Arriving in Nepal
When you arrive at Tribhuwan International Airport in Kathmandu there are two separate visa counters, one for visitors with a visa, and another for those without. You will need to go to the counter labeled for visitors without a visa. Debarkation forms and visa application forms are both available in the arrival hall. You will need 1 passport photo for your visa application. It is best that you have a few $10 notes and give the correct amount, rather than pass over $100 as the officials sometimes do not have the correct change. Your hand baggage will be checked through an x-ray machine upon arrival into the baggage claim area. Sometimes your hold baggage will also be put through an x-ray machine as you leave the baggage claim area, but normally not. Do not line up to do this unless you are instructed to do so.
Upon your arrival at the hotel you may be required to give your passport and air tickets to one of our office representatives. This is so that we can process any necessary paper work. We can reconfirm your flights, if you hand over your tickets to us.
At the mention of Nepal, most people will conjure up images of the Himalayan Mountains, trekking and little more. But, Nepal is also the confluence of two great religions – Hinduism and Buddhism. This is the land where Lord Buddha was born more than 2,500 years ago and it is also the birthplace of Sita, consort of God, Lord Ram. While eight of the world’s 14 tallest peaks are there in this tiny nation, wedged between Tibet and India, the country should not be solely judged for its high mountains and natural manifestations but also for its unique cultural and spiritual heritage and artistic monuments, which are reflected in the colorful life of 102 different ethnic groups and 93 dialects.
The cold, dry and clear winter season runs from October to March, and the warm, dry spring season from March to June. The wet season, or monsoon, lasts from roughly June to September, depending on the year. Mid-September to mid-October is the start of the dry season.
Health, Altitude and Acclimatizing Vaccination & Health
It is strongly recommended that you arrange a visit to your GP, or ideally a specialist travel clinic, prior to your trip. Although staff may point you in the right direction for your inoculations, we are unfortunately not qualified to advise you on specific medical requirements. Taking along a copy of your itinerary can be helpful for doctors to identify the areas you may visit.
Altitude sickness is rare below 8,000 feet, and serious symptoms do not usually occur until over 12,000 feet. Even though, it is not the height that is important, rather the speed in which you ascend to that altitude. Most people can ascend to 2,500 meters (8,000 feet) with little or no effect. If you have been at that altitude before with no problem, you can probably return to that altitude quite easily.
Do bear in mind that because of the structure of your trek and the altitudes you are going to over measured timings, the various serious conditions of altitude sickness are extremely unlikely. We will be trekking slowly to the Drop Zone, giving your body enough time to acclimatize. By the time we are at Syangboche for jumping, we expect you all to be feeling ready to Everest Skydive! The equipment that is carried within your group is designed to instantly deal with high altitude conditions. You will all be made familiar with this equipment and the simplicity of using it.
Health concern becomes the first priority of all whoever comes to the Himalayas because of the soaring altitude and challenging landscape. In Kathmandu there are major government-run and private hospitals. Pharmacies are widely available in all places in big town & cities. Apart from this there are plenty of health care centres, including hospitals in Lukla and Khumjung (Khunde hospital), health post in Namche with doctors and clinic in Pheriche. Most of them are supported by Himalayan trust, established by Sir Edmund Hillary. Pheriche clinic is supported by Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA), with incessant support from Nepalese doctors as well as western medical practitioners during high season.
It is not advised to drink the tap water. It is easier to buy bottled water whilst in Kathmandu, which can be bought cheaply at approximately 50 pence. Whilst on trek you will be given drinking water each day. When ordering bottled water in a restaurant, be careful to check the cap is sealed.
A Typical Day during the Trek
Trekking in Himalaya is all about stretching yourself to the limitless grace of nature. A typical day comprises of the routinely set of walk along with stopovers for meals, which are prepared in the local lodges or tea houses to meet your taste using the freshest ingredients in the healthiest way possible. However, we have a bit different schedule (mentioned earlier in detailed itinerary) during the three day Everest Skydive trek because of its different nature. Apart from this part of trek, rest of the trekking part follows our customary activities.
The day starts with an early wake-up call. Then you pack up your gear and enjoy breakfast before starting your morning walk. The Sirdar will already be organized and have assigned loads to porters and/or animals, and your group will then set off on the trail at a leisurely pace, enjoying the view and stopping to take photographs. After 2-3 hours walk you stop for lunch. This lasts for about 90 minutes which gives you time to relax, or explore. The afternoon’s walk is usually shorter and you will arrive at the destination in plenty of time to relax and relish the surroundings. Later in the evening dinner is served, which is quite welcoming as trekking invigorates your appetite. After diner, the time is all yours! You can talk over the day’s events or sing and dance, and look forward to another special day on the trails. Though sounds repetitive, we are sure that you will rise with a different sun and set with a different moon everyday!
