Nepal In The Fall 2013

//Nepal In The Fall 2013

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Nepal Trek & Climb

The Saskatchewan Section’s plans for an expedition to Nepal for the Fall of 2013 are basically completed.  Expedition members are organizing their equipment, getting their shots and medications in order and counting down the days until they leave for Nepal.  Our trekking/outfitting group in Kathmandu has organized a 24-day trek of  the less-well-traveled Manaslu Circuit, finishing up with the northern section of the Annapurna Trek ending  in Jomsom.  A peak called Chulu West has also been identified  near the end of the trek that would allow a climb to around 6400 m.   Everyone will be in Kathmandu by October 16th, and the trek will start the next day.

Dispatches from the trek will be posted to: http://www.peakpromotionnepal.com/alpine-club/

[one_third][member name=”Trip Coordinator”  mail=”expedition1@sasktel.net”]Mark Rosin[/member][/one_third]

[one_third][member name=”Web Page Updates”  mail=”dave.mcc@telus.net”]Dave McCormick[/member][/one_third]

[one_third_last][member name=”Gear List Planner”  mail=”member_services@accsask.ca”]Jeff Dmytrowich[/member][/one_third_last]

Mail list for trip participants and other interested persons: nepal2013@accsask.ca .   To add (or remove) your name from the list, visit  http://accsask.ca/mailman/listinfo/nepal2013_accsask.ca or contact Dave.  Use this mail list to exchange information or send comments to everyone on the list.  All messages are archived.

When: Post-monsoon, leaving Canada October 15th, arriving in Nepal on October 16th, with the trek starting the day after that.  Length of the trek and climb from arrival to departure in Kathmandu is projected to be 24 days.  For any who do not need to return to Canada right away, a small group of team members will continue on their own, exploring the areas around Jomsom, Pokhara and some smaller villages southeast of Kathmandu for a further 2 weeks, returning to Canada around the end of November.

Where: After arriving in Kathmandu and spending a night at the Yak & Yeti Lodge, the trek begins the next day with a drive to Arughat.  Our route follows the Manaslu Circuit trail, going north and then west and south until we join the Annapurna Circuit Trail near Chame.   Continuing north towards Jomsom, there will be the opportunity to climb Chulu West, a 6000+ meter peak.  Both prior to the climb and immediately after, we will have 5000+ meter passes to cross.  The trek will end at Jomsom and those with time constraints will fly back to Kathmandu and head back home.

There is an excellent interactive map of Nepal available here.  Our route (as well as many others) is shown clearly.

Cost: Total cost will be in the range of $5000.  The return flight to Kathmandu will be about $2000 (a quick search on Expedia will show flights from around $1200 to $1800 return) and the full cost for the trek will be about $2500.  We are in final negotiations with the trekking organization to settle the costs for the trekking/climbing part of the trip.

Health & Security: Consider a visit to a travel clinic in the spring to make sure immunizations are in order.  There are no particular requirements for Nepal so far as we know, but a tetanus booster would be in order as well as a vaccination for Hepatitis.  These are things that should be discussed with your personal doctor.

A dental and medical checkup would be advisable prior to the trip.  Also consider a prescription for Diamox/Acetazolamide.  More about this later.  There is good information on-line about this medication.  Look it over and discuss it with your doctor.  As well, some formulations to help deal with intestinal issues because it is almost certain that trekkers will suffer from some kind of gastro-intestinal bug while in Nepal.

Participants will be asked to purchase Emergency Medical Insurance in the event a medical evacuation is required.  One source that we have researched is Travel Insurance purchased through the Alpine Club of Canada.  From this link on the ACC’s website:   https://www.travelunderwriters.com/consumerexpress-app/StartBuyPolicy.b2c select “Single Trip Travel Insurance” “Worldwide” and continue filling in the on-line form from there.  You might also want to purchase trip cancellation insurance in the event a medical or other personal emergency makes it impossible for you to go on the trip.  All the available options are shown from the first page on the link above.

Flights: Details should be completed for your flights during June.  Some people are booking their own flights – there are many options such as Expedia.ca or your own travel agent.  Mark has a travel agent in Canmore.  Try this link:  http://www.custom.travel/canmore/.  A quick look shows flights with China Southern via Guangzhou (about 21 hours total) at about $1250 and another option with Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong for around $1800 (leaving from Vancouver).

Gear: A tentative equipment list can be viewed here.  There is separate information for trekking and for climbing.  If you have suggestions, please let the group know.

