Mount Everest – 8848 m
Climbing Everest is truly an emotional moment, standing on top of the world after all the time, effort and preparation that it takes to get there. The sense of relief and achievement on returning to base camp stay with you for ever.
For many mountaineers, climbing Mount Everest (8850m) is the ultimate goal. At Dream Guides we recognise, that for most people, going on an expedition to climb the world’s highest mountain is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We want you to get to the top and back – safely.
With this in mind, we climb Everest from the south side, via the south col route. Generally, it is milder and less windy than the the north side with less time spent at extreme altitude. This translates into a higher success rate most years.
All our Everest enquiries are passed through Kenton, who will guide the expedition if available. He has guided Everest 11 times – no other European has this record. He has expert knowledge of the workings of running harmonious and successful expeditions to Everest. Kenton’s track record is second to none and this makes him one of the most sought after Everest guides worldwide.
The expedition starts in Kathmandu before flying to Lukla and walking into base camp over nine days, giving plenty of time to acclimatise and take in the scenery on the way. Base camp will be home for up to seven weeks while we climb the mountain and so will be as comfortable as possible with plenty of good food. Our strong Sherpa team will prepare the route, fixing ropes and stocking our high camps with food, gas and oxygen so that everything is in place ready for our summit push – which they will accompany us on. With this state of the art support and leadership from Kenton Cool (the most successful European guide on Everest) your chances of success are as high as possible.
- full ‘state of the art’ expedition service
- download info pack for details
What's not included
- travel to/from Kathmandu
- Equipment rental
- Travel insurance
- tips & items of a personal nature
Who is this for?
To be prepared for climbing Everest, you will need a good grounding in mountaineering (typically climbing to alpine AD) and have at least climbed to 6000m. You should also have sufficient experience to understand the nature and risks involved in such an undertaking. Climbing an 8000m peak such as Manaslu (8156m) or Cho Oyu (8201m) before going to Everest is the ideal preparation, giving you the experience and confidence in your ability to operate at extreme altitude. You will need strong determination and dedication, as well as good physical fitness and health to reach the summit.
Accommodation and huts
This will be as comfortable as possible given expedition conditions. You will have individual tents, with a thick camping mattress and a shared carpeted and heated mess tent and shared comms tent. Shared camp cooks. Three plentiful and tasty hot meals a day plus snacks and drinks. Seating, tables, heating and lighting. Internet and phone access (satellite phone and BGAN). A selection of DVDs. Access to solar power to recharge cameras/ipods etc. Access to base camp Doctor (free consultation, but you are charged for medications which you can reclaim on insurance) in addition to our in house doctor, Rob Casserley. Basic shower facility. Toilet tent.
High camps will be stocked with food and gas/stoves/pans by our Sherpas. Tents will be North Face VE25s and Mountain 47’s. We will be cooking for ourselves at camp 1, 3 and 4. Cooking and mess tent are provided at Camp 2 – our main acclimatisation camp. You will be sharing 2 to a tent in high camps (this is still comfortable but adds extra warmth and makes team cooking easier).
Between Kathmandu and base camp we will be eating in hotels, tea houses and restaurants. At base camp and above we will be eating food from our own supplies. Below is an outline list/typical menu of what we will eat.
When staying above BC: ie during the main climbing forays, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be a combination of boil-in-the-bag ‘wayfarer’ type meals and snack bars (Mars, Snickers, chocolate, soft muesli bars, etc according to your taste), noodles, biscuits/cakes, soups, instant porridge, crackers, cheese spread, pate, tea/coffee, hot chocolate, cordial. There will be plenty of food. Normally appetite is diminished at altitude, but food will be stocked on the basis of a full appetite. In total you can expect to spend a minimum of 12 days staying above base camp, split up with spells in base camp.
When at Base Camp and Camp 2: this food will be cooked for you and will be eaten during rest days and during acclimatisation forays when we are over-nighting in BC/Camp 2. It will be a very western, tasty and plentiful diet.
Breakfast: e.g. cereals, porridge, eggs, powdered milk, bread/toast, pancakes & syrup
Lunch: e.g. A hot meal or sandwiches, cheese, jam, meat. Snack bars.
