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Mount Everest

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South Asia : Nepal : Mount Everest
Revision as of 01:50, 22 October 2006 by WindHorse (Talk | contribs)

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The Everest region (Khumbu) is in Nepal.

Regions

Tengboche

There are four lodges in the field in front of the monastery. The quality and price is about the same.



Chuukung

  • Panorama Lodge has a great sun-room with views over the valleys and mountains beyond, and the facilities are exceptionally clean and well-maintained - a very special recommendation here.

Dzongla

This small hamlet has only a couple of similar lodges.

  • The Himalayan View Lodge is a simple but clean and friendly place to spend the night.

Cope

Guides/porters

Do you need a guide and porter for the journey? If you are strong, then a porter is not required, though hiring one does direct well needed cash into the homes of poor families and allows you more flexibility. If you do hire a porter, remember to keep valuables with you. The vast majority of porters are extremely honest, but it only takes one who is not to ruin a vacation! Expect to pay around 300-400rs (more if your load is very heavy) a day for a porter's services, and as far as Namche you are not expected to pay for accommodation and meals. However, due to the high price of food and lack of provisions for porters above Namche, meals should be provided. (NB: Namche has a cheap and clean lodge specially for porters). Anyway, ensure that your terms are clear at the time of hiring. This will save trouble later.

Guides are definitely not necessary if you are traveling no higher that Tengoche or Pangboche. Above that, you might consider hiring one. Not only can they guide you on the right path and explain local sights, but can be invaluable should you fall ill. Guides need an official licence to operate and speak English (and often other languages - specify your choice when hiring). They command a much higher rate than porters (negotiate), and carrying your bags is not part of their service. Like porters, they will find their own accommodation and meals unless you invite them.

In general, guides are local Sherpas, while porters are Rai or belong to races from other areas.

Guides and porters can be hired for a fee through trekking agencies in Kathmandu or you can inquire at lodges in Lukla or Namche. At Lukla airport, there are always hopeful porters milling around the exit, but it is better to use a lodge owner as an intermediary. They can help you negotiate a good deal and translate your specific needs. Eco Paradise, Lukla or Namche Hotel, Namche are convenient and good places to do this.

Prepare

In addition to obvious items such as hiking boots, warm clothing, UV sunblock etc., here is list of things that you might not have considered taking along, but that can greatly enhance the quality and comfort of your journey.

  • Soft and light shoes (sneakers or kung-fu shoes are perfect) - after a long hike in inflexible hiking boots, you will be extremely happy to have some light and soft footwear to to wear around the lodge or in the village.
  • Lightweight knapsack - this is very useful for short trips away from your lodge, and will save you having to lug your large backpack along. It should be big enough for your camera and a change of clothes and sleeping bag, if you plan to spend a night away.
  • Lightweight sleeping bag - as most (all?) lodges can offer you blankets, a light sleeping bag should be sufficient for the journey. Taking a light bag will save you valuable space in your backpack.
  • Fabric bandaids - blisters on the feet can turn a wonderful walk into a hell. Bandaids (sticking plasters) should be immediately applied to any area of the foot that there is irritation and friction - don't wait for the blister to develop before doing this. However, only fabric made bandaids will stick to a sweaty foot. Others (even those that claim to be water-proof) will fall of in minutes.

Stay safe

Khumbu is a very safe region and violent crime is almost unheard of. However, due to the amount of people flowing through the area on treks, it is advisable to always keep your valuables in sight.

Altitude sickness affects even young and healthy people and is a genuine problem in Khumbu. If you feel dizzy, suffer palpitations or a severe headache, return immediately to lower altitude. Do not take altitude sickness lightly. It can and does kill!

Yaks may be photogenic, but they are aggressive and unpredictable. Always stand on the upper slope (i.e., above the path, away from the drop-off) to let yaks pass. Every Sherpa has a tale about Westerners who have stood on the lower side of a trail to let a herd of yaks pass and been killed after being pushed off.

Don't drink the water no matter how pristine it appears. Use iodine tablets as a purifier or purchase boiled water. Exceptions: Namche and Phortse have clean water supplies that the locals drink directly from the faucet. However, this may not be a good idea for outsiders lacking immunity to local bacteria, but certainly it should be ok for brushing teeth.

There is an emergency rescue center based in Namgyal’s lodge in the village of Machhermo in the Gokyo Valley manned by two volunteer doctors. Note: This is purely an emergency rescue center, and the doctors will not treat common ailments [1] .

Stay healthy

Clinics are a sparse resource in Khumbu. However, should you require medical attention there are two possibilities:

Western medicine - Kunde Clinic, in Kunde Village (above Namche) has Western trained doctors and is a surprisingly well equipped facility - they even have a decompression chamber for those suffering with severe altitude sickness. On your return journey, you might like to donate your unused medicines to Kunde Clinic, though ensure that they are clearly labeled in English - even the most valuable medicine is useless if there are no instructions on how to use it.

Tibetan medicine - the Healing Centre [2] in Namche offers treatments using natural formulas. It is located next to the Camp de Base hotel, but entered from the path in front of the library. This clinic provides free treatment for porters and other patients on low income. In order to continue this service, donations are greatly appreciated.

Along the trail, you will also see small medical stations. These stations generally have very rudimentary facilities and can only realistically offer treatment for very minor ailments, such as cuts and bruises and (non-altitude sickness related) headaches etc.

Namche also has a dental clinic, located on the right side slope of the village when looking up.

Contact

There are currently no telephone lines or mailing addresses in the Everest region.

Namche has a post office, but there are mixed reports of letters reaching their destinations. Postage stamps are also available in local shops.

International phone calls can be made in Namche, however this is very expensive compared to Kathmandu. The cheapest place is the one-phone government telephone office, on the second floor of the nondescript wooden building behind Hotel Buddha, identified with an official yellow sign in Nepalese with a faded paper sign in English stuck on to it. Expect a lengthy queue on Saturdays (market day).

Namche also has several Internet cafes. Satellite access costs between 20-25rs per minute, so keep a sharp eye on the clock when online.

Respect

According to the customs of respect in Tibetan Buddhism (which most Sherpas adhere), always pass mani stones and other religious objects with your right side nearest to the object and circumambulate stupas and turn prayer wheels in a clockwise direction. Never sit on mani stones, stupas or religious objects.





This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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