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Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Adelaide, Australia
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Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Hi everyone

I've recently decided to fullfil a life-long dream of trekking from Kathmandu to EBC.

My preference would be to hire my own porter (and maybe guide too) so that I can go at my own pace.

I am concerned about altitude sickness - I've had it before a couple of times at 3000m altitude plus. I am worried that if I go with an organised tour then I will have to go at their pace and that if I get sick it's all over. Whereas if I go with my own porter/ guide, I can just take an extra rest day (they're getting paid by the day so I assume they won't mind!).

I am not fit at all so I'm taking a year to get myself in shape and plan to do the trek in March/ April 2014.

I would greatly appreciate feedback from experienced trekkers about the pros and cons of hiring my own porter/ guide versus taking an organised tour.

Thank you!!

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kathmandu
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1. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Hello kickingTheBucketList

Glad to hear that you are coming to Nepal. As EBC has been dream of many trekkers coming to Nepal. You said that you had altitude sickness couple of time but its not guarantee that you will have it again. But if you get by chance then I suggest you to rest for 2-3 days and trek slowly taking maximum time . other thing I want to suggest is that don’t walk for more than 400-450 m high in one day due to this you will have less chance of getting altitude sickness. And in this way you can full fill your dream to see Mount Everest . For this you don’t have to get an organized trek you can hire your own guide and porter and do the trek in your own way.

Hope your dream to see Everest come true .

Edited: 03 January 2013, 05:58
Bangkok, Thailand
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2. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

unless you are part of a group - which you DON'T have to be (and sounds like you DON'T want to be) the guide and/or porter will travel at the pace YOU set and YOU are comfortable with - i usually hire a person who acts both as a guide and a porter helping me carry any of my extra load - then we hit the trail at our OWN pace – if you do the same then no worries - as for alt. sickness there's plenty that has been covered in this forum already - you can browse through the topics - but DO go through an agency when hiring a porter/guide if you are worried about your health because they can rescue you better (not always but more often than not) off the mountains than when you are doing it on your own with a freelance porter/guide. All the best.

Cumbria
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3. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Simple answer is yes you don’t have to join an organised trek to get to Everest Base Camp; in fact most trekkers that go there either do the trek independently or hire out whatever trekking staff they deem necessary, get an agent to orgainse their Lukla Flights and either get their own trekking permits or also get the agent to sort those out and head off on their trek.

There are many advantages of doing it this way, these include a huge cost saving as well as giving you the flexibility to trek at your own chosen speed, staying where you want and eating what, where and when you want.

If you were to hire out one porter/guide, he will both guide you as well as carry 15k, so this saves you packing most of your gear, costs are around $20 per day including his food and accommodation as well as his insurance but not transportation to and from the trail-head or tip + you will need to pay around $25 /$30 each for your own food and accommodation, $37.50 National Park Entrance and $10 each TIMS ($20 if you organise this in advance through an agent)

Lukla Flights – You should reserve these though a trusted and reliable agent – Usually you can then pay for it when you arrive in Nepal (Unless you are flying to Lukla the day after you arrive in Nepal, in that case you would have to send a deposit to cover any losses a agent would incur if for some reason you didn’t show up.

Prices are around $140 each way for trekkers and around $55 each way for any Nepali Trekking Staff you might take

You might also find my Trek Report

http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/bf701/

From my EBC Trek from this Spring useful too, I have included some reasonably detailed trek notes, a daily video diary, links to downloadable trekking maps, a few hints on transportation and recommendations of trekking agents as well as reviewed the accommodation where we stayed

Good Luck and Happy Safe Trekking

Rob

Edited: 03 January 2013, 09:13
Brussels, Belgium
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4. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Lots of people have hiked this trek independently or even alone for 40 years or so !

Settle, United...
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5. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Very sound advice so far - hiring your own staff, guide and porter or a porter/guide would give you the flexibility, and therefore greater safety margin.

Hiring them through an agent rather than 'picking one up off the street' will give access to back-up should there be a problem, and using a Kathmandu-based company will mean that you will meet your guide before the trek. I feel that this is worth it even though it involves the additional cost of flights to and from Lukla.

Are you trekking on your own ? If there's more than just one of you it will probably mean that you need a guide AND a porter.

You could ask a company to sort the trip out - staff, permit, flights, food and accommadation, and quote you a 'ball-park' figure.

France
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for Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Jomsom, Mustang Region, Namche Bazaar, Sagarmatha National Park, Annapurna Region
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6. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Lots of posts already made by experienced trekkers. My answer is also Yes but it's better to do with an agent or some guides. A good guide will be your good friend and companion with many information plus a porter is helpful to carry the loads!

Milan, Italy
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7. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Hi everybody. I think that you can do everything as an indipendent trekkers, but it could be more risky if you don't have good local contacts. It's important to travel with certified guide, and to be in good hands while you're trekking in himalaya. Sometimes to save a couple of euros you can put your life in risk;-)

Kathmandu,Nepal
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8. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Yes, it's already experienced posts above. I would like to add something here, Who will be responsibility if porter or guide get altitude problem when you get them from Street? Yes, it is good idea to arranged flight ticket and permits from an agency and they will take care to your guide/porter & their insurance even hire from Lukla {most companies have good connection with guide & porter in Lukla but not licensed holder guide}.

It saves guide's flight ticket...

Guide

san francisco
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9. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

March 2011 - I just flew into Lukla, raised my hand and said I wanted an English speaking guide/porter. I had 20 candidates to choose from. I took one that had good English skills; we went to cafe worked out a contract (what was paid by whom), prepaid half, and was out of Lukla in two hours.

Best decision I made....going back next month; using same guide/porter. If you want name and email address...go ahead a write me.

Do not go in April; go in March. In April, the Everest climbers arrive; prices are much higher and the availability of guides and porters is reduced.

Adelaide, Australia
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10. Re: Can the trip to EBC be done without an organised tour?

Thank you all so much for your advice and encouragement - knowing I can do it that way is SO reassuring.

Please keep the tips coming in, they're all really helpful!