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louis
19th October 2006, 08:34 PM
I am heading to npal in march april and may of next year. Will be heading to tibet (mt Kialash) in may/june.
While trekking i will be doing teahouse style but might need something in tibet on the kialash circut and in nepal at the gokyo lakes and when i climb mera (here's hoping). Want to go with a nice light weight Bivy (Oputdoor Research Alpine Bivy). but have been told that it might not be enough for freak storms and high winds and might not give any warmth. Dont really wantto lug a tent around that i will only use 5% of the time (6 out of 120 nights[ish]). But if its needed i will get it and carry it.
Firstly what do you all think would be the best option?
Should i wait and get it cheaper in KTM rather than here at home, is there much if any difference in prices?
thankyou
louis miles

Michael Sunkist
19th October 2006, 11:36 PM
You have teahouse lodging at high altitudes that you will find altho cold more comfortable than a tent. Lugging the extra weight at high altitudes will probably make you ditch it or give it away. I'm trying to do Mt. Kailash. So far impossible to get a visa without hiring a guide and porter which I don't care to do. Happy trails

louis
20th October 2006, 11:07 AM
I thought that there weren't any teahouse beyond gokyo, at lakes 4 and 5. Also when doing mera, i think it will be almost un avoidable.

At some point i will need a tent or bivy. Only question is what is practical in weight and strength up against winds. You are right about weight, but i have found a nice Gortex bivy that weighs only half a kilogram.
I think that would be best, half a kilo won't be much to carry. is just a matter of warmth etc. Also what are you meant to do with your bag in a snow storm when using a bivy?

Stupid questions but never done long treks and havnt ever had to think about these things...
Louis

Escher
20th October 2006, 01:03 PM
Want to go with a nice light weight Bivy (Oputdoor Research Alpine Bivy). but have been told that it might not be enough for freak storms and high winds and might not give any warmth.

To answer your questions first forget the idea of bivvying being the same at the Gokyo Lakes, around Kailash and on Mera. These are completely different situations.

Firsty you can walk to the 4th and 5th lakes at Gokyo and back to the lodges in a day. There is no need to bivvy up there if you don't want to. A bivvy bag will give you negligible warmth. If you have never bivvied then you should try it out at home and make your own mind up. You need to be organised enough to keep warm and dry, keep condensation out of the bag, cook in the open and sleeping in a bivvy bag is not for everyone. Some people find it very claustrophobic, but some love it. I would suggest that high up in the Himalaya is not the place to find out. When bivvying you are going to find sheltered spots under boulders, in caves or build a wall of rocks around where you are going to sleep. And remember you are going to have to carry more stuff than just a bivvy bag if you are bivvying. You'll need a warmer sleeping bag, a sleeping mat, a stove, gas etc. This will significantly increase your pack weight for a night or two bivvying beyond Gokyo when you could walk back to the lodges.

As for Mera I would take a tent. You have many things you may have to contend with: High altitude, extreme cold, high winds etc etc. You will need somewhere to thaw out your boots, cook and eat, sort out your gear, prepare for the climb etc. You or anyone that you climb with may return from a summit attempt with severe exhaustion, dehydration, frostbite, AMS and you or they will need looking after, you may have to sit out a storm.

Never done Kailash (but seen the trek on TV!). Looks like just a high altitude walk done in, I think, 3 days. Wouldn't be a problem to bivvy there I guess.

In summary I wouldn't try and cover all three situations with the same solution, and I certainly wouldn't then carry everything I need for say Mera around all the other treks, that's just mad!

For Gokyo/EBC I would tea house trek and just take what I needed for the trek, no bivvy bag, no stove and take a lightweight sleeping bag. I would spend a few days in Gokyo and explore the valley returning to the lodges each night. The lodges are one of the joys of the region and they allow you to experience the high Himalaya with little gear in comfort. Take advantage of it!

For Mera I would arrange a crew to carry tents, climbing equipment, food etc and do that separately to the EBC trek. You will need quite a bit of gear to climb Mera (especially if you have little experience of alpine climbing). You'll need cooking gear, food, rope, harness, crampons, axe, waterproofs, substantial gloves, plastic boots etc. You do not want to be carrying this stuff unnecessarily if you can avoid it. Carry this stuff into Mera on your own if you want but your pack will be 25kgs at the very least (Probably 30+ actually) and believe me it is purgatory carrying that load at 4000m and above.

But make sure you have a tent. Without experience it would be foolhardy to take on Mera with just a bivvy bag. You will have enough to contend with : no sleep, sunburn, 2am starts, melting snow to drink etc without having to do this with only a bivvy bag.

