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MERA PEAK

Fri, 01/22/2010 - 16:51

Just heard from Exodus that there are now enough of us for this trip to go ahead.  Are there any other travellers out there?  It would be good to hear from you.  David

Anonymous
Sun, 04/11/2010 - 16:38

Hi, David

I think I was the last one to book. Trip now full! See you there :-)

Hi,

Am planning my travel to Heathrow for this trip and I will be driving there from Cornwall.  Anyone living on or near the route is welcome to join me.  Let me know and we can arrange a pick up.

 

David

Hi David and Stefan,

With just over 4 weeks to go I thought I should say hello as you haven't had a huge response to your post!! Maybe it's your avatar as it looks a bit too professional for my liking. I am strictly a beginner when it comes to this climbing lark.

At 61 years of age I thought I would be the oldest member, but exodus tell me there is someone even older than me in the group. In fact there are 3 people on their 60's and 4 in their 50's so it looks like zimmer frames all round.

I live in Newcastle upon Tyne so unless you would like to make a 600+ mile detour it looks like I will have to make my own way to Heathrow.

I presume most, if not all, the members in the group are seasoned high altitude trekkers and don't need any advice from me, but I have been to Kathmandu before on the Everest Base Camp trip and if anyone has any questions I would be happy to try and answer them.

Cheers

Trevor

Anonymous
Wed, 09/15/2010 - 20:40

Hi Trevor, nice to hear from some more people!

I'm also a 'trekker', not a climber so there will be at least 2 people with a slightly worried facial expression! I'll be flying down from Manchester. Looking forward to meeting all.

Stefan

Mon, 09/20/2010 - 11:13

Hi Trevor and Stefan,

Looks like it will be a lonely drive from deepest Cornwall, but worth it!  Look forward to meeting you both.  Trevor, if you look carefully at the picture you will see that there is a ladder just below me and that I am well and truly attached to the rock (I am also one of the late 50's so we can huff and puff up the hill together)!

Anonymous
Tue, 09/21/2010 - 12:29

Hi All,

 Oh dear I think it might be me that is the oldest! I am sadly above Trevor's youthful 61 but perhaps someone could push me up. I have a huge pile of gear which is probably too heavy and won't all fit in the bags so no doubt some unpacking will keep me occupied.

I gather there are 4 in their 60s; 4 in their 50s, 4 in their 40s; one in the 20s and one unknown. £ ladies, one of whom is my partner Jackie. So that is all the gossip I know.

 I can't remember if it is better to change money at the airport or hotel; anyone know though I guess the airport would seem a better guess.

 Jackie and I are really looking foward to the trip and meeting you all, though the trek and climb are going to be demanding without doubt.

 

All the best

 

Hugh

 

Hi All,

Blimey! Haven't been called youthful for a long time so it's good to hear from you Hugh (and Jackie). I was told that there was a father and son in the group so I guess the 20 year old will be the son and hopefully he won't be too put out that he is with a bunch of oldies. Last time, I changed all my money at the hotel. I don't remember seeing anywhere at the airport. Kathmandu Airport is not the most modern airport in the world, as you will see. One thing that I do remember is that people on my previous trip expected to use the ATM's in Kathmandu to get money. They soon found that the ATM's either didn't work or wouldn't accept their cards. They did get money eventually, after about 2 hours, with the guide going  from one ATM to the next. It was a real pain for them and wasted quite a bit of time. I suggest you take cash.

David, can't see that ladder but I'll believe you. I've now found out what a Jumar and Prusik Loops are and I've also been watching some videos of people who have done Mera Peak.  I now consider myself a fully qualified armchair mountaineer!! The practical will have to wait for a few weeks yet.

With just over 3 weeks to go now, lets see if anyone else chips in.

Trevor 

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 16:02

Have got money from airport, hotel and an ATM at a 'supermarket' near the hotel - not sure I'd trust the latter again, but the first 2 were okay and about the same rate of exchange (it was 5 years ago).

Like you Hugh I am having trouble getting a quart of kit into a pint pot! I think that I have now got every thing I intended to take so a couple more practice packs and some final pruning will have to do.

See you all in 3 weeks

David

Anonymous
Thu, 09/23/2010 - 16:22

The ATM was pretty dreadful last time we were there; like you 5 years ago! We got the final joining instructions today which ios even more exciting. Have any of you guys got the Exodus kitbags yet?