 Communications & Electronics:  complied from comments and suggestions from Jeff Dmytrowich:

    • Cellphone – Nepal uses the GSM 900 1800 band.  Most of the current smartphones can use this band.  You will need an unlocked cellphone.  
    • There are 2 main cell networks in Nepal: Ncell and NTC (Nepal Telecom). When Jeff was in Nepal and travelling on the Khumbu, he purchased an Ncell Pre-Paid SIM card for approximately CAD$4 and the rate to call Canada was approximately CAD$0.03 per minute. Pre-paid minute cards were easy to find in Kathmandu and a few places while trekking but pre-paid cards were bought at a premium outside Kathmandu. Coverage in the Khumbu was pretty good in that we could call home most days but was spotty at times.
    • I am not aware of what the cell coverage is like in the Annapurna region but it is my understanding that NTC has better coverage in the Annapurna than Ncell. 
    • Electronics – In Nepal there are one of two types of electrical plugs: the “Type D” Indian 5 amp BS-546 or the European CEE 7/16 Europlug.
    • Electrical sockets (outlets) in Nepal usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. If you’re plugging in an appliance that was built for 220-240 volt electrical input, or an appliance that is compatible with multiple voltages, then an adapter is all you need. 
    • Charging electronics while trekking can sometimes be challenging, the are sometimes the ability to charge in the teahouses but outlets are limited and there is a cost to charge your electronics. Jeff’s last trip to Nepal had multiple electronics and he was able to almost solely charge all electronics with a solar panel. His solar panel setup of choice is the GoalZero Guide 10 plus (http://goalzero.ca/Portable-Solar-Power/Complete-Power-Kits/Guide-10-Plus-Adventure-Kit <http://goalzero.ca/Portable-Solar-Power/Complete-Power-Kits/Guide-10-Plus-Adventure-Kit). The Guide 10 plus allows you to charge via USB or with a car adapter style connection. The Guide 10 also come with a battery pack that you can charge your devices from and then recharge the battery pack with the solar panel on sunny days. For electronic devices that are not easily charged via USB, I used a PowerClip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyjkTfUBJz4 <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IyjkTfUBJz4) to easily make any battery chargeable via USB. A powerclip like this can generally be purchased at most photography stores for about $10. I have used the PowerClip to charge everything from camera batteries to cell phone batteries.

Resources:

  • Lonely Planet – Nepal – published in July 2012.  It  gives a good overview of most of the country.
  • National Geographic Map – Annapurna (published, I think,  in 2000).  Also has a good (?) map of Kathmandu.
  • Trekking the Annapurna Circuit including new NATT trails  which avoid the road  by Andrees de Ruiter and Prem Rai.  This is a  rather poorly edited book published in Oct 2011 that describes pretty good  detail of the Circuit and looks at some new trails that have been recently  built (or are being built) so trekkers can avoid roads that are being extended  into these valleys.  For instance, it appears to be possible to travel  from Pokhara to Jomsom by road.  This affected the tourist trekkers who  obviously didn’t want to hike on the road, so new trails are being built in  those areas.  It could be a useful book.
  • The Last Forbidden Kingdom: Mustang.  by Clara Marullo.  Lots of good pictures and text about the area north of Jomsom.  Apparently the Saskatoon Public Library has a copy.  I got my copy from Inter-Library Loan here in BC.
  • Annapurna: A Woman’s Place.  by Arlene Blum, Sierra Club Books, c1980.

Manaslu Circuit & Climb of Chulu West – Proposed Trek:

Date  Plan  Accommodation  
Day 01 Arrive Kathmandu Yak and Yeti
Day 02 Drive to Arughat Bazaar (4/5 hr) 126Km Normal Nice Hotel
Day 03 Trek to Khursani Bari via Soti Khola Tea House
Day 04 Trek Khorla besi Tea House
Day 05 Trek to Jagat Tea House
Day 06 Trek to Deng Tea House
Day 07 Trek to Namrung Tea House
Day 08 Trek to Lho village Tea House
Day 09 Trek to Sama gaon Tea House
Day 10 Rest day at Sama Gaon Tea House
Day 11 Trek to Dharmashala Tea House
Day 12 Larke Pass and overnight in Behmthang Tea House
Day 13 Trek to Bagar Chaap Tea House
Day 14 Trek to Chame Tea House
Day 15 Trek to Pisang Tea House
Day 16 Trek to Manang Tea House
Day 17 Trek to Chulu base camp  Camping
Day 18 High camp  Camping
Day 19 Summit Chulu West and return back to base camp  Camping
Day 20 Trek to Thorong Phedi Tea House
Day 21 Trek to Muktinath after crossing Thorong La pass Tea House
Day 22 Trek to Jomsom Tea House
Day 23 Fly back to Pokhara/Kathmandu Yak and Yeti
Day 24 Departure