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Emmie
27th September 2005, 06:57 PM
Greetings, everyone! Iím a journalist on a very tight budget who is planning to do a solo trek of the Solo Khumbu to Everest Base Camp between late February to March 21, 2006.

Iíve never been to Nepal before and I'm currently doing the research and planning for my itinerary. Will it be possible for me to do this trek without a guide or a porter? I have heard that it is not advisable for women to trek alone in Nepal. How much will it cost me if I will opt to hire a guide? What about if I just hire a female porter? Could you recommend female porters/guides who could possibly suit my needs? Can I possibly get discounts in exchange for publicity?

I plan to do a series of full-length travel articles of my Nepal trek for submission to glossies and international publications on my return, so potentially, this will also be a very good promotion for the trekking agency or individuals involved.

I have already published a handful of travel stories. However, my Nepal trip will be an unsolicited story, and hence, strictly self-financed.

Thanks in advance for your help and Namaste! :)

yakshaver
27th September 2005, 07:34 PM
It is indeed possible to trek in the Everest BC and Gokyo areas without a guide or porter. You won't get lost. And if you do, it is easy to ask a local in some village and find your way back. Nepal is a safe place, safer than most western countries, but still I would not advise for you to trek alone, for the simple reason of a possible accident or a sudden bout of altitude sickness etc. It's not the environment where you can just phone someone, and you would be several days away from "civilisation".

And if you intend to write articles about it, a good guide might be a good idea. What I mean by that is someone with insight into the culture, knowledge of both local Nepali issue and the international context in which Nepal finds itself etc. The guide I usually employ would fit the bill perfectly, as he's very knowledgeable of the cultural, historical, and geographical context of Nepal in general and the trekking areas in particular, has done some sociology studies at Tribhuvan university, is communicative but not intrusive, very professional and a wonderful human being. If you care to send me a private message on this site or email me on dionita@optusnet.com.au

A good guide would set you back about 20 USD per day (can vary from 15 to 25), and a porter abot 7-10 USD per day.

david
27th September 2005, 07:42 PM
hello fello trekkers
we recomended you
head office

Sky-Line Treks & Expeditions (P.) Ltd.
P.O.Box : 14221,Thamel Kathamandu, Nepal
Tel. Ph. : 977-1-4212737
Fax : 977-1-4212738
mob:009779841322144
Contact Info.
E-Mail :info@nepaltravels.biz or skyline@enet.com.np

Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest or Khumbu region is justifiably the most famous of all trekking and mountain regions. Populated by Sherpas, the attractions of this area are the majestic mountains, the high mountain villages, the isolated monasteries, and the local peoples. This area includes the highest mountain in the world, Everest at 8,848m, and many of the world's 8,000m peaks such as Lhotse, Cho Oyu, and Makalu. First climbed in 1953, Everest still holds a fascination for many, however the Everest region boasts many more spectacular and beautiful mountains, as well as some of the most rewarding trekking anywhere in the world.
The Everest Base Camp trek is a classic trek which follows in the footsteps of Hillary & Tenzing and ends with an ascent of Kala Pattar for superb views of Everest.
This trek starts with an exhilarating 45 minute mountain flight into the airstrip at Lukla. From here we trek slowly upwards to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar, following the valley of the Dudh Kosi river. It is not long before we glimpse our first view of Everest as it peeks above the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge. At this point it is still many days walk away, but with careful acclimatization it is not long before we find ourselves high up in the heart of the Khumbu region.
We visit Tengboche monastery en route before continuing on to our goal, an ascent of Kala Pattar, a rocky outcrop to the west of Everest. This vantage point gives fantastic views of the Ice Fall and South Col as well as the immense south-west face of Everest which was first climbed in 1975 by Chris Bonington's team. This is truly a classic trek, which undoubtedly gives one of the best mountain views in the world. Accommodation and food is provided in the local lodges


for hiring female guide and porter and concerning the price write to one of our experience coustmer service manager.will might be happy to help you,or you can send him fax:00 977 1 4 212738
skyline@enet.com.np

James
27th September 2005, 08:40 PM
Emmie:
I always enjoy articles on trekking and Nepal and do hope you are successful at getting published. Such articles are the stuff day dreams are made of. I do think that trekking in Nepal is as much about the guides, porters and lodge owners, as it is about the mountains. As a journalist I know you will interview many, but I think your experience would be limited (and less safe) if you do not have your own guide and porter. I can't imagine a successful research trip without an outstanding guide. Having someone to make introductions, translate and provide background and context will make or break your story.

