Trekking in Nepal, Peak Climbing, Mt Biking and Tours in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet
Shishapangma officially Xixiabangma is the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the eight-thousanders.
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Shishapangma officially Xixiabangma is the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the eight-thousanders. It was the last 8,000 meter peak to be climbed, due to its location entirely within Tibet and the restrictions on outside visitation to the region imposed by the Chinese during the 1950s and later. The mountain has two summits, the commonly climbed Central summit that the Chinese say is 8013m (7999m on old maps) which we have reached four times. Naturally, we will be aiming to climb to the higher true summit, 8027m (26,335ft), let’s see if we can get there!
Before the Chinese opened Tibet to western mountaineers in 1978, little was known about Shishapangma. The only 8,000m peak to lie entirely in Tibet, it lies tantalizingly close to the Nepalese border, shrouded behind the great, but less high, border peaks of Langtang. Enterprising individuals sought mere glimpses of it during the period that other 8,000m peaks were receiving their first ascents! It is perhaps not surprising that it was the last of the 8,000m peaks to be climbed. Not that its ascent by the North-West Ridge presents any great difficulty. On the contrary, it is now regarded as one of the most straightforward 8,000m climbs and its summit is frequently achieved.
Regarded as a ‘holy’ mountain by the local Tibetan population, and lying on the route to Mt. Kailash, Shishapangma continues to baffle us. Historians cannot fathom her names – Shishapangma, Xixabangma, Gosainthan. Yet, the mountain is perhaps the most accessible of her genre, rising only a few miles west of the Kathmandu-Lhasa Highway. It was 16 years before the mountain received its second ascent, by a West German team in 1980, and it has been climbed every year since.
Arrive at Kathmandu airport (1345meters). Overnight at hotel.
Pre-trip Meeting and Sightseeing around Kathmandu valley. Overnight at hotel.
Official formalities and Preparation day in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
Final Preparation day in Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
Fly to Lhasa (3,600meters) from Kathmandu. Overnight at hotel.
Sightseeing in Lhasa. Overnight at hotel.
Drive to Shigatse (3900 meters), 6 hours. Overnight at hotel.
Drive to Xegar (4000 meters), 6 hours. Overnight at hotel.
Acclimatization Day. Overnight at hotel.
Drive to Shishapangma base camp (5000 meters). Overnight at tented camp.
Base camp preparation. Overnight at tented camp.
Move to Advanced Base Camp (5600 meters). Overnight at tented camp.
Climb period of Shishapangm. Overnight at Tented Camp.
Cleaning the mountain. Overnight at Tented Camp.
Packing Advance base camp. Overnight at Tented Camp.
Trek Base Camp and drive Zhangmu. Overnight at guesthouse.
Drive back to Kathmandu. Its time for Celeberation. Overnight at hotel.
At leisure in Kathmandu. In the evening, we have our farewell celebration and expedition dinner. Overnight at Hotel.
Fly from Kathmandu for your final departure.
Airport / Hotel / Airport pick up & drop by Tourist Vehicle.
Standard twin sharing accommodation in three star hotel in Kathmandu; Breakfast included. (6 nights).
Two star hotel accommodation in Lhasa and Gyantse with basic guesthouse accommodation in Shegar and Zangmu including Breakfast.
Guided city tour in Kathmandu by Tourist Vehicle.
Full board meal during camping at base camp, prepared by our cook with hot Tea & coffee.
All base camp and Advance base camp camping gears (We will provide fully water proof dining tents, kitchen gears, dining table, chairs, toilet tents, shower tent at the base camp)
High quality tents for all camps.
Insurance for all Nepali staffs and porters including helicopter rescue provision.
Boiled and purify drinking water for the trek and at base camp.
Liaison officer and his round trip flight, insurance, wages, expedition equipments etc.
High altitude climbing food, fuel, Gas above base camp (you are also advised to bring some high altitude food yourselves).
Guide, cook, porters, helpers up to base camp.
Climbing Sherpas (1 member = 1 Sherpa Ratio on climbing day).
A well stocked first aid and medical kit sufficient to counter any possible mountaineering ailments, from headache to serious injury.
Extra Oxygen equipment for medical use and summit (from 7,000m) only.
A portable hyperbaric chamber (Gamow bag).
Emergency communications on the mountain and satellite communications link for helicopter evacuation.
