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Seeking Cultural Insight

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Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby erixsparhawk » Wed Mar 23, 2011 6:38 pm

My climbing partner and I have booked our tickets to Kenya and are now arranging for a trek up Mt. Kenya.

Through a recommendation of a Sumitpost member I have received a quote from the company he used. I think that the price is perfectly fair and reasonable. However, my climbing partner thinks that it is outrageous, despite being the cheapest of any of the companies we asked. I would like to change his point of view, but I don't know how to go about explaining it to him. Here are his arguments:

1.) There is price collusion. Most quotes were $1,500 for 8 day technical trek.
2.) Average income is $400 per year / therefore paying over 3 years of income for 8 days.
3.) There are no park fees for mt. Kenya

I feel that he is just not looking at the situation in the right light.
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby rpc » Wed Mar 23, 2011 8:52 pm

supply & demand: don't like it, don't go. wanna go? then stfu & pay up. where's the problem?
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby radson » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:05 pm

I am curious as to what is a technical trek??

But anyways, the walk up to Pt lenana and down by the Chongira? route is on the of the best hikes I have ever done. Absolutely loved it. No-one there and outstanding views.
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:14 pm

If land transportation, porters, meals, etc. are included, that seems like a pretty good deal. Mt. Kenya is no pushover, I believe it requires multiple pitches of technical rock at relatively high altitude which requires skilled guides.
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby ExcitableBoy » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:24 pm

ExcitableBoy wrote:If land transportation, porters, meals, etc. are included, that seems like a pretty good deal. Mt. Kenya is no pushover, I believe it requires multiple pitches of technical rock at relatively high altitude which requires skilled guides if you are attempting the true summit.
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby robertjoy » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:44 pm

USA average income is $200 per day. Eight days: $1,600.
Kenya average income $20 per day. Eight days: $160

Your friend is outraged that these third world entrepreneurs are not permitting him to take advantage of the "poverty" differential? Don't be so dumb as to use US standards for "perfectly fair and reasonable". You and your friend should make arrangements when you get there, as the truly hungry do not advertise on the internet. It would probably not be hard to find some kid off the street willing to haul you gear and cook for you just for the chance to eat well for a week; think the Chinese kid, Short Round, in Temple of Doom. If your friend was willing to paying $40 per day he could probably hire a college graduate that speaks English like Prince William! Taxi drivers are usually a good source to link you up with attractively priced "service providers" of all kinds, or a good hotel for $10 a night.
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby lcarreau » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:31 pm

robertjoy wrote:... It would probably not be hard to find some kid off the street willing to haul you gear and cook for you just for the chance to eat well for a week; think the Chinese kid, Short Round, in Temple of Doom.


Image
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby Marmaduke » Wed Mar 23, 2011 10:52 pm

It pisses me off while in Mexico, it costs $6 for a Corona and the guy that serves it is making $6 for the whole day.
Last edited by Marmaduke on Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby erixsparhawk » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:30 pm

Very funny Mr. Jones, very funny.

By technical trek I mean to say rock climbing the north face standard route of Batian.
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby fatdad » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:18 pm

Your friend sounds like an ugly American.

A few points. If you're friend is outraged by the prices then he should go through the time and effort to arrange it himself. Caveat emptor.

Tourism is one of the few ways that locals can earn a living wage. Saying that because the rest of the country is mired in poverty, the guides (in who you're putting a lot of trust and confidence) should fare equally poorly is, to me, offensive. Plus, do you really think your guide is going to keep the entire fee? They will likely receive a small portion of it, and will have to rely on tips for a decent wage.

The fact that all the outfitters charge roughly the same amount doesn't mean it's collusion. It's equally likely that they arrived at those prices but undercutting each other to something just above their break even price. These are a bunch of outfitters, not OPEC.

I think when your friend goes, sees how the rest of the world lives, forms a relationship with your guide, he'll have a very different perspective on the price issue. If he's unwilling to budge, he can stay come and coddle his money. You can go have yourself a nice adventure that you'll remember for the rest of your life.
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erixsparhawk, surgent

Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby surgent » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:09 pm

Collusion generally results in higher costs. $1,500 for guide(s) for 8 days on Mt. Kenya sounds very reasonable to me.

I think your friend has shown his true colors. If he's going to get wound up on this, no telling how he'll act when actually there, and the coffee isn't as tasty as at home.

I had a "friend" once who bit my head off for bypassing one gas station for another, where the price was about 2 cents higher per gallon. Never hiked with him again.

Leave him home. Take me. I think the price is fair.
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby lcarreau » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:38 pm

Look, it all DEPENDS on WHAT you want to spend your money on. If you've been saving for a long time, seems like you'd want to get more bang for your buck.

The reality is, you shouldn't be forced to leave the county because it's a "cool" thing to do. If you want to go by yourself, then by all means do it.

It's always more of a learning experience than anything else, AND there's always the opportunity to meet new people and perhaps switch or change partners.



:wink:
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Re: Seeking Cultural Insight

Postby erixsparhawk » Fri Mar 25, 2011 3:26 am

fatdad,
Thanks for the eloquent wording. It really puts into words what I was feeling about the situation.
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