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2014-01-15 5:15 AM
in reply to: #4924485

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Good point about the altitude and aclimization. Im 6'3" but live at about 200' altitude. :-)

I think my pack will be pretty light anyway. Sleeping bag is 10.5 lbs plus boots and a change of clothes.


2014-01-16 7:33 AM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Any suggestions for pants? I was just thinking I'd wear jeans.....but now I'm thinking a passing rain shower and I'd be in for a long, wet days. I went to Academy Sports and they had some nylong pants that looked like they'd be good but they were way too thin. I also looked at ski pants but that may be too much. Maybe the thin nylon pants with long jonhns? Not sure that will be enough? I'm probably over thinking this but I don't want to spend 11 days regretting bringing the wrong boots, pants, coat, etc.
2014-01-16 1:09 PM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Originally posted by Rogillio

Originally posted by LaurenSU02

I don't think cotton socks are ideal for this type of trip. You'll probably want to go with wool or some form of synthetic material that dries quickly and retains heat, etc. You're more likely to get blisters with cotton socks and they don't dry quickly or retain warmth. I'm not an expert on this, though. I'd definitely recommend you look in to this a bit more. Maybe head to your local REI to learn more and to also see if you're in the right hiking boot.

By the way -- this trip is going to be awesome (I haven't done it but have friends who have). Have a great time!





Thanks. My wife told me the same thing today as I was texting her while out walking. She suggested wool socks. I am very hot natured and have a very high tolerance to the cold so I don't think wool is good for me. Cotton is out too. My boots provide plenty of warmth anyway. I will look into some synthetic matierial as you suggest.

I love my hiking boots but am open to alternatives. Heading to a New Balance store tonight to see what they have. The good news is, I have 4 months to figrue out what works...and what I will be able to walk in for hours everyday without too many issues. I will probably use trail shoes most of the trek and carrry (ok, the sherpas will carry) my boots until they are needed. I asked the outfitter if we'd be walking in snow and he said: "Yes, you will walk on the snow for few days. It will be 2 to 3 feet."

On the subject of sherpas.....is it odd that I am considering taking a backpack and packing my own 'stuff'? It almost feels like cheating to have someone carry my sleeping bag, boots and spare clothes.


You might consider trying several kinds of socks over the next couple of months - first to get the thickness right for your boots, and second to see which ones feel/function best.Don't discount the wool - it is actually very breathable. I find that my SmartWools make my feet sweat LESS than the synthetics, and the socks smelled WAY less. Like "wear all day, let dry and wear again" kind of smells less.

Sounds like an exciting trip!
2014-01-17 6:37 AM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Funny you should mention pants.....sort of had a pants crisis on the EBC trek!

I actually bought a pair of those thin trekking pants (well, Chinese knockoffs thereof) from a Tibetan trader in the market in Namche Bazaar. I'd brought a pair of thick canvas pants that I use for cold-weather trekking and anything with rock scrambling (they've got a reinforced butt and knees), planning to wear them over thermals, but found the combo too hot for hiking during the day. Minus the thermals, they're too big (of course, I hadn't brought a belt) and the stiff fabric isn't very comfortable. I'd also brought a pair of XC ski/winter running pants that I use for cold weather runs, rides, and hikes (a European brand, but Sporthill and Pearl Izumi make similar products). They were great for sitting around lodges and hiking at colder elevations (with or without tights underneath), but again they were too warm for hiking below about 15,000 feet. Pulled out my pair of thinner trekking pants and realized....I had my mom's. We'd shopped together and had the same pants, but hers were two sizes larger! Somehow we'd gotten laundry mixed up after our last hike in Europe.

Thus the pants-buying session--all the trader's wares were dumped on a tarp, sizes totally random. I happened to find a pair that fit; the trader spoke no English but we were able to carry on in pidgin Mandarin and I got them for the equivalent of about $15. (They're worth about $10 in China, but I figured there had to be a surcharge for the guy carrying them over the pass and risking arrest!) I wouldn't count on this if you're 6'3". I'm probably the size of the average Sherpa guy. They served me well for the warmer days on both treks and I still use them for hikes. I'd suggest hedging your bets with a pair or two of base layer tights, one pair of lighter and one pair of heavier trekking pants. Something like XC pants or insulated fleece ones are also nice for lodges or sleeping.