Evening: e.g. soup, rice dishes, curry, dhal, spaghetti dishes, potatoes, homemade pizza, chips etc. There will be plenty of fresh vegetables and meat every day, and puddings. Vegetables will mostly be root veg (carrots etc), cabbage, tomatoes, potatoes and onions, due to storage. There will be some fresh fruit (e.g. oranges) and also tinned fruit, nuts, butter, cheese and a variety of sauces (ketchup, mustard, chilli sauce etc).
Drinks include tea, coffee, infusions, cordial/tang, soda stream, hot chocolate, water. Some soft drinks and beer are available at a small cost. There will be a variety of biscuits, pringles, bars and cakes available to snack on through the day…
PLEASE let us know your snack bar preferences and whether you are vegetarian or not on the booking form. Also let us know any favourite dishes, so we can stock accordingly. The snack bar stock can be supplemented in Kathmandu with western brand bars, if you anticipate eating a lot of them.
The cooks are well-versed in personal hygiene and have a good repertoire of ¡¥western¡¦ and local recipes eg. pizza, chips, omelettes, curry, spaghetti dishes etc. Note: much of the food is sourced locally, but some is shipped in from the UK, to provide a varied and appealing diet.
People tend to arrive on various different flights, so we will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel. We will then have a group briefing in the hotel to give you an overview of the trip, to discuss kit and see if anything needs to be hired or bought locally.
Everest – Typical itinerary
Day 1-2 Fly to Kathmandu
Day 3 Final preparations and sightseeing in Kathmandu
Day 4 Fly to Lukla
Day 5 Trek to Namche Bazaar (3450m)
Day 6 Rest day in Namche Bazaar to acclimatise
Day 7 Trek to Deboche
Day 8 Trek to Dingboche (4410m)
Day 9 Rest or acclimatisation walk from Dingboche
Day 10 Trek to Lobuche (4900m)
Day 11 Trek to Gorak Shep (5220m)
Day 12 Trek to Base Camp (5400m)
Day 13-57 Climb Everest
Day 58 Trek down to Dingboche. Note you can stop at Pheriche on the way down and, at your own expense ($1000), get a helicopter direct to Kathmandu – a popular choice!
Day 59-61 Trek back down to Lukla
Day 62 Fly to Kathmandu
Day 63 Relaxing in Kathmandu Day 64 Return flight home.
This itinerary gives an outline of the planned schedule for the expedition, with a built-in contingency in case of lost baggage on arrival at Kathmandu. It also allows gradual acclimatisation on the way up to base camp, with plenty of time to take in the sights and scenery – this trek itinerary can/will be modified to suit members acclimatisation. We will have 7 weeks at base camp to maximise the chance of success, and a day’s contingency on the return to Kathmandu.
Please note: Due to the nature of climbing 8000m peaks, it is necessary to have a flexible plan, so the exact itinerary may change: be it due to factors beyond our control, or to suit the team as a whole. In addition, we may return to Kathmandu earlier or later than outlined on the itinerary, as we may summit early or late.
Nature of Expeditions
Our guides, agent and Sherpas will do their best to make the expedition smooth and successful, but please note that expeditions to the Himalayas are remote and a team experience. During the trip all team members will need to work together and get involved in various aspects of organisation, camp life and climbing life. The success of individuals and the harmony of the trip as a whole is dependent on this team effort.
In addition, please remember that climbing an 8000m peak is inherently arduous and hazardous for everyone. In remote areas it is very important to make sure you are healthy and avoid injury, as medical facilities will not be close-by. In particular try and make sure you are healthy before departure by having a check-up with your GP and avoid illness early in the trip by only drinking boiled/bottled water/drinks and avoiding un-pasteurised milk.