Anonymous
Thu, 09/23/2010 - 16:33

Hi all. Nice to see emails with good tips in the forum. I too have a kit fit for the army at it looks like! You can always wear a few extra layers in the plane if you are too heavy, stuff your pockets full with mars bars etc! Looking very forward to this exciting trip.
By the way is anyone taking a helmet as it just suddenly appeared on the kitlist? No one though seems to wear one on last years photo's. See you soon. Annelies

Thu, 09/23/2010 - 17:57

No kitbag yet, using one from a previous trip! I will be taking a helmet - noticed that it had suddenly been added to the kitlist - I think that the final part of the summitm has changed which might be the reason for taking it. Using it to protect squashy stuff in my kitbag!

At least we will recognise each other at the airport - huge bags, pockets stuffed with mars bars and several layers of clothing!

David

Anonymous
Thu, 09/23/2010 - 18:35

You will easily recognise me as I will be wearing a sleeping bag, two puffer jackets and probably a lot more. I foresee much chucking out to come. I phoned Exodus and they are behind with the kitbags but twe should have them by the 6th Oct. My old kit bags had a yak horns through them so get a tad damp when it rained. Hugh

Anonymous
Sat, 09/25/2010 - 10:43

Kitbag has arrived. Is it me or are they getting smaller each time?! I'll need that space just for my Compeeds ( as I have the most sensitive feet........in the world! )
Stefan

Anonymous
Sat, 09/25/2010 - 16:49

ou are right Stefan, they are derfinitely smaller. I will be wering everything at tjhis rate.

Anonymous
Sat, 09/25/2010 - 17:34

This is gonna be one smelly trip.......!

Sat, 09/25/2010 - 21:43

Thank goodness for that - someone else has made the obvious comment first - didn't like to mention a definite shortage of spare clothes and the effects! Not sure if everyone knows, but we can leave stuff at the hotel for the duration of the trek so at least we will have something clean for beers in Kathmandhu on our return.

Anonymous
Sun, 09/26/2010 - 11:29

Tadah! Sorted. As always, my tried and tested sea-to-summit compression drybags are saving the day. Highly recommendable. So it's not going to be that smelly after all!

Sun, 09/26/2010 - 18:24

Yes, thank goodness for that Stefan. I was about to phone Exodus tomorrow and cancel. I'm not going to spend the best part of 3 weeks with a bunch of dirty smelly people :0)

As far as kit bags are concerned I have 6 Exodus bags from previous trips ( I begged them not to send me a 7th this time ) and I have never used them. They have always been too small for me. I have even had to ditch my trusty North Face 90L Duffle bag this time in favour of something bigger. I only hope the Nepalese Porter will be able to get it in his basket that will be tied to his head. They seem to use people rather than animals on this trek.

Last night, I found a web site produced by Mark Horrell called markhorrell.com, strangely enough. He seems to have been just about everywhere in the last 10 years taking lots of pictures. In his Nepal section there is a trek entitled "Mera Peak October/November 2004". I spent the next 2 hours frightening myself by looking at the pictures which where obviously the same route (and the same trekking company) as we will be doing. If you are interested in seeing what you are letting yourself in for; take a look. I only hope my knees are going to hold out.

Anonymous
Sun, 09/26/2010 - 19:32

I'm not going to look - crapping myself enough as it is! Do try the compression bags Trevor, I managed to get a small room full of stuff into the exodus bag :-)
Sounds as if we can locate you by ear - just listening to the creaky joints!

Anonymous

Good one Trevor, many thanks. Don't worry Stefan, you can't be any worse than me, I have a very low threshold of fear. Thanks too Trevor for the packing thoughts, I am thinking on those lines too. The Exodus bag will not even hold the fascinating array of half used toilet rolls I seem to have saved.

Anonymous
Mon, 09/27/2010 - 12:12

You might want to hire some extra donkeys for those 90L duffel bags... Those poor porters...By the way for all you smelly boys ;-)))), ladies are coming with you on this trip and wet wipes do exist, but don't get the cooling wet ones as it will be cold enough. Not very pleasant to use at minus temperatures as we found out on our last trip! I got also confirmation of Exodus that the helmet was a mistake on the trip notes and is not needed. More space in the kit bag!

