag.

I carried my backpack onto the plane. It had my camera gear. I was right on with my gear bag at 18 lbs (they allowed us extra because it was cold). They did not weight my pack with camera gear since I carried it on board. That was fortunate as that bag weighed 29 lbs.

I am not sure about the end of April. In early April, the day temps ranged from 55 to 20 at base camp. The nights were always below freezing. However, the water I kept next to my bed never froze at night.

You can read more about the trip on my blog, http://www.PatrickDillonPhotography.com/blog.

You may also want to checkout Sharon Hannon's blog. She was on the same trip as I was.
http://herenowdc.blogspot.com/2011/04/a ... mandu.html

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at mpdillon@PatrickDillonPhotography.com

pat
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby charlotte.p » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:17 am

mpdillon wrote:charlotte,
Your gear will be weighed in the hotel the night before. You will have a chance that evening to reduce the weight if necessary. You will get your own duffle bag.

I carried my backpack onto the plane. It had my camera gear. I was right on with my gear bag at 18 lbs (they allowed us extra because it was cold). They did not weight my pack with camera gear since I carried it on board. That was fortunate as that bag weighed 29 lbs.

I am not sure about the end of April. In early April, the day temps ranged from 55 to 20 at base camp. The nights were always below freezing. However, the water I kept next to my bed never froze at night.

You can read more about the trip on my blog, http://www.PatrickDillonPhotography.com/blog.

You may also want to checkout Sharon Hannon's blog. She was on the same trip as I was.
http://herenowdc.blogspot.com/2011/04/a ... mandu.html

If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at mpdillon@PatrickDillonPhotography.com

pat


Great thank you! Also I was wondering how was the flight into Lukla?

I've done some reading and it's made me quite apprehensive.. is there any significant risk?

Thanks again! I'm off to Thailand tomorrow, then going to EBC five weeks later!
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby mpdillon » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:00 am

Ahhh, the figth to Lukla. Let's just say ours was an adventure. The weather was clear, calm and warm that morning in Katmandu. But you have to leave early because the bad weather builds as you approach noon. We left on time, more of less by Katmandu standards. Did you notice the Katmandu airport looks more like a bus terminal than a western airport? We flew for about 30 minutes and then turned around because of high winds at Lukla. This process was repeated one more time.

After the second attempt, our guide, CEO or lead sherpa, Tashi (you can find him at http://www.facebook.com/nirvana.tashi and inquire if he will be your guide. You will be fortunate if he is. He was great!) decided we should eat in the Katmandu restaurant. Service was slow and just as the first meal arrived, we were told we had to leave. We all got up to rush out. The restaurant owner blocked the door and wanted to be paid. Tashi negotiated to have our scrambled egges wrapped in aluminum foil and put in bags. We all started throwing money on the table so we didn't miss our flight window. it was a zoo. But we did dine in flight. And we had a stewardess. Yep, 18 seats and a stewardess.

Is it as dangerous as people say? I cannot believe there are many crashes with injuries at Lukla. I am pretty sure all crashes are terminal. I am an engineer by trade and I would take a pragmatic approach to answering your question. I suggest you do some intenet research and determine the number of crashes over the last 10 years. Let's say there are 40 flights per day (20 in and 20 out). Multiply that by the number of days they fly in a year, (200 out of 365 would be a conservative guess). Divide crashes per 10 years by 40 * 20 * 10 years and you will know the probablility that your flight will crash.

My take was, yes, Lukla is a very dangerous airport. But the chance of my flight being the one bad flight was very small.

My suggestion is to have fun, treat it as an urban legend and then brag about surviving the flight into Lukla.

It is not my place to dish out medical advice but from my experience I would like to suggest the following. Be sure to pack lots of Ibuoprofin. Take more than you need as you will be sharing with your travel mates. Don't forget Imodium. And while in Katmandu you will see pharmacies on almost every corner. Walk out of Hotel Menang, turn left. Go to the busy street at the corner. Turn left. You will see a pharmacy at the bottom of the hill on your left. I suggest you pick up some azithromycin(500 mg for 5 days). It is my drug of choice for treating respiratory infections. Almost everyone on our trip got one. I think the locals call it Dung Lung (the trail is very dusty and that dust is not all dirt!). I brought with me some from the states. But I didnt' get sick. On the return trip I gave mine to someone when we are a day or two out of Namche Bazar. She was very sick and really needed it. Don't you know, I contracted Dung Lung the next day. So I waited till we returned to Katmandu but by then the infection was raging and I was pretty miserable. I bought local azithromycin and then saw a doc when I returned home who gave me even more. When your done the trip, you should leave any unused medicine for the guides who will distribute it on the next trip for the gap people who didn't think to bring any. Tashi was like a walking pharmacy, constantly dispensig meds as they were needed. But I suspect those drugs are paid for with his own money so I was more than happy to donate my left over meds. Same thing with clothes. If you have dirty clothing you are going to throw out rather than take home, give it to the Sherpas. They will be most appreciative and I promise you it will get used by someone needy.

Have fun in Thailand. That sounds like a great adventure.

pat

PS if you post pics, please send me the link. mpdillon@patrickdillonphotography.com
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Re: Pre Trip ANEA question

Postby chardonais » Thu Oct 04, 2012 4:22 pm

mpdillon wrote:Thanks for your answers. I saw the tea house sentence but I just assumed there wasn't a tea house at base camp. That would mean it is an up to base camp and down from base camp in one day. Is that right? I think that is what the itinerary suggests. It just seems like a long day compared to the other days. Thanks for the clarification.

I have accumulated a ton of gear over the years. I would normally think synthetic bag for a long stay in a tent because of the condensation. I have never used a bag in an unheated room before but I am guessing the "ventilation" would prevent condensation on the outside of the bag. Did you have condensation problems in the morning?

Didn't know about the 5 Kg limit on the day pack. That could be a problem. Actually, that could be a deal breaker. I am not going if my photo gear isn't going. Just weighed it and it is 16 lbs without the day pack. If I put camera gear in my duffel bag to lighten my day pack will I be able to retrieve it before hiking? I am thinking my tripod could go in the duffel. If I buy a waterproof duffel before I go, will the porters use it rather than their own. That may sound like an inane question but gear is one of my idiosyncrasies. I can use a bag I take white water rafting and I know my stuff will stay dry. I won't know how waterproof their bags are until it rains.

What is the best way to contact GAP to discuss the day pack issue? I have emailed them 10 days ago and they never responded. For a company that so many people love, I am underwhelmed with their customer service.

Have you posted any shots on line that I could see and share with my fellow travelers. I put most of my stuff on Flickr.com. You can see my Sierra trip photos at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mpdillon/s ... 181837797/


Base camp day for me went like this: hiked into Gorek Shep (about 3 hrs) stopped for a break there, then continued on to basecamp. Spent about 45 minutes at basecamp, ate a bagged lunch, then hiked back to Gorek Shep and spent the night there. All in all, about a 10hr day, so yes, it is a longer day than the rest of the trek :) The following morning, those that chose too, hiked to Kala Paatar, then we met up with the rest of the group at lunch, then continued on as a group. This is just how my trip was done, the itinerary can definately change depending on many factors, but it gives you an idea on how it could work out.

Here is a link to my photos: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 07ad52f930
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