As for socks, avoid cotton. Stuff takes forever to get dry up there. I had some smartwool and some synthetic socks; both worked well; wool was more durable. Also, a plus if you are drying socks by the fire, wool doesn't melt. Some synthetics do. (Yep, melted a sock!)
2014-01-23 12:38 PM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
What can you tell me about iodine tablets? I read that it is recommended to bring iodine tablets. Do they not sell bottled water there? I figured I'd bring some anyway but when I went to Amazon to look for some there are dozens of options and prices.

2014-01-23 6:01 PM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Iodine tabs are recommended because it's a more eco-friendly option than buying bottled water. Remember, the area isn't accessible by road (unless the Chiense have gone and done that, and I don't think so yet), so most of what gets dropped there is going to stay there, or have to be carried out on someone's back. So Nepal doesn't want the place littered with discarded plastic bottles. You can buy hot "boiled" water at the guesthouses but it's uncertain if it's been at a high enough temp. long enough to kill germs (also affected by the altitude); and it wastes fuel. Probably any reputable brand of purification tabs is fine. Iodine makes the water taste somewhat unpalatable. You can neutralize the flavor by adding anything with citrus/vitamin C. Some iodine tablets come in sets with Vitamin C tabs for this purpose; you can also put in another kind of vitamin C tab, or even a small amount of lemon tea powder (you can easily buy it in Kathmandu or Namche). I experimented and found that even a teabag (which any shop or guesthouse could sell you) would mask the taste of the iodine. Unless you have a medical reason for not doing so, I'd bring the tablets.

Be sure to read the directions on the tablets--there is kind of a procedure involved like letting it sit for a while before you neutralize or drink.

I did meet some people using pump type filters but all got sick; if thinking about that would make sure it's suited for third world quality water, not just for first-world types paranoid about what comes out of their home tap. You are not just dealing with parasitic stuff like giardia that campers in the states filter for, but viral and bacterial contamination--filter systems don't adequately treat the latter, unless they also contain some kind of chemical treatment.


2014-01-24 5:02 AM
in reply to: #4931828

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Awesome information! Thank you!!
2014-01-24 6:29 AM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Glad to be useful. Just thought of one of my other add-ins to the water--Emergen-C tablets. They also have some electrolytes in them, which can be useful for long days. Any kind of citrus-flavored electrolyte tab or powder would probably work as well, as long as there's some citric acid in it. On the Annapurna Circuit, my guide (a lowland Nepalese who struggled the entire trek!) got sick, and the Sherpa porter and I invented a "cold cure" involving hot water, an Emergen-C tab, honey, and a bit of local apply brandy. It was actually pretty effective, or at any rate made the guide a lot less grumpy!
2014-01-27 7:46 AM
in reply to: Hot Runner

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Do you remember if you got any special immunizations for your Nepal trek? I've searched the internet and looks like hepatitus A....and maybe typhoid?

BTW, I bought "Into Thin Air" and am reading that. It's a good read and I'm learning a little about Nepal and EBC. Just hope I don't get bit by the summit Everest bug....is there a vaccine for that?! :-)
2014-01-27 12:14 PM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Originally posted by Rogillio

Do you remember if you got any special immunizations for your Nepal trek? I've searched the internet and looks like hepatitus A....and maybe typhoid?

BTW, I bought "Into Thin Air" and am reading that. It's a good read and I'm learning a little about Nepal and EBC. Just hope I don't get bit by the summit Everest bug....is there a vaccine for that?! :-)


Yes. The price tag.
2014-01-27 2:18 PM
in reply to: silentcs42

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Originally posted by silentcs42

Originally posted by Rogillio

Do you remember if you got any special immunizations for your Nepal trek? I've searched the internet and looks like hepatitus A....and maybe typhoid?

BTW, I bought "Into Thin Air" and am reading that. It's a good read and I'm learning a little about Nepal and EBC. Just hope I don't get bit by the summit Everest bug....is there a vaccine for that?! :-)


Yes. The price tag.