I imagine that you could workout some arrangement for a discount. If you could convince an agency of your likelihood of being published they would happily make an arrangement for positive publicity. Though, I would imagine that there are some lofty journalistic limits or rules on stuff like that. My other concern is that the agencies that would be most likely to make a deal would be those least in need or deserving of the publicity (ie, some western adventure travel outfit). Conversely, a worthy and deserving Nepali agency or independent guide could not afford to give a discount or would be unable to benefit from publicity. Also, as you do your research you will find some discord about how some agencies treat their help which will lead to all sorts of questions about porters, poverty, and economic disparities, but I digress. Bottom line- low budget or no budget try and get a good guide it will undoubtably show in the quality of your work.

Emmie
28th September 2005, 03:54 PM
Hi, James,

Thanks so much for the response and the good wishes. I need it :=)

Frankly, one very real reason why Iím thinking of a solo trek is the budget. I come from a Third World country and a trek like this is considered super luxury here. You may not believe it, but a Nepali guide who averages a rate of $20 a day will make in one month what professional journalists in my country will make in three months!

All the travel articles Iíve succeeded in publishing before were from trips that were not financed by the magazines which printed them. Fortunately, as a business reporter for one of the biggest dailies here, my one perk is that I usually get three international trips a year, all expenses paid by the telecom firms that I cover.

In my second US trip, where I managed to get an extended one month stay at my own expense, I was able to hike in and out of the Grand Canyon and do canyoneering in seven national parks all over Arizona and Utah. I did several monthsí planning for that, researching every trail I took, not hiring guides or enlisting the services of a travel agency. I managed to sell the story to several publications, though that wasnít even enough to cover the costs. Nevertheless, I had the time of my life! :=)

And so, I shall heed your counsel and try to find my way into Nepal and see Sagarmathaji, budget or no budget :=)

James
28th September 2005, 08:27 PM
Have a great trek and post a link to your article when you get it published. It will be interesting to see your take on the experience.

Emmie
29th September 2005, 07:13 AM
Sure, James. I'll be delighted to do that! :)

Landfall38
22nd October 2005, 06:00 AM
Emmie,

You don't need a guide for Everest region -- but you DO need other people. If you are gregarious/social, this will be no problem as there will be many other travellers, as well as lodge hosts etc.

You sound like you will have little problem in making contacts as you go along.

For safety sake -- security and health -- you should not be a "loner". Hook up with people and do not spend significant time alone.


My wife and I are going in December -- my 6th and her 4th trek in Nepal....

Have fun!

David

Pesty
22nd October 2005, 07:53 PM
I agree with david. You do not need a guide and you will meet plenty of people on the trek . iI you are at all sociable you will meet with all the other groups and solos and independents walking your route-- that will be more then enough people to both inform you and keep company.
I think you will be surprised as I was that most "guides" with the groups especially the ones with the most money are so intent on their "experience" do not ineract that much with their guides , certainly whilst walking. You will find they will be interested in giving you any information or help you want. You will also be a great ambassodor for your own country.
Most firsttimers do not realize that the Khumbu is NOT a widerness experience. This is not a negative on the contrary you cannot help but interact with the locals. I hope to get there in December and revisit the place.
Hope I dont find find it too cold in late December when hopefully I will be in Gokyo or Lobuche.

hoot72
29th October 2005, 02:00 PM
Sure, James. I'll be delighted to do that! :)
--------------------

Hey emmie

Good to hear you will be heading out to Nepal. It is possible to hire female guides and porters but you need to book them in advance.

Me and my gf did a very short hike from Pokhara to sarangkot and then on for a futher 3 days hiking with a female guide and a porter from the 3 sisters trekking company. We had a blast with the 2 lil ladies and they were great fun, and great companions for the hike.

We paid us$15 for the guide per day and us$10 for the porter per day.

Whatever you decide to do, always remember its good to be in a group or at least 1 or 2 other ppl...Nepal is relatively safe but there was a case recently of a german lady disappearing (sabine?) on the 14th October and its something we hate to see happening or hearing about.

Have fun and bear in mind the weather has been very unpredictable these past 2-3 weeks...

bradley