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Switzerland18 Apr, 2007
Andrea

Trip of my life

Everest Base Camp Trek

"Trip of My Life", I think I can easily say that this is one of the most impressive trips I have done in my life. As an amateur mountaineer (Alps) I have always dreamed of going to the Himalaya. In the case of mountains the slogan: Size does matter, really is true. Hiking along the highest mountains of the world is just sensational.

As many of the details of the trip can be taken from the homepage I just want to refer to those points many people worry before they start such a trip:

Guides: Nepalese people are extremely friendly. I think I have never seen people so attentive as here! Our guide would always look around in our rooms to see if we forgot something. He would be the one making sure that food arrives on time, that whatever we needed was on the table and would not stop running around until we all had what we needed and were satisfied (he knew after a day how we drink our tees/ coffees and would steer them for us!). It seems like we in Europe really have forgotten what good service means! In addition they all are well trained for mountain emergencies and know the area as the back of their pockets.

The agency: I had never before booked such a trip by Internet nor using a local agency and rather relied to book my trips from home. However my experience with Himalayan Glacier Trekking really made me change my mind. After the first time I requested via their homepage information about the trip, they called me the day after in order to start planning. Everything went extremely smooth. We got exactly what we had planned for. We could make any extra wishes and adapt the tour to our needs. They picked us up at the airport and arranged everything for us so we could concentrate on the pure enjoyment of the trip. All guides spoke good English and new a lot about the history of Nepal, so we learned a lot. I would definitely recommend to use a local agency since by this the money stays in the country and helps further the people of Nepal vs. just being cashed in by any foreigner. The quality you get is at least the same if not much higher since they really know they’re country and combine this knowledge with Nepalese service ship.

Security: Even though Nepal has suffered in the past from significant political turmoil, the situation now has stabilized considerably. However tourists are extremely important for the countries income so they are protected from various sites. Crime rate is very low, so compared with many other poor countries it is very safe for tourists. This does not mean that you shouldn’t take care of your stuff.

Accommodation: Hiking up the valley to the base camp, one comes across several villages in which numerous hostels are available. So in case you don’t make the whole way you had planned for the day, there is most likely the possibility to stop earlier. All hostels have a similar standart: they are very simple but cozy. You get a single or double room with a bunk bed and mostly a window with a spectacular view. Each lodge has a living room where everyone gathers together around the oven and has dinner, chat, play cards, read etc. Most of them even offer hot showers for a small extra charge.

Food: The selection is very broad and there is something for every taste: pasta, rice dishes, potatoes, pizza, nepalese traditional. It is really amazing that being so far away from any civilization there is still such a big selection of food. Only meet lovers will miss something out since this is quite scarce

Additional sites to visit: Katmandu is a must. But besides that I would also highly recommend if you can take 1or 2 days extra to go and visit Patan and Baktapur, which are 2 cities close to Katmandu. If you have even a bit more time the Chitwan National Park, which is 4h drive from Katmandu is also definitely worth it. We stayed at a very nice hotel in the middle of the forest and from there made daily excursions riding an elephant to go Rhino watching (2h rides per day + boat trip). The result: at least 15 Rhinos, 1 Ganges crocodile, 8-10 deer , numerous monkeys and hundreds of amazing birds. The landscape is a mixture of different types of forests mixed with savanna.

I would recommend traveling either at the beginning of the season or at the end as it can get somewhat busy during the main season.

Please contact Himalayan Glacier if you wish to get my contact address and ask further questions regarding the trip.

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Slovenia16 Apr, 2007
Uros Sever

Uros Sever in Nepal

Annapurna Circuit Trek

Uros Sever is a Tour Guide from Slovenia. 50-year old Sever is a frequent visitor of Nepal and has done many trekking trips in Nepal. Currently, he conducts trekking trips to Nepal by bringing groups from Slovenia and Croatia. Having recently come back from Manaslu Trek, Sever finds time to share some of his experience in trekking and climbing peaks in Nepal. Excerpts:

The first time I came to Nepal was in 1997. I have always wanted to come and see the Himalayas. Nepal was a transit point for me as my original plan was to cycle across Tibet. During the two weeks’ stay here, I not only went to Gosai Kunda (4380 m) on Langtang Trek, I also traveled to Ladakh in India for eight days.