YOu can bring a tent in from home (but you will need an expensive one - well two actually if you fix a high camp) or you can hire one in KTM. Get in contact with a reputable agency in KTM and ask them what they can arrange for you for Mera. There is no reason why you can't arrange everything with a guide/agency trek around the Khumbu and meet them on the way up to Mera. I think you have to camp on the way to Mera anyway so if you want to go that way you either take porters or carry a MONSTER load. Not a good idea unless you are super fit as you will be too exhausted to climb it once you get there.

If you are attempting to go lightweight and climb something then Island Peak/Pokalde/Lobuche East are probably better bets as you can tea house right up to them and only need to camp at BC and HC if you have one.

AS for Kailash my guess would be that it will be a doddle after everything else so you will be able to make your own mind up.

Harry
21st October 2006, 05:49 AM
I thought that there weren't any teahouse beyond gokyo, at lakes 4 and 5. Also when doing mera, i think it will be almost un avoidable.

At some point i will need a tent or bivy. Only question is what is practical in weight and strength up against winds. You are right about weight, but i have found a nice Gortex bivy that weighs only half a kilogram.
I think that would be best, half a kilo won't be much to carry. is just a matter of warmth etc. Also what are you meant to do with your bag in a snow storm when using a bivy?

Stupid questions but never done long treks and havnt ever had to think about these things...
Louis

Hey Louis,

In a country like Nepal it's normal to get things organised, better than doing all things your self. Safes you time and worries. I once saw a guy in 1988 having all his stuff in his backback at the moment we left Jiri. We say him again on our way down from Iceland peak, he just managed to reach Dingpoche in the same time we did. Unless you have plenty of time, just spent some money on a porter and guide. For climbing trekking peaks you need some organisation for sure.
Ever cooked yourselfe on high altitude and with cold temperatures before, while you where nearly to the end??? Having big headache, etc, etc,
the chalange will still be there if going organised with a Nepali company.

cheers,

Harry

Todd Delaney
22nd October 2006, 06:34 AM
louis, I would echo Escher's comments...it is very important to try this sort of equipment out yourself in your own country and get some confidence with the equipment before you head off to high altitude...used correctly, a tent or a bivy will both keep you alive at the locations you are talking about...it just comes down to comfort and personal preference...

One of the points Escher was making, which I agree with, is that if you are going to trek independently you should have already made that personal preference, based on your own experiences before you leave your country.

I hate bivys, I would always use a tent, but there is the extra paraphanalia needed for camping outside such as rollmat, ground sheet, food, cooker, cookware that all adds to pack volume and weight.

As for the 4th and 5th Lake...it is easily a day trip...I was there last week. Left Gokyo at 6:40am, got to 5th Lake around 9am, hung out there for a couple of hours and was then back in Gokyo for lunch... if you wanted to camp at 5th Lake to aid in acclimatisation, you could, it would be quite nice, you have an excellent view of Cho Oyu, Everest, Lhotse + lots of other mountains and glaciers...it is at 5000m (slightly under actually - but close enough), so you would want to spend a couple of nights at Gokyo first.

The question is whether you really want to bring a tent/bivy along with you for a teahouse trek? Most folks do not bring tents...as they are simply not needed.

The next time I go I am go to bring my tent, because I am going to do Renjo La, Cho La and Kongma La...and sleep out on the passes...

louis
23rd October 2006, 07:54 PM
Thanks guys, i concider myself as a very indipendent traveller. The main reason was going to be for the 4th and fith lakes. Though it might be nice to stay over night. Ill spend a little time in gokyo. Maybe some one might lend me a tent or something for a night. Otherwise i will do it in a day.

Kailash i am close to scrapping. Am sick of everything needing to be done with a guide. Looks like i will need a permit and a guide to take a crap in the bushes.

To be absolutly honest, this TRC thing is not the correct way to do things. There has to be another way to regulate an industry. Without screwing over the customer. Regulation is designed to be a something that gos un-noticed to the end user.

For mera, i think an agency will have to be the only option. They can sort me out with tents.

Again thankyou for your feedback everyone. This forum is getting more popular in only the short time i have been using it. Is good to see.
Regards LOuis MIles

Per
3rd June 2007, 12:47 PM
Firstly what do you all think would be the best option?


Get a trekking partner. It is a sad truth that if you are going hiking into areas where you need the ability to camp and cook you are much better off if you can share the weight of the tent and the cooking equipment with some one unless of course you do not mind using human beasts of burden and travel in colonial mode.

I would not care for a bivy bag.


Should i wait and get it cheaper in KTM rather than here at home, is there much if any difference in prices?


Get it at home. For camping on altitude you need first rate gear, especially if you are hiking a lone and need super light weight stuff.