TRIP GRADE: Skydive trek-moderate and Extension trek- fairly challenging
Everest Skydive trek consists of gradual walk of just three days. It should not be a problem to a reasonably fit person. Your trek on the First day is fairly gradual along the Dudhkoshi River, second day steep climb up to Namche and then after, you will adapt the Himalayan Landscape, we believe. However, extension trek can be fairly challenging at times as it involves approx 4-6 hours trekking along the main Everest Trail.
Trekking will be organized on Lodge basis. You shall be staying overnight in best available Hotels/Lodges catering to Tourists going on Everest Trek. Dinner shall be served at the same place where you will stay overnight whereas, lunch place shall be picked somewhere on the way in one of the similar outlets.
Avoid walking alone, especially in isolated areas and at night. Keep jewellery and expensive equipment such as cameras hidden.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation and food shall be provided in the best hotels and lodges on the way having bathroom with hot and cold shower inside the hotel. We ensure you that the facilities will be the best one available on the trail.
LUGGAGE WHILE TREKKING
During the trek, your main luggage will be carried by porter or yaks. Please keep your luggage as light as possible around 20 kgs. You simply carry a day pack with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, spare jacket etc. You can leave your valuable items at your hotel while trekking. Many hotels have a locker system and provide a deposit slip for the valuables kept under the hotel’s safekeeping.
You need to pack everything you need for the trip in a suitable piece of luggage normally a Duffle bag (company provided), not a suitcase. You will use your luggage to leave anything you do not require on the trek, which will be stored at the hotel. All the kit you take to the mountains will be packed in your Large Pack and Day Pack.
Daypack (Small Ruck Sack, company provided) – This should be comfortable with a good waistband that transfers some of the weight to the hips. It needs to be big enough to take a jacket, fleece, water, camera and odds and ends. You pack your daypack in the morning and give the rest of your baggage to the porters. You should have everything you need through the day with you, since it is likely that we don’t see the porters again before we stop for the night in a tea house.
Large pack (Kit Bag) – This should be big enough to carry all your trek kit, which will be carried by the porters, and we recommend a soft hold all for this or barrel draw string kit bag.
SKYDIVE AND TREKKING CREW
Our team includes expert skydivers and mountaineers – some of the best names in the business. Throughout your adventure, the best skydivers in the world, mountaineering specialists, medical doctors and highly skilled high-altitude mountain pilots will accompany you. On the trek, you will be accompanied by a team of local crew whose aim is to make the trek as hassle-free and enjoyable as possible. The crew consists of a local leader (Sirdar or Headman) and a team of porters to carry all your gear. On average, there will be a ratio of one porter to every two trekkers. Sirdar speaks reasonable amount of English, good enough to explain you about the places, local culture or any sight that catches your eyes.
Everest region is more expensive than the other regions in Nepal, as most of the goods have to be shipped by airplane and then carried to their final destination by porters.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. You only need money for table drinks (alcoholic/non alcoholic beverages), snacks while walking (a few smaller shops are available along the trail in some areas) tips, souvenirs, hot shower (available in some places).
Tips are appreciated by your support team after the trip. The amount depends on your budget and appreciation of their work. We suggest you discuss with your leader or the ESD crew team for the amount of tips.
There are a couple of telephone facilities in the Everest region up to Namche Bazaar. Cell phones work fine at Camps up to Everest Base Camp.
If it is crucial for you to keep in contact with your family or others, we can provide you a mobile satellite phone (rental charge on request).
Skydive suits: Apart from the clothing needed for regular trekking (mentioned below), sky divers will be given special red, blue and black skydiving suits that are all tailored in a small workshop in Thamel by our local entrepreneur Rajen Dulal. Detailed information on clothing and equipment can be found in EQUIPMENT and SAFETY section.
Polyprop Shirt: This is a thermal item worn close to the skin and as an alternative could be wool.
Lightweight Shirt: It’s advisable to have a cotton shirt with colour to help with sun protection.
Heavyweight Shirt: This is to provide extra warmth at higher altitude and whilst at tea houses and on the drop zone.
Fleece jacket: If you do not already own one it is possible to buy these in Kathmandu.
Wind/rain jacket: Waterproof and breathable. Plastic ponchos or non-breathable raincoats are not suitable.
Down jacket: This is something you need to have for cold evenings. Company shall provide special ESD down jacket for you.