Mon, 09/27/2010 - 13:26

The useful info is beginning to mount up! Just going for a trek into my loft (a bit of acclimatisation and climbing experience) to see if I can find my compression compression bags - I'll return my helmet there too. I think that I'll copy Stefan and not look at the website; it will all be a 'pleasant' surprise then.

Anonymous
Mon, 09/27/2010 - 15:59

Well done Annelies and many thanks. I did phone Exodus to ask if they were really sure as Helmets were not on the original list and they were sure they were needed. By the way, wet wipes are great but you can't get rid of them once used as they will be too wet to burn so they will need to be carried. Perfect excuse to stay smelly. Hugh

Mon, 09/27/2010 - 17:28

I've got some Exped Watreproof compression bags Stefan. I would agree they a great for down, fleece jackets and the like, but not so good for crampons, ice axes and the 100 other things that I simply can't do without! My philosophy is: "It's better to take something you didn't need than to need something you didn't take". Unfortunately, this doesn't help me at all when it comes to packing. BTW, for those who don't know, your kitbag will be weighed at the hotel to make sure it is no more than 15kgs as they are very strict about this on the flight to Lukla. Strangely, it doesn't seem to matter how much you or your rucksack weigh.
Never fear Annelies, I won't be smelly. I always take the OLAY Age Defying wet wipes. He doesn't know it yet, but the poor old porter will be carrying my used ones (along with everything else)
Oh well, time to what another film. I've been watching Cliffhanger, Vertical Limit and Touching the Void. Just to calm my nerves you understand ........

Anonymous
Wed, 09/29/2010 - 17:59

Trevor, you must have nerves of steel after watching those movies! Hopefully we will not hang to much off cliffs as my nerves will not be happy with that...
I will be using sleeping bag compression bags. Does any one knows if Exodus puts all our klimbing kit in Exodus bags in the Hotel or do we need to put it in a backpack/bag?
Nothing in the trip notes about this.
I am still calculating how much chocolate to bring...

Wed, 09/29/2010 - 19:16

Annelies, with the 2 week marker fast approaching I am now feeling much calmer. No more watching films or scouring the internet for pictures. I do like to have some idea of whats in store though. I don't like too many surprises.

Yes, I thought I might have been a bit too dismissive of Stefan's suggestion regarding sea to summit compression bags. My sleeping bag is by far the biggest item and could probably be compressed. Today I ordered a small, two medium and a large sea to summit bags, so hopefully they will do the trick. Why is it that when you think you have everything you could possibly need, there's always something else!

I spoke to a woman at Exodus a few weeks ago about the trip. She had been to Mera Peak herself and told me that most of her group hired all the climbling gear. She said that all the climbing gear was put into bags (no mention that we have to supply the bag) These bags do not travel with the group, but are taken seperately. They magically reappear at Tangnang ready for us to use. By all means contact Exodus if you want peace of mind.

You will be able to buy chocolate on the trail, however I am reminded that a couple on the Everest Base Camp trek bought some along the way and later discovered that it was 2 years (yes I did say years) past their sell by date, so beware.

Thu, 09/30/2010 - 18:19

Hi Annelies, aware of the shortage of packing space I contacted Exodus a while ago to ask about how our climbing kit was transported - I was told the WE have to supply a kit bag to transport it in - have now found something that holds it all (glad no helmet required) and will not take up too much space/weight in my kitbag. Don't be put off by Trevor's chocolate facts - after a long day's trekking, chocolate of any age tastes good!

Fri, 10/01/2010 - 19:55

Hi All,

Bit of a bombshell this (at least for me) so I sent an email to Niraj Shrestha and Joanna Zubr last light. Received the following reply from Joanna Zubr tonight.

Hi Trevor,

Sorry for the confusion. Yes, please take extra bag for your climbing
gear which will be carried separately and taken directly to base camp.
Kitbags provided will be carried by porters.
Trip notes will be updated for next year to avoid more confusion, I
apologise for this.

Kind Regards,

Joanna Zubr

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 13:13

I agree with you Stephan. We aren't the first group to do this. They must have all this sussed in Kathmandu by now. If you can hire all the gear then I'm sure you can hire or buy a bag. Different matter if you are taking gear out from the UK, I suppose. BTW the large sea to summit bag arrived on Friday and it halves the length of the sleeping bag compared to using its stuffsac, so thanks for that. Coincidentally, my 7th Exodus kit bag arrived at the same time. You remember, the one I begged them not to send...