Guiding and climbing on 8000m peaks is not the same as climbing and guiding in the Alps or UK. There will be fixed ropes on difficult/exposed/crevassed sections of the climb and sometimes we may rope up as a team due to conditions at the time (e.g. bad weather or lots of fresh snow), but there may be times when it is appropriate or desirable (as judged by the guide) for individuals to move between camps or stay in a camp unsupervised. This is where your previous mountaineering experience comes into play, in addition to instruction given at base camp (how to use radios, fixed ropes, oxygen etc). On summit day you will be accompanied at all times, either by a guide or Sherpa. Disruption to the expedition itinerary may occur for a number of reasons outside our control. These could range from bad weather, landslides etc, strikes & civil unrest etc, to illness or injury. In the same way, due to the expedition environment, we cannot guarantee that communication equipment such as computers will work all the time. You may not be able to communicate with home or sponsors for periods of time.
We will be immersed in a different local culture. Please respect this with sensible dress and politeness.
Below BC it will be warm/hot during good weather and cooler in the evenings (light clothing). At BC in the middle of the day, in good weather it will be warm (light clothing), but in poor weather/not in the sun and at night it will be cold (down jacket, trousers, hat etc). It can snow at this level. When above BC and moving, clothing needs will vary from just a thermal top to full down clothing as we get higher. Out of the sun and in the evenings it will be cold, requiring down clothing.
The Effects of Altitude
As one climbs higher the air gets thinner and so there is less oxygen in each breath we take. The higher we go the less oxygen there is. This makes exercising much harder work than at sea level and so we have to slow down to help compensate. Because we have slowed down, we may feel colder.
Because there is less oxygen in the air as we get higher, this can lead to ‘altitude sickness’ or Acute Mountain Sickness which is like the worst hangover you have ever had (headache, nausea, weakness, fatigue, dizziness) and can develop into a very serious and even fatal (in extreme cases) problem.
To avoid these problems, enjoy the climbing and increase our chances of summiting we need to acclimatise by spending several days and nights at progressively higher altitudes, so our bodies can adapt. This is a very important part of our preparation.
In general, we use and endorse Sherpa and Black Diamond products because in our experience they are excellent so in some cases we’ve recommended particular items of their kit. We recommend compiling this list sooner rather than later! If you have any questions about kit please get in touch!
Clothes to travel in
Trekking clothes (it will be hot)
Mountain clothes (it will be cold)
Remember at altitude, everything is hard work and so kit should be easy to use, lightweight and fit properly. Remember the layering system…
trousers – trek pant/pack pant
lightweight trekking boots for walk in
1. 2 x thermal tops (light coloured preferably)
2. 1 x long johns (power stretch tight)
3. fleece trousers/salopettes
4. soft shell/schoeller fabric trousers optional (tanglewood softshell pant)
5. Thin fleece top – microchill zip T
6. Thick fleece top – monkey man
7. Down duvet jacket/pants – sub zero jacket and chugach synthetic insulated pants – for use lower on mountain/BC*
8. Down suit or jacket and trousers – (absolute zero suit or parka and pants)*
9. Goretex jacket and trousers – roomy but not tent-like ¡Vargon/beryllium/xenon/pinnacle jacket and argon ice/pinnacle pants
10. Warm windproof hat – windstopper microdome
11. Balaclava – power stretch, butter or windstopper flex balaclava
12. Sun hat
13. scarf/neckerchief – to keep sun off neck
14. Big Mitts – absolute zero mitt (to fit over thin/power stretch gloves) for summit day
15. Thick weather proof gloves (ie as used in Alps/ski glove type) – consider a spare pair too lightspeed/spearhead glove
16. 2 x pairs thin gloves – power stretch
17. 3 x sets of socks
18. double plastic mountaineering boots (scarpa vega High altitude) with overboots (forty below purple haze) or olympus mons type boot (highly recommended)
19. consider trainers for BC lounging and a leather ‘alpine climbing’ boot (eg la sportive Nepal Tops) for lower altitude climbing.
19. Gaiters – make sure they fit over boots – FTX ventigaiter or ascent stretch gaiter
20. 2 x pairs Sunglasses – maximum UV protection (category 4) one is a spare pair
22. Neoprene facemask
23. Boot heaters Thermic make good ones
* On Everest a down suit is definitely best, on Cho Oyu a suit is nice but not necessary. If buying a suit, you still need a down jacket (sub zero) and it is nice to have chugach 3Dpants for base camp. If you are not buying a suit you will need a warmer down jacket (absolute zero) for on the hill and it is nice to have a lighter down jacket (eg a sub zero) for base camp. chugach pants will do for base camp and on the hill, but we would recommend taking absolute zero pants for summit day.