An Everest summit expedition would run between $40k to $65k.....about the range for a new Corvette. So ifin' I have a 'mid-life' crises, I would have to choose between a Vette or Everest.

The other issue is taking the time off of work.....


2014-01-27 4:25 PM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
And....the risk of death? I think I read somewhere that more people die on Everest than summit. Assuming that means that most people do neither, but still..... You need to be a very skilled, experienced climber. Some of the agencies will take almost anyone (with money) up, used fixed ropes, even practically pull them. There's some resentment of this from the Sherpas as they are often forced to risk, even lose their lives on rescue/recovery missions for people who really had no business being there. I found out when I was there that the Sherpa call such people "raven food". I happened to overhear my guide and another Sherpa discussing some obviously beginning climbers who were struggling on a minor peak (not Everest, thank goodness) and heard the word "gorak sha". I know a little Tibetan, which is closely related--"gorak" is a raven, "sha" is meat. They admitted, this is what they call such climbers! Of course accidents and illness can happen to the best climbers, but it's not a place to come unprepared.

I didn't get any special immunizations as I live in the developing world anyway. Typhoid would be a good one (it also protects against some milder forms of food poisoning, albeit marginally), definitely Hep A if you haven't had it. And make sure you actually have immunity to those childhood diseases--some of the old shots weren't as effective as people thought. There are regular outbreaks of measles in most developing countries, and I managed to contract whooping cough in Nepal after my treks. (Fortunately, not as serious in adults, but pretty bad news if you infect an infant or young child.)
2014-01-27 6:15 PM
in reply to: #4937662

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
I doubt I would see $50k of 'value' in summitting....I am too cheap. But if I won the lottery....I would take some courses in mountaineering and climbing and gain a few years climbing experience first. But I doubt I'll din the lottery since I don't buy lottery tickets so the chances of ghost is greatly reduced....or so I'm told.

2014-02-06 7:37 AM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
I am 90% done with "Into Thin Air" and am 110% certain I will NEVER summit Everest! It is an very good book and I leanred a lot about mountaineering, Sherpas, Nepal, EBC as well as the peculiar and varied nature of people.

Certainly as a trIathlete I understand wanting to push myself and find my 'limits' but not at the risk of orphaning my children. But not just that, I really don't see the significance of climbing it. Bragging rights is not a motivation for me. Now, if I'd made a hobby out of mountaineering and climbed peaks all over the world....then maybe I can see wanting to summit.
2014-02-06 8:42 PM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp

Originally posted by Rogillio I am 90% done with "Into Thin Air" and am 110% certain I will NEVER summit Everest! It is an very good book and I leanred a lot about mountaineering, Sherpas, Nepal, EBC as well as the peculiar and varied nature of people. Certainly as a trIathlete I understand wanting to push myself and find my 'limits' but not at the risk of orphaning my children. But not just that, I really don't see the significance of climbing it. Bragging rights is not a motivation for me. Now, if I'd made a hobby out of mountaineering and climbed peaks all over the world....then maybe I can see wanting to summit.

Into Thin Air is good, but a bit biased.  When finished with that I would suggest reading Anatoli Bourkreev's rebuttal to what happened that day. 

2014-02-07 6:56 AM
in reply to: MadMathemagician

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Originally posted by MadMathemagician

Originally posted by Rogillio I am 90% done with "Into Thin Air" and am 110% certain I will NEVER summit Everest! It is an very good book and I leanred a lot about mountaineering, Sherpas, Nepal, EBC as well as the peculiar and varied nature of people. Certainly as a trIathlete I understand wanting to push myself and find my 'limits' but not at the risk of orphaning my children. But not just that, I really don't see the significance of climbing it. Bragging rights is not a motivation for me. Now, if I'd made a hobby out of mountaineering and climbed peaks all over the world....then maybe I can see wanting to summit.

Into Thin Air is good, but a bit biased.  When finished with that I would suggest reading Anatoli Bourkreev's rebuttal to what happened that day. 