I hail from the Alps. Back in Slovenia, I do a lot of mountaineering as well as biking. The duration of trekking in the Alps is getting shorter and shorter. One can go and come back from Alps in just two days which is so unlike in the Himalayas where you have to have at least 10 days to go and see the Himalayas.

Nepal was certainly a new experience for me, especially the charm of lodge and lodge trek. In trekking, you live and sleep more often than not in the midst of mountains. The other unique thing about trekking in Nepal is that one week time is too less to get anywhere. In Alps we measure time in hours but in the Himalayas it is in weeks.

I came back to Nepal in 2004 and overstretched the visa period of a total 150 days. This time I went for Round Annapurna Trek for over 21 days and also traveled to Tibet. I have been coming here every year ever since. I come here twice a year, mainly during Spring and Autumn seasons. Since 2005, I am bringing groups of a maximum of 15 tourists from Slovenia and Croatia. I take groups to Ladakh, Sikkim and Tibet besides Nepal.

In 2004, I also trekked to Nar Phu in the Manang region, one of the recently opened restricted areas. The route passes through laps of Annapurna and crisscrosses the Annapurna trek to reach Chame, the head quarter of Manang. The Nar Phu is an exotic and beautiful village in the Annapurna region characterized by narrow valleys, chortens, huge walls, caves and century old monasteries. Obviously this trip was very different from any other I have ever done. People here are still not used to tourists. Other attraction of this route is that it can also be visited during the summer because it is on the rain shadow area.

It was in 2007 that I climbed the Island Peak (6189m) as part of the Everest trek. Island Peak is considered comparatively more technical than others. For me Island Peak is an extension of EBC and with experienced Sherpa’s smooth operation, even people with no experience can also reach the top. It was nice and rejuvenating to stand atop the Island peak especially the feeling of being surrounded by 8000 m and 7000m summits. Moreover you get a sense of satisfaction and unparalleled accomplishment for the genuine efforts you put in. The same year I also climbed the Mera Peak (6476m)

Unlike Island Peak, Mera Peak is very different in its approach and technically challenging. You set up very high camps in Mera Peak so it is rather cold. We have to fix high camps in the snow however this effort is compensated by majestic views magnificent landscape. In addition, there is less number of tourists in this area. For people who would like to have big challenge in the Himalayas, try to attempt Mera Peak followed by Island Peak by crossing Ampu Lepcha Pass. This is a classic feat.

This year, in the spring, I trekked the Manaslu region, one of the remotest and less traveled trekking areas in Nepal. We tried to attempt Chulu East (6,584m) but couldn’t make it to the top. All in all it was a good combination. Once the road comes into operation in other trekking areas, I believe, Manaslu will be a possible option and very good alternative for Annapurna. This trek route is relativel longer than Annapurna as it takes at least 13 days to do the Round Manaslu with big stretches of snow.

Trekking peaks are increasingly becoming part and parcel of many treks. In fact nowadays climbing smaller peaks called trek peaks are added into trekking package. Indeed you do not need to be technically skilled to climb such peaks. The competent staffs and a close cooperation of expert guides make it possible for everyone. This is quite interesting for me as more and more people want to go to trek and climb.

I have been coordinating my trips with the help of Himalayan Glacier Trekking. The trips run by HGT have more added values and its service is reliable and suits the international standards. It is very important to find agencies that meet what tourists expect by building a convenient level of understanding and HGT is one.This year I am also planning to go to Dolpo, climb Pachermo (6187m) and go trekking in the Rolwaling Valley that falls in Manaslu region. Manaslu is very near and easily accessible. Remote areas like Kanchenjunga, Dolpa, Manaslu, Arun Valley are some of the remote and best places to trek in Nepal.

I am interested in each and every trek in Nepal. I enjoy the different and varied landscapes while trekking. I also love indigenous culture and living style of various ethnic groups settled across the remotest corners of Nepal. For me trekking is part of my life. Trekking is a very simple act where you do not have bother about anything and do not have to worry about basic things like food and accommodation.

Between extensive and intensive traveling I would choose the latter, as it involves covering one country and its different attractions and aspects instead of trying to go to all the countries in the world. For me Nepal very much serve my intention. In spite of so many years of traveling, I still do not understand many things about Nepal. I think Nepalese life is different from the west. So it is in traveler’s interest to know about local people and culture as much as possible.