Sightseeing/Monument entrance fee for entire trip.
Welcome and farewell dinner for members in Kathmandu.
Power supply at Base Camp for charging electronics (solar backup).
Flight cost from Kathmandu – Lhasa including airport departure tax.
Chinese visa and permit. (We handle all the paperwork for the Chinese visa and all the Tibet travel and climbing permits).
All our government taxes and vat.
Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu and while staying in hotel/guesthouse in Tibet.
Personal trekking and climbing Equipment
Tips for trekking staff and driver (Tipping is expected)
Recommended tipping and sherpa bonuses are as follow:
Allow $80-150 for general non-sherpa crew who stay at base camp.
Allow $150-250 for sherpas who go up to the base camp.
Summit climbing Sherpa US$ 400 – 600 per Sherpa.
Our airport representative will be receiving you at Tribhuvan International airport, Kathmandu and s/he will be displaying an Ace the Himalaya signboard outside the airport terminal. You will be then transffered to your respective hotel in our private tourist vehicle.
In the morning, after breakfast, At around 8am, we host a pre-trip meeting at your hotel in Kathmandu and introduce your trek leader/guide. Please seek this opportunity to ask questions about your trek. We will also supply you with our trek Duffel Bag, T-shirt and a Cap. For the meeting, please make sure you bring passport, three copies of passport-size photos, and a readable copy of your travel insurance policy. During this meeting, please clear the due balance, if any, and sign the legally binding trip form as well as the non-liability disclaimer. Please inform us in advance if you will be arriving late and therefore are unable to attend the pre-trip meeting.
After the Pre-Trip meeting and breakfast, your sightseeing trip will start at 9.45 AM in the morning. We provide a private vehicle and professional tour guide. We visit Boudhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. After Boudhnath Stupa we visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. We also visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square, which is a collection of pagoda and shikhara – style temples grouped around a fifty-five-window palace of brick and wood. The attraction of the Bhaktapur Durbar Square are the the Lion gate, the Golden gate, the Palace of fifty five windows, art galleries, the Statue of King Bhupatindra Malla.
The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further exploration and some last-minute shopping in Thamel area near by your hotel.
Formal briefing at the Ministry of Tourism. The expedition leader will check that everyone’s equipment is in working order.
Final opportunity for last-minute purchases.
Early morning transfer to the Kathmandu International Airport for the hour-long flight to Lhasa. This stunning flight takes us directly across the main Himalayan range, providing magnificent mountain views. After landing at Gonggar Airport and meeting our Tibetan guide, Lhasa is a further two hour drive. The remainder of the day will be left unscheduled for participants to rest and adjust to Lhasa’s higher altitude.
We spend today visiting several of Lhasa’s many monasteries in the company of a guide and interpreter. One of these is the Sera Monastery, one of the best-preserved monasteries in Tibet. Several hundred monks live and study within its whitewashed walls and golden roofs. After lunch we’ll visit the Norbulingka, the summer palace of the Dalai Lama, as well as the Jokhang Temple. This temple is possibly the most sacred shrine in Tibet and there is always a procession of devout Tibetans making their way through the complex. Surrounding the Jokhang is the Barkor, a maze of narrow cobbled streets that is the central market of Lhasa.
In the morning, we visit spectacular Potala Palace, which dominates the city of Lhasa. The building served as the seat of the Dalai Lama from the 17th century until 1959, and contains numerous grand state rooms and many important chapels. After lunch we visit the Drepung Monastery, founded in the 14th century and once the largest in the world, with a population of around 10,000 monks. These days that figure is down to several hundred, but there is still much at the monastery of interest, especially because it was left relatively unscathed during the Cultural Revolution.
We set off in jeeps for the six hour drive across the Tibetan plateau. Soon after leaving Lhasa, we reach the banks of the Tsang Po, which becomes the Brahmaputra River when it enters India. We drive upstream for a while before turning southwest through barren desert-like valleys to reach Shigatse (3900m), Tibet’s second largest city.
Today continues with another six hour drive, along the Tibetan highway. As we drive the northern edge of the Greater Himalaya comes into view, providing a spectacular panorama of peaks, including Everest. We overnight in a hotel 7km outside the main town of Xegar (4000m). If there is time, we may be able to visit the main town and its hilltop monastery.