Yeah, I can see where some of the people he wrote about might take exception to his perception of them and his memory of events. I can certainly see how the "fog of war" is greatly multiplied in the death zone.

Our upcoming trek to EBC sounds like it carries it's own risk albeit to a much less degree. And from everything I've read, it is hard to tell who is going to be most susceptible to high altitude ailments. It doesn't seem to be linked to physical fitness which really suprises me.


2014-02-07 7:46 AM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp

Originally posted by Rogillio
Originally posted by MadMathemagician

Originally posted by Rogillio I am 90% done with "Into Thin Air" and am 110% certain I will NEVER summit Everest! It is an very good book and I leanred a lot about mountaineering, Sherpas, Nepal, EBC as well as the peculiar and varied nature of people. Certainly as a trIathlete I understand wanting to push myself and find my 'limits' but not at the risk of orphaning my children. But not just that, I really don't see the significance of climbing it. Bragging rights is not a motivation for me. Now, if I'd made a hobby out of mountaineering and climbed peaks all over the world....then maybe I can see wanting to summit.

Into Thin Air is good, but a bit biased.  When finished with that I would suggest reading Anatoli Bourkreev's rebuttal to what happened that day. 

Yeah, I can see where some of the people he wrote about might take exception to his perception of them and his memory of events. I can certainly see how the "fog of war" is greatly multiplied in the death zone. Our upcoming trek to EBC sounds like it carries it's own risk albeit to a much less degree. And from everything I've read, it is hard to tell who is going to be most susceptible to high altitude ailments. It doesn't seem to be linked to physical fitness which really suprises me.

My understanding is that it has more to do with the ratio of lung capacity to body mass and with a higher than normal red blood cell count.    That's from medical research done on the Sherpas who have made a routine of climbing that high.   But even Sherpas can feel the effects of high altitude.  There has been at least one Sherpa who died from climbing that high.

2014-02-07 8:07 AM
in reply to: MadMathemagician

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Alabama
Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
Originally posted by MadMathemagician

Originally posted by Rogillio
Originally posted by MadMathemagician

Originally posted by Rogillio I am 90% done with "Into Thin Air" and am 110% certain I will NEVER summit Everest! It is an very good book and I leanred a lot about mountaineering, Sherpas, Nepal, EBC as well as the peculiar and varied nature of people. Certainly as a trIathlete I understand wanting to push myself and find my 'limits' but not at the risk of orphaning my children. But not just that, I really don't see the significance of climbing it. Bragging rights is not a motivation for me. Now, if I'd made a hobby out of mountaineering and climbed peaks all over the world....then maybe I can see wanting to summit.

Into Thin Air is good, but a bit biased.  When finished with that I would suggest reading Anatoli Bourkreev's rebuttal to what happened that day. 

Yeah, I can see where some of the people he wrote about might take exception to his perception of them and his memory of events. I can certainly see how the "fog of war" is greatly multiplied in the death zone. Our upcoming trek to EBC sounds like it carries it's own risk albeit to a much less degree. And from everything I've read, it is hard to tell who is going to be most susceptible to high altitude ailments. It doesn't seem to be linked to physical fitness which really suprises me.

My understanding is that it has more to do with the ratio of lung capacity to body mass and with a higher than normal red blood cell count.    That's from medical research done on the Sherpas who have made a routine of climbing that high.   But even Sherpas can feel the effects of high altitude.  There has been at least one Sherpa who died from climbing that high.




Yes, there is one that died in "Into Thin Air". He was sent back down but he continued to deterioate and died 2 weeks later in a Katmandu hospitol.

I think genetics likely play a role.

I have always found it interesting that they don't really know why some people are very prone to motion sickness but other people are not bothered by it at all or very little. I this is probably mostly genetics. My daugher and I are VERY prone to motion sickness but it doesn't bother my son and wife at all. Presumably we all have the same 'mechanisms' in our bodies....that little gyro thing in our ears....but yet given the exact environment, I will be tossing my cooking and others will be having a ball yelling whooo-hoooo!

My hope is that there is no corelation to high altitude sickness and motion sickness...if there is, I'm screwed.