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Slovenia14 Apr, 2007
Bojana

Nepal -Tibet tour

Nepal and Tibet Tour

Now it has been past nearly one month from our Nepal -Tibet tour, and it is really sweet to remember on it.I have finally all the photos ready to represent the tour to other people. I will make a few public representations, as I like to do that very much. Some of the photos are realy fascinating specially now after some time has been past.

Kailash trek is something special becouse you are so high and so you are proud that you had managed that. The mountain itself and the lake Manasarovar also are magnificent.You cant find something like that in Europe. And the pillgrims you met on the way they are something special too.

The trek in Nepal was simply a very pleasent experience for us,not only because of the beautiful nature,magnificent waterfalls and remote dreamy villages, but because of our guide Lok and the two guys - porters in the first place.

We spent some time also in Kathmandu. I would say Kathmandu is a tipical high crawded asian town. I have seen already many of such towns and they all have some special charm. But Kathmandu was for us in spite of terrible trafic and crawd a place we liked it very much. Almost every day we visited the Mountain Glacier Agency office to contact Naba, another very nice and helpful person in Nepal. There is no problem, that Naba coudn't help or find a good solution immediately.

So, if you travel to Nepal, I would highly recomend to find Naba and Lok in Mountain Glacier Agency to contact with.

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United States10 Apr, 2007
Eva and brother Marek

Kathmandu to Lhasa overland tour

Kathmandu to Lhasa Tour via Everest Base Camp

That was absolutely pleasure for us to go through the himalayan glacier tour company and we will definitely recommend you to all our friends and also we looking foreword to do more things through your agency in the future.

We were very happy from the first time we came to your office and we are really appreciate your help and recommendation with our annapurna sunrise track which was absolutely wonderful.

Our guide Dol was great,very warm person also very helpful and friendly from the first time we met him which was very important during our treck as well.We were very pleased to have him with us and saw all that beauty which you have in your wonderful country.Also is so nice to know how many things you are offering in your agency so we know we can come back every year and every time we can do something else as is so many choices from all your offer, which is great.

I was very happy that you were recommend us encounter hotel as well,as that was very nice to stay there with all friendly stuff who's we met there.

We were very well looked during the tibet tour as well from the begining to the end.from the time we went out from nepal.there was a strajk on our way to Zhagmu on the main road,our driver didn't hesitated,and took us different way and safetly drop us to the border.on the nepal-tibet border another guaid took care of us and after we passed the border tibetian guyed looked after us for hole 10days and we had an amaizing time in tibet.Tsurin(i dont know the spelling,sorry)he was great and he showed an excellent work. when Anna,our friend who was join the trip with uson the beggining,felt sick.Tsurin automatickly help to find the jeep and help anna go back to kathmandu as she really wasn't well and that was the best for her as well even we really missed her during the our travel.
Also when i felt sick in Everest base camp,because of the high attitude,(even being in everest base camp was really interesting and great experience)
so when i wasnt well our guide was very helpful,encourage me to eat something,having a good cup of tea and change the trip little bit and took us to shigatse instead of staying one more day in base camp.And i really felt much much better and i could enjoy the rest of our trip as well.
Also flight back went very easy and smoothly as everything was very well organized as i knew few people had a problem on the airport because of the visa.But you naba, you were arrange everything very well for us and our trip was ,save and beautiful full of wonderful things.
We are really aprettiated that you were looking after us from the beginning till the end and finished everything with lovely lunch in Kathmandu and talk about our trip with us.

We would like to say thank you to you and also thanks so much to all those wonderful people as is Dol,people in Pokora in the hotel where we were stayed over night,our guyed in tibet,all drivers,people in hotel encounter and everyone who were looked after us during our stay in Nepal and Tibet.Those people are working hard and doing excellent job,they all are friendly and very warm and helpful and i wish more people would be like them.

We will recommend your agency to everyone who we know.And we will be back.

Thank you so so much and we wish you all the best.

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Netherlands3 Apr, 2003
Harry

Successfully climbing Mera Peak

Mera Peak Climbing

I had come to Nepal in 2003 to climb Dhampus Peak as part of Round Dhaulagiri Trip. Not only did I climb the peak successfully I also visited the Child Environment of Nepal (CEN) run by Himalayan Glacier Trekking that provided food, shelter and education for deprived and poor children. It was an inspiring project and I thought to myself how I could contribute.