Lightweight Trousers: You will live in these. Light material, loose and dark-coloured is best. You can survive with only one pair. For example Ron Hills.
Heavyweight Trousers: Heavier weight, loose fitting trekking trousers for higher altitude and around the drop zone.
Wind pants: If your trekking pants are reasonably windproof then special wind pants are not needed. If you do bring a pair, it is not necessary to have gore-tex or similar, non-waterproof is quite OK.
Polyprop Long Johns: This is a thermal item worn close to the skin and as an alternative could be wool. Good thermals are one of the secrets to cold weather trekking comfort.
Underwear: This is not something people tend to forget, but anyway bring 4 to 7 pairs.
Sleeping bag: Not necessary for ESD, suggested for extension trek
It is advisable to bring sleeping bag as many people prefer to have their own. Down-filled bags are the best to bring. If you have a 3-4-season bag, company can provide fleece sleeping bag liner. Cotton or silk liners can also be provided but are more easily brought from home. If you are sort of sleeping bag, we are well prepared to provide it as well. Just let us know your requirements beforehand.
Inflatable sleeping pad: You will be sleeping on beds/mattress in the tea houses but if you do have your own thermarest or similar, then bring it. It will be useful for sitting on whilst on the drop zone.
For a comfortable trek you need comfortable feet. Good boots have: good ankle support, plenty of toe room for long descents, a stiff sole to lessen twisting torsion, and are light because with every step you lift your boot up. Look at the inner lining – leather is good and Cambrelle is even better, a material that eats smelly feet bacteria. Good lightweight trekking boots or light all leather boots are perfect. Boots must be lightly worn in before trekking and this should include some steep hills to show up trouble spots.
Please go to equipment and safety section for detailed information on equipment for skydivers. However for extension trek you will need:
Sunglasses: These need to have a high UPV protection.
Water bottle: It should be one liter or more in capacity, can hold boiling water and be leak-proof.
Reading Material: One or two with high swap ability. Kathmandu has some great second-hand bookshops. We can recommend Pilgrims bookshop in Thamel.
Toiletries: We provide toilet paper. Bring a small lightweight trekking towel, or even better a sarong. In Kathmandu the hotel supplies towels. Sun screen and lip care with sun protection: The sun is strong at altitude, especially after snow, so go for one with a high sun protection factor
First aid kit: Expedition doctor will carry required medical kits for ESD but for the extension trek, a first aid kit with list of medicines will be carried but you are suggested to use medicines upon your own risk. You should bring any personal medicines that you need.
Snacks and nutrition: You will feel your best with plenty of good food and water that keep you revitalized and hydrated. We provide the food and the water. Wholesome snacks and vitamin tablets are the next best bite you should go for. Chocolate and chocolate bars are readily available in Kathmandu. Bring vitamin tablets from home.
As a team member of the expedition, we expect you to take every reasonable precaution to minimize or avoid any negative impact the expedition may cause to the environment, people, places and communities that you will encounter. We also expect you to share this exercise with each and every one of the expedition team, and possibly the local population, educating them where necessary to some of the following points.
• Ask permission for photographs of individuals or sensitive areas
• Respect holy shrines and places of worship
• Don’t encourage beggars
• Respect local customs
• Don’t flaunt wealth
• Don’t make promises you cannot keep
• Learn about local culture and get involved
• Dress conservatively
• Ensure money is put back into the local economy as much as possible
• Buy provisions in country where possible
• Don’t pay too little or too much
• Maintain good business-like relations at all times
• Remove excess packaging
• Don’t ignore others waste
• Minimize use of potentially damaging materials
• Use local disposal facilities if suitable
• Don’t make open fires unless in an emergency or you are using dead wood
• Don’t waste water unnecessarily
• Use biodegradable soaps and shampoos if possible
• Don’t pollute water supplies with human waste
• Don’t trample flowers or vegetation
• Don’t take cuttings
• Stay on main tracks to prevent erosion
• Don’t collect rock samples
RESCUE / EVACUATIONS
In case of a serious sickness or a casualty, which we hope will not happen, you shall be rescued by a helicopter. Since you are entirely liable for all the expenses incurred in evacuation please make sure that it is covered by your insurance before assigning for it or be prepared to pay on your own after getting back in Kathmandu.
Before joining this trip, we recommend you to take a travel insurance which should cover cancellation, medical expenses, helicopter evacuation and emergency repatriation. There are good hospitals in Kathmandu where you can get good care.
Contact – Nepal
Mr. Suman Pandey
Explore Himalaya Travel and Adventure
Bhagwan Bahal Thamel,
Tel: +977 1 4418 100 or 4418 400
Fax: +977 1 4412 888