Do I need to take walking poles?
If you are used to walking with trekking poles then take them with you, as you will probably find them useful especially on the way down. They are not essential though and the walk is manageable without them. It is mostly a personal preference but do remember to pack them as part of your main luggage to be stowed in the hold. If you decide later you'd like to have some, they are available to buy in Kathmandu.
Olly Leicester - Sales
What distance do we walk each day?
When walking in the mountains, the distance you cover each day can vary greatly due to gradient, terrain and altitude. As such it is very hard to give specific distances on each day.
For example, you might walk 7 miles one day and it takes 5 hours. The next day the trail might be very steep , rocky and gain substantial altitude and such factors mean you cover just 2 miles in 5 hours!
In the Himalaya, even the local people only ever talk about distances in the mountains in terms of how long it will take, i.e. 5 hours walk. On most trekking trips, you will walk for 3-4 hours in the morning and another couple after lunch.
Olly Leicester - Sales
Tips from staff who have trekked in Nepal
How altitude affects people is never black and white. Different people will feel it (or not) at different stages, and some will have differing symptoms. The basic rule is that, if someone is showing signs of altitude sickness, they will be taken down as quickly as possible. The walk itself is done in such a way that everyone, insofar as their bodies will be able to, should have the chance to becoime acclimatised.
However, some people are more sensitive to altitude and may never become fully acclimatised. If this happens, they will begin to show signs of AMS or similar, which the leaders and guides look out for all the time. If they judge that someone is not well placed to carry on, or if the passenger wants to turn back themselves, they will assign someone to take them back down, or get someone to come and collect them. They would never be allowed to go back down themselves.
Where specifically they go to is usually worked out with the leader, dpending on where exactly you are or how long is left on the trip. So if it's close to the start, you may go back the way you came. If it's further on, you may take a short cut down or make it to the nearest road where you will be driven out potentially. If someone cannot walk, there are donkeys and mules for transport. If it is very serious, a helicopter will be called in.
You could wait in a village further down the track for the group to catch you up, or back in the nearest town or even back in Kathmandu, depending on what is discussed with the leader.
Medication is down to individuals and not carried or given out by Exodus staff. Some people do take Diamox, and it can help. It can also have some side effects, which I saw first hand in Turkey in June, when a client was taking it and had to finish the trip early, it made him so ill. It's a personal thing, but it's not something I would take personally.
You can buy bottled water lots of places, or almost all teahouses will have boiled water you fill from in the morning, or there are also water tanks being set up where larger amounts of water are treated and available to buy - but there is never a shortage.
Brendan Phelan - Customer Operations
Exodus staff - expertise on hand to help
All the staff at Exodus share a passion for adventure travel, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can find an expert for the area you are interested in here and can contact them to get further information. If you don't see your specific country listed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will get the answers you need!