About half a year ago, I decided to raise funds by climbing a Himalayan peak for which I approached Netherland based advertising company ‘Merk Makers’ for sponsorship. Realizing that this was to be for a social cause, they agreed to provide 1000 Euro for my climb and released a pres release. By the end of April this year, I managed to raise additional charity from my office department and FBTO so that the total amount came around 1800 Euro.

At the same time I approached Himalayan Glacier Trekking for advice on climbing peak and they advised Mera Peak (6,476m). I started to study about the peak, the area and climatic conditions while HGT took care of the rest; I didn’t have to worry about arranging equipment, climbing gears and other essentials. Meanwhile here in Netherlands I started walking with backpack nearly every day and did 10 kilometers of marathon in weekend. I also took up fitness exercise at the nearby sporting school.

The whole trip was organized extremely well from the time I was picked up at the airport to successfully climbing Mera Peak. On the first day I stayed in Kathmandu as part of acclimatization and spent time with my crews. Next morning we flew to Lukla (2860m) and took a walk to Phakding and back. We spent the first couple of days warming and acclimatizing and trekked all the way to Tengboche. For some one like me who have come from Holland, getting used to the local environment was essential if I was to summit the Peak. The weather was cold and wet and clouds hung almost every day till the afternoon. Suresh, my trek guide, was quite skilled and had thorough knowledge about surroundings, flora and fauna. Interestingly he spotted Musk Deer, Pheasant (Nepal’s national bird) for me.

By the time we reached Khare we had reached almost a height of 5,045m. The temperature dropped to a freezing -17 degree Celsius with clouds covering much of the horizon. With the help of Dendi Sherpa, my climbing guide and Sirdar, we climbed up to 200 m beyond Khare and back for acclimatization. The following day we made our way to the Base Camp (5096m) of Mera Peak which almost took three hours. At this height, it was obviously really, really cold as the afternoon was completely covered by fog and ice sleets began to drizzle.

Early in the morning the next day our march continued to the High Camp at 5,600m. This time we had to take up a challenging walk across the glacier glimmering under the penetrating rays of Sunlight. From High Camp we could observe Mera Peak standing in all its glory and greatness. When you see its bulging structure of ice and rock, you will surely become nervous and at that very instant I had my doubts over reaching the summit. I talked this over to Dendi Sherpa, an experienced climbing guide and 3 times Everest summitter, who rest assured me and asked me to trust him. Dendi is really open to any kind of queries and this for me was very reassuring.

The next day, at 2 O’Clock, we woke up in the cloak of dawn, put our crampons, drank tea and had breakfast and launched for the summit. I couldn’t eat breakfast because of fretting nerves. Ultimately we ‘attacked’ braving freezing cold and ice wind. I could feel the snow crunching under my crampons. I and two Koreans were secured in a line with a rope in between Dendi at the front and Chumba at the rear. It was painstakingly cold and dark, and despite a head torch we couldn’t see what lay in front of us. There were deep crevasses we had to avoid and steps that had to be taken carefully. The way the guides organized the summit push and led us in a rhythmic fashion up the mountain instilled confidence in me; we worked as a team. The final stretch of 50m to the summit was steep and physically challenging. Over this portion, I continued to struggle with my mind: ‘I can’t do that but stop you have almost made it, you are so close’. We reached the summit at 9:40 AM. Even after reaching the summit I didn’t realize we had done it, the feeling of which was to overwhelm you later. From the summit you could see all the big guys including Everest remembering of which I still get goose bumps.

Soon after we started descending to High Camp the weather started changing dramatically as clouds came in. There were crews waiting for us in the camp with hot and sumptuous lunch. We retraced our steps back to Lukla and caught a flight back to Kathmandu.

Mera Peak was more difficult to climb then Dhmapus. This was definitely my Everest. It is always a pleasure to trek here in Nepal because of the wilderness and not to mention experienced and well fielded guides. The food and lodging throughout the trip, as usual, was excellent. Thanks I have lost 4-5 kilos of my weight during this expedition. Compared to 2003, the situation in Nepal has changed for good. The political situation is stable and calm now and there is nothing to worry about. I feel glad over the fact that I have extended my boundaries of climbing. I feel even more satisfied to help the orphanage by climbing. I am planning to go around Manaslu next time for which I will form a team of members who have similar passion for adventure as well as social cause.

Thank you HGT for your superb management and experienced guides. Mera peak and the orphanage is really worth of climbing.

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