2014-02-08 2:13 PM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp

Originally posted by Rogillio
Originally posted by MadMathemagician

Originally posted by Rogillio
Originally posted by MadMathemagician

Originally posted by Rogillio I am 90% done with "Into Thin Air" and am 110% certain I will NEVER summit Everest! It is an very good book and I leanred a lot about mountaineering, Sherpas, Nepal, EBC as well as the peculiar and varied nature of people. Certainly as a trIathlete I understand wanting to push myself and find my 'limits' but not at the risk of orphaning my children. But not just that, I really don't see the significance of climbing it. Bragging rights is not a motivation for me. Now, if I'd made a hobby out of mountaineering and climbed peaks all over the world....then maybe I can see wanting to summit.

Into Thin Air is good, but a bit biased.  When finished with that I would suggest reading Anatoli Bourkreev's rebuttal to what happened that day. 

Yeah, I can see where some of the people he wrote about might take exception to his perception of them and his memory of events. I can certainly see how the "fog of war" is greatly multiplied in the death zone. Our upcoming trek to EBC sounds like it carries it's own risk albeit to a much less degree. And from everything I've read, it is hard to tell who is going to be most susceptible to high altitude ailments. It doesn't seem to be linked to physical fitness which really suprises me.

My understanding is that it has more to do with the ratio of lung capacity to body mass and with a higher than normal red blood cell count.    That's from medical research done on the Sherpas who have made a routine of climbing that high.   But even Sherpas can feel the effects of high altitude.  There has been at least one Sherpa who died from climbing that high.

Yes, there is one that died in "Into Thin Air". He was sent back down but he continued to deterioate and died 2 weeks later in a Katmandu hospitol. I think genetics likely play a role. I have always found it interesting that they don't really know why some people are very prone to motion sickness but other people are not bothered by it at all or very little. I this is probably mostly genetics. My daugher and I are VERY prone to motion sickness but it doesn't bother my son and wife at all. Presumably we all have the same 'mechanisms' in our bodies....that little gyro thing in our ears....but yet given the exact environment, I will be tossing my cooking and others will be having a ball yelling whooo-hoooo! My hope is that there is no corelation to high altitude sickness and motion sickness...if there is, I'm screwed.

 

Beck Weathers' book Left for Dead is also a pretty good read.    It just about completes the story of what happened in 1996.  Breashears also mentions the event in passing in his Imax film Everest.      Weathers does motivational speaking now and if you ever get a chance go see him.

2014-02-08 5:41 PM
in reply to: Rogillio

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Subject: RE: Everest Base Camp
I don't think there's any correlation between the two. Altitude sickness has to do with your biochemical adaptations to less oxygen in the air, motion sickness with regulation of balance. I tend to get motion sickness on winding roads, esp. in the heat, and have never had a problem at altitude. With altitude illness, there are really two kinds of variables--one set you can't control, and the other you can. What you can't control are physiological variables like heart/lung capacity to body mass or red blood cell count (I was in one such study as well as had some other testing when I was running at a high level and can say with confidence this is why I do well at altitude--not as genetically adapted as the Sherpa, but one of the highest ratios for a non-Sherpa in the study). What you CAN control is your rate of ascent, pacing, hydration, and how well you listen to your body. Most of the really serious cases are a "perfect storm" of someone who's not physiologically well-suited to altitude, but thinks they "should" be, and so pushes themselves beyond their capability and ignores early warning signs until things get really serious.

Most of the trekkers I met at Everest had some degree of minor discomfort related to the altitude at some point--headache, perhaps a bit of nausea or poor appetite for a day or two. Difficulty sleeping at the higher stops was very common. Some had no issues, like me. Only a small minority (maybe 2-3 out of 100) became ill enough that they had to quit their trek and descend; I only saw about 1-2 medevacs a day (out of probably more than a hundred trekkers I encountered) and I'm not certain those were all due to altitude illness--in one case I know it was a broken ankle. While a few people probably have died of altitude sickness on the trek, the life-threatening form of AMS is much more common in climbers, particularly in the so-called "death zone" high on the mountain.

I wouldn't worry too much but do be prepared to listen to your body and adjust your pace/ plans accordingly.

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