This is an important day, allowing us to cope with the great height increase to Chinese base camp tomorrow. General advice is to take it easy, but a visit the main town and a gentle hike up to its hilltop monastery (4200m) are highly recommended.
Magnificent views of Shishapangma and many other mountains make today’s road journey an unforgettable one. After crossing the Thang La (5200m), we turn off the Lhasa highway and head west along the road to Mount Kailash for a further 25 km. Turning south onto an even smaller track, we eventually arrive at the base camp (5000m). This is situated close to the Yambughangala River, which drains on the north side of Mt. Shishapangma.
The first few days at the base camp are spent preparing our equipment and organizing loads for the yaks to carry up the mountain. These are also important days for our acclimatization, as we will all feel the effects of living at 5,000m and will need to be in good shape for the long route to the base camp.
After loading up the yaks with all the equipment, we set off with them on the 20km (12 mile) trek to the advance base camp. Initially we follow a jeep track to a plateau above the river, and then the west bank of the valley to ABC (advance base camp) near the snout of the Yambughangala Glacier (5600m). This is in an impressive location, with the giant white pinnacles of the glacier leading up the valley to Shishapangma. Here we unload the yaks and set up camp, which will serve as the take-off point for the climb. From here the Sherpas will do most of the load carrying.
From this point on, it’s not really possible to detail a climbing plan, because the pace will depend upon the leader and the particular team.
Above the advance base camp we will place two or three camps, depending on conditions. The climb starts with a long trek leading to a large camping area at 6400m. From here we traverse further, gaining the shoulder of the mountain and arriving at Camp 2 (7100m). All of the climbing is on scree or snow and presents little difficulty. The northwest ridge is easily accessible from Camp 2, although it may involve snow and ice climbing at a steepness of fifty degrees. Fixed ropes are placed on all steep/crevassed sections. If a high camp is required, it is placed according to the prevailing conditions. The summit ridge is very long and usually reached by tracing a rising diagonal route across the snow slope below to reach the ridge, as close to the summit as possible. The west summit (8008m) of Shishapangma is quicker to reach than the main summit and is the usual point reached by ‘summiteers.’ Plenty of time is allowed in the event of bad weather and slow acclimatization. We intend to have enough time at the end of the expedition to make a complete withdrawal from the mountain, removing all equipment and waste and taking it back to ABC.
The expedition leader, in discussion with the team members and Sherpas, manages the day to day running of the expedition. The Sherpas carry the majority of the equipment to establish the camps, leaving us to familiarize ourselves with the mountain and grow better acclimatized, a long process. There are several different methods to prepare for the summit bid, and the will be discussed in detail on the mountain.
The basic plan is to spend three to four days at ABC, then take a six to seven day trip up on the mountain, sleeping as high as Camp 2 (7100m). Logistically, it takes some sound preparation and organization to ensure all the camps are set up with the appropriate supplies. Then we need a window of good weather for the summit attempt, often a waiting game.
Summit route options
Summit day means a very early start. The best route to the true summit is crossing the face, but we judge at the time whether this is safe.
The route goes first to the central summit, which we must fix with ropes. From there to the true summit is a knife-edged ridge that is rarely in good condition for traversing, although it is only truly challenging for less than a rope length.
The other possibility is a new route: from Camp 3 we descend a little onto a broad plateau and will probably have to put up a camp there. The slopes from there on are moderate, although there are a few crevasses.
Safety and conduct of the climb
Mt. Shishapangma has by now been climbed by many, and the mountain and its potential dangers deserve respect from all those attempting it. Reaching the summit late in the day would be a serious mistake, and the guides will ensure that appropriate timing is adhered to. The aim of the expedition will be to ensure that as many team members as possible reach the summit. However, this will not be to the detriment of safety. Safety will govern all decision-making on the mountain and will be based on the sound mountaineering judgment of the highly experienced mountain guides. To support the guides on the mountain, Ace the Himalaya will plan the expedition as thoroughly and carefully as possible using experience and knowledge of the mountain to maximum benefit. Ultimately, the leader will have sole discretion on the implementation of any plan to climb the mountain, and he will ensure that safety remains the prime consideration.
The high mountains of the Himalayas, Shishapangma in particular, are there for us to climb and enjoy. The priority will be to enable all team members to fulfill their potential on the mountain, returning home safely and with a life-enhancing experience. Whether or not expedition members reach the top, the expedition should be an enjoyable and rewarding achievement that will form the basis of many long cherished memories and friendships.