Climbing gear and kit for base camp
1. 30l day-sack for walk in etc
2. 60+l rucksack for climbing (carrying sleeping bag, spare clothing, food, water) minimal straps, light, comfortable. Mountain Hardwear and Crux make good rucksacks
3. Trekking poles
4. Sleeping bag – down 5 seasons. Two sleeping bags are highly recommended (one to be left in high camps) – eg ghost SL (-40) for high camps, 2nd bag rated to -20 for BC.
5. Thermarest – full length
6. Karrimat/ridgerest sleeping pad (optional)
7. Water bottles – for 2l. Nalgene recommended. Platypus/camelbak not recommended except for up to BC.
8. Water bottle insulators – by outdoor research
9. Pee bottle – wide necked nalgene
10. Headtorch – LED and long range bulbs. Spare lightweight one useful – petzl tikka or tikka XP
11. Sunscreen – factor 30+
12. Lipsalve – 2 or 3
14. spare batteries – lithium work better in the cold
15. wet wipes
17. travel towel
18. Travel wash -to wash your smalls etc at base camp
19. Toiletries including alcoholic hand gel (hand washing) and wet-wipes are good. Small mirror
20. Books to read
22. Insulated mug
23. Stuff sacks/large plastic bags to keep kit dry and stored
24. Insulated mug for camping, spoon
24. Personal First Aid Kit – lots of painkillers (codeine, paracetamol, ibuprofen), diamox (for altitude sickness), strepsils, blister kit, plasters, dioralyte, immodium, antihistamine, antiseptic cream (savlon). 2 x courses of antibiotics recommended (for chest and bowels). Low dose aspirin to help ¡¥thin¡¦ your blood (consult your doctor first). Most drugs can be bought over the counter in Nepal.
25. Personal Repair Kit – sewing kit, thermarest repair stuff, spare parts and adjustment tools for crampons. Spare buckles, prussik cord, duct tape. Spare boot laces
26. Camera/iPod kit for plugging in/recharging ¡V recharger wires can either finish as a regular plug or car cigarette lighter unit¡K
27. Duffel Bag ¡V for transporting kit on flight ¡V they are good for storing kit in as BC too.
1. Walking Ice Axe 60-70cm (unless you are very short!) – petzl snow walker
2. Crampons – make sure they fit with overboots plus antiball plates – not aluminium
3. Harness – adjustable waist and leg loops – to fit over clothing ¡V having a ¡¥belay loop¡¦ on the harness is very useful and a design that is permanently done up and that you just tighten is good too.
4. 1 x jumar and 1 x ¡¥ropeman¡¦ (Wildcountry)
5. 4 metres of 8mm dynamic climbing cord
6. Belay plate (or figure 8)
7. 4 x wide gate screw-gate karabiners – easy to use with gloves on
8. 4 x snap link karabiners
9. Helmet (optional)
10. 2 x prussic loops
Remember hands and feet are important – keep them warm! Down kit should be baffle-sewn and not sewn-through stitching.
For expeditions we take a 20% deposit to secure your place on one of our courses, we take a further 50% of the course price 4 months prior to departure and we ask for the balance to be paid 8 weeks before the course start date.
Getting to Kathmandu
In order to retain flexibility we offer a land-only package and you should arrange your own flights. We recommend doing this as soon in advance as possible, as flights to Nepal can get quite busy. We would also highly recommend purchasing flexible flight tickets rather than non-refundable, non-changeable tickets. We have been impressed by the services of Qatar (via Doha), but other airlines flying to Kathmandu include Virgin (via Delhi), Gulf Air (via Bahrain), Etihad (via Abu Dhabi) and Jet (via Delhi). If flying via Delhi, you will need to organise an Indian visa well in advance ¡V please note you CANNOT obtain a transit visa on arrival in Delhi.