Anonymous
Sat, 10/02/2010 - 13:43

Dear Trevor, why not take all your left over kitbags so we can use them as our climbing kit bags? Problem solved! Ha!
We are still debating how to get all our stuff to Kathmandu. Still 2 weeks to pack and repack and we have found out that if you sit on your kitbag, it will be much easier to close it. No compression sacks needed... Not sure if I want to challenge chocolate 2 years out of date so will stuff my mars bars everywhere. 2 weeks to go!

Sat, 10/02/2010 - 17:47

We could always share some kitbags for the climbing gear rather than get one each - and another one for chocolate?

Anonymous
Sun, 10/03/2010 - 11:41

Good to see all the good ideas and hear David did not get AMS in the loft. Just got some rubble bags from B&Q for a waterproof rucksack liner; cheap, light and you get lots of them. Spending happy hours trying to get the thermarest into its little bag without getting stressy. Sea 2 summit event bags really are good, thank for the tip. Choclate goes in first. It's essential for conteracting all kinds of ailments - a proven medical fact!

Anonymous
Mon, 10/04/2010 - 12:29

Have just read all these useful comments, so I Will bring an extra bag and choc bars, and I Won't bring a helmet. I'm one of the 60+ers, so I hope I'll be able to keep up!
Did Annapurna Base Camp trek last year (fabulous!) so I'm a bit familiar with airport, hotel, Kathmandu traffic-calming arrangements etc. Looking forward to meeting everyone.
Keith

Anonymous
Mon, 10/04/2010 - 17:59

Hi keith, nice to have another one of the group on line! How have they calmed the traffic? Getting across the main road near the Hotel to get to Tamal used to be a major exercise in avoiding the speeding traffic.

Sat, 10/09/2010 - 15:29

Phew. 5 days to go. 1 black bag stretched to the limit. 19.95Kg. I hope they do not look too closely at my hand baggage! See you all on Friday

Anonymous
Wed, 10/13/2010 - 14:09

Hi all,

It would appear that im the youngest of the group at a mere 22, but im sure that be a problem! Im coming on the trip with my father who is in his 50's. I think were both really looking forward to the trip now that its so close!

Just had a quick scan through the previous comments and wondering if i could confirm some things:

1. Definitely no helmets?
2. We need an extra kit bag?
3. How much cash are we likely to need to bring?

See you all soon!

Hamish

Anonymous
Wed, 10/13/2010 - 14:10

Ive just re read my last message and it is meant to say "wont be a problem" on the first line!!!!

Wed, 10/13/2010 - 19:46

Hi Hammish, Hope you won't be too bored listening to a bunch of oldies talking about things you've never heard of. Still we can always send you out up-front to search for any crevasses ;-) As far as your questions go 1. Yes, no helmet 2. Exodus says yes take an extra bag, but I'm somewhat skeptical about this. For instance, if you are going to hire an ice axe. Will it fit in the bag you take? 3. I'm taking $100 for the visa and to change at the hotel. £250 for hire of any equipment, meals/drinks in Kathmandu, tips to the porters and guides and any snacks on the trail. The guide at the hotel will be able to tell us how much to change into ruppees. I'm also taking a credit card. I suggest you get your dad to take loads of money and let him buy everything for you :0). Still struggling with the packing so if you see an old bloke carrying an orange podsac (very full) and a mammut 110L bag (very heavy); give him a hand, cos' that will be me!!

Wed, 10/13/2010 - 19:46

Hi Hammish, Hope you won't be too bored listening to a bunch of oldies talking about things you've never heard of. Still we can always send you out up-front to search for any crevasses ;-) As far as your questions go 1. Yes, no helmet 2. Exodus says yes take an extra bag, but I'm somewhat skeptical about this. For instance, if you are going to hire an ice axe. Will it fit in the bag you take? 3. I'm taking $100 for the visa and to change at the hotel. £250 for hire of any equipment, meals/drinks in Kathmandu, tips to the porters and guides and any snacks on the trail. The guide at the hotel will be able to tell us how much to change into ruppees. I'm also taking a credit card. I suggest you get your dad to take loads of money and let him buy everything for you :0). Still struggling with the packing so if you see an old bloke carrying an orange podsac (very full) and a mammut 110L bag (very heavy); give him a hand, cos' that will be me!!

Wed, 10/13/2010 - 19:47

Sorry about the double post, I double clicked the POST MESSAGE. Must be all the excitement.

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