I'm off to Nepal on October 11, stopping in Dubai for a weekend before hitting Kathmandu on the 14th with the intention of starting the Everest trek on October 16th, which allows us two days to get fully organised in Kathmandu.
I'm travelling with three female friends who are all doing the trek. I expect it to take 14 days and my intention is to approach Everest Base Camp via the sacred lakes of Goyko and over the Cho La pass. I've been to Everest before in 2009 so am familiar with the area and largely know the way all the way to Gorak Shep and Kala Paatar. We will not have need for a guide but we may hire one to traverse the Cho La pass as there are several valleys to get lost in. Guides are available in the lodge at the foot of the pass for the day and between a few people they are only about $5 per person.
After the main trek my three friends are heading home but I intend to stay on and wish to attempt a summit of either Mera Peak or Island Peak. For this I need a partner, climbing guide, porters and permit so I'm on the lookout for someone who has similar plans and would be keen to come along and also to share costs. The permit alone is $400 and can take up to four people.
Mera Peak itself is classified as a treking peak and is known as a good introduction to high altitude mountaineering. It is 6,400m above sea level. My preference is for Mera over Island as it is a decent bit higher, I've been to 5,500m on my previous trip so now I'm keen to get to the 6,400m of Mera rather than the 6,100however I am flexible on which peak to go for.
As for dates well mine are locked in- arriving Kathmandu Oct 14 and plan to be in Lukla starting the Everest Base Camp trail on Oct 16th. That should put us starting an attempt on Island Peak or Mera Peak around about the 30th of October. I have not yet booked a KTM-Lukla flight but I intend to do so in the next week or so.
Regards costs well I plan on keeping them as low as possible. I am doing the EBC trail independently and for the Island/Mera Peak expedition I plan to have a climbing guide meet us in Lukla or elsewhere along the trail. I do not yet know their costs but it will be much cheaper than taking a tour from any of the trekking agencies. We will need a couple of porters along with the guide (they'll be recruited locally by the guide so no need to pay their flight costs from Kathmandu) and we'll also need a climbing permit ($400) as well as hire of cooking equipment and tents. For the Island or Mera Peak part I'd hope to keep overall costs to less than $600 per person, I won't know the exact figure for certain but take that as an approximation, either way it is much cheaper than the $1500+ it costs to go with an agency
Time wise well I feel all going well we can complete the EBC in 14 days. From there I am allowing another 8/9 days to summit Mera or Island Peak and get back to Lukla. I would like people to know that they need to be flexible as far ass getting back to Kathmandu goes, there may be a delay of a day or two if weather doesn't go our way.
As regards a treking partner I am flexible if someone wants to fly into Lukla and only do the climb of Mera/Island then that is fine- you won't be as well acclimatised as me but I will be flexible and wait for your acclimatisation to happen before progressing to higher altitudes. If this shorter trip suits then you would need to meet me the climbing guide in Lukla (or fly with him from Kathmandu) on a specific date somewhere around October 29/30th. Afterwards you'd be fully aclimitised to complete the Everest base Camp trek if you so wished.
Any questions just shout out, it is only 10 weeks away so time is of the essence !