Our service includes an airport transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu, so let us know your flight details and we will pick you up from the airport.
The price above includes the cost of Lukla flights, however, for legal reasons, we will deduct the cost of the flights before final payment and ask you to bring this in cash to Kathmandu to pay the airline directly.
Passports and Visas
Everyone visiting Nepal must have a full passport and entry visa. You can apply for your visa in advance from the Nepalese embassy in your home country, or you can obtain one on arrival at Kathmandu airport (recommended). For this you will need a passport photo and cash (dollars are preferable, but euros & sterling are also accepted). The current price of visa on arrival is ¢G75 or $100 (up to 90 days stay). If a visa extension is required (due to late summit) this will be obtained in country by our agent. Please bring 4 spare passport photos and ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your return to the UK, and has 3 blank pages. Up to date information is available at www.travcour.com.
Vaccinations and Health
You should consult your doctor 3 months before departure for up to date information about vaccination requirements, but we would recommend the following vaccinations: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid and Hepatitis A. If you are intending to extend your trip to visit the Terai region of Nepal (including Chitwan National Park) you might consider malaria prophylaxis. We would also advise asking your GP for a prescription for antibiotics to cover chest infection and bowels, for your personal first aid kit, and you should discuss any health concerns you have with your GP.
Issues for your GP:
1. You could talk to your GP about the pros and cons of taking low dose aspirin at altitude.
2. In particular, if you are a woman and on oral contraceptives, you should discuss this with your GP we don’t recommend oral contraceptives at altitude as they are prothrombotic.
3. discuss management of any long term ailments/illnesses you may have
Please be thorough when filling in our Medical Form.
We would also recommend visiting your dentist before a long trip to altitude.
We normally apply for the climbing permit in January, but it is usually possible to alter names and numbers if need be.
Please see the Kit List for personal first aid kit requirements. If you are prone to an ailment then come prepared (eg lots of allergies? Bring lots of antihistamine and skin cream). The group kit will be comprehensive and include emergency drugs for high altitude illnesses, anaphylaxis, trauma and infections. There will also be a supply of miscellaneous items to cover common ailments (strepsils, bandages, painkillers, electrolyte replacement etc).
Money and tipping
We recommend bringing cash and credit cards – there are many ATM machines in Kathmandu. We would also recommend bringing 1500$ in cash, as a contingency during the trip (also covers visas/airport taxes/tips). Dollars can readily be exchanged into Rupees locally. If you plan to spend cash on souvenirs etc, you will need more. Tipping the local staff in Nepal/Tibet is standard – your guide(s) will assist with organising and collecting this. The international departure tax from Nepal is currently 1695 rupees.
You should be able to keep your kit to the 30 kg baggage limit, but if you wish to ship any food or kit, please get in touch with us.
You must have comprehensive expedition insurance. We recommend BMC Expedition insurance – it is comprehensive, tried and tested. They have a lot of experience in dealing with mountaineering emergencies and provide a good service. Purchase insurance before flights and make sure cancellation, rescue and medical expenses are covered. Please send a copy of your insurance details to us and bring the original to Kathmandu.
We provide up to 8x4l bottles of oxygen, which is plenty for a successful summit with ample contingency. We also provide a regulator and TopOut mask. Kenton and Rob were instrumental in field testing early prototypes of the TopOut mask and it is the best mask available.
There will be internet access at base camp via a satellite Bgan (ie almost broadband). A laptop will be available in base camp. You may bring your own, but they may not work at altitude/under expedition conditions. There will be a satellite phone for your use. Base camp and climber communication will be maintained with handheld icom radios with base station. This enables comms between base camp and climbers and climber to climber.
Power is from large solar panels at base camp. You will be able to recharge batteries, cameras etc, and plug in electrical appliances.
More info & booking
We recommend travelling in trekking clothing, with your day-sac for carry on baggage. Remainder of kit packed in 2 duffel bags to check in (no individual bag can weigh more than 30kg). Don’t forget your plane tickets, passport and insurance documents, or passport photos.
To find out more about the expedition, availability, or to ask any questions, please get in touch with us by email to: [email protected]
Look forward to seeing you soon!