(High Quality Camping Tents will be provided in each camp)
It takes several days to clear all the camps, and remove all waste from the mountain.
More packing! Occasionally we can arrange for the climbers to leave ahead of the expedition leader and Sherpas. We judge at the time, as conditions allow.
We trek to the base camp, in the afternoon catching a ride to Zhangmu.
We should arrive in Kathmandu late afternoon or evening ready to enjoy the good restaurants.
Time for relaxation and shopping. Once back in Kathmandu, Ace the Himalaya will host an evening barbecue as a chance to celebrate the expedition, say farewell, and thank the Sherpas and team members for their support and friendship throughout the trip.
An Ace airport representative will escort you to Kathmandu International Airport for your flight departure from Nepal.
You will need clothing for dining in Kathmandu, trekking in the humidity and heat, and to protect you from the cooler temperatures in the mountains. This list is designed to help you choose the right gear for the demands of this trek and are the minimum required for this trip.
You are expected to provide the following personal equipment. These items are mandatory for survival in the mountains, so make sure you have everything on the list.
The emphasis on equipment necessary for mountain travel follows two simple tenets: Lightweight and Functional. Since you will be carrying all of your gear and a portion of the group gear, the items you choose to take should be lightweight, dependable, and adaptable to a variety of extreme conditions. The quality of the equipment you choose has a lot to do with how warm, dry, and safe you will remain so be critical of quality and the proper fit of clothing. Comfort lends itself to a more enjoyable experience!
The layering system outlined is usually sufficient for most people, but if you tend to be colder, bring one extra medium layer such as a vest, which would be ideal for extra warmth around camp. When making the final decision as to what goes into your pack, remember that it’s a fine science of taking just enough clothes and accessories to do the job, while not over-burdening yourself with items you probably will not use.
Cotton clothing must be avoided because it dries very slowly and is a poor insulator when wet. Instead, choose wool or synthetic fabrics that “wick” the sweat and moisture away from your skin to keep you much warmer.
We will supply complimentary water and wind proof duffel bag which you can use on the trek and is carried by porter/s. The duffel bag is yours to keep after the trek. You can leave your bag with your non-trek items at the hotel in Kathmandu and collect them after the trek.
All the equipments like Base camp tents, kitchen accessories and all the group climbing equipments ( climbing rope, ice screw, snow bar, ice hammer) is provided by the company.
The Following equipments are essential for climbing.
You will require two systems: one glove system for lower on the mountain and a mitten overmitt system for the cold temperatures encountered on summit day.
This list is only a guide. While you are required to bring everything on this list, there are numerous options, brands, and versions of each piece of equipment. Use your experience and the listed features to find the best gear for you. Some of the above equipments can be easily found in stores in Kathmandu for cheaper prices.
Please Note: Tight fitting, figure-hugging clothing, such as those made with Lycra can often be offensive to locals, especially to women. If you find these items comfortable as a base layer, please pack something to wear on top of them.
We provide licensed trekking guides with fluent English. Our guides are certified by the Hotel Management and Tourism Center after receiving 45 days of training. Similarly, the guides receive high-altitude training from Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP).
Depending on the group size we use both porter or Yaks to carry your luggage. All you need to carry is your small day bag for your personal belongings like camera, water bottle, sun cream etc only.
Holiday should never be about making it to the final point quickly. Along your trip we can add days at your request with additional costs to cover guides, porters, accommodation and food.
Yes. Please contact us for the price. However we strongly suggest bringing the good quality equipment yourself. It is hard to find good quality brand new climbing equipment in Nepal.
We have experienced local Sherpa guides, who have scaled the mountains of over 7,000 and 8,000 meters including Shishapangma multiple times.
We suggest you have a dental checkup before your trip and know your blood type. It is helpful if you inform us of any medical condition that is relevant so we may convey this information in the event of an emergency. Ace the Himalaya keeps your medical condition confidential unless treatment is necessary.
Ace the Himalaya is one of the prime supporters of the social organization Sambhav Nepal. There are several on-going projects in a village called Arupokhari (Gorkha district) which you are more than welcome to visit or even volunteer at. You will be able to gain a different insight into the lives of the people in the hills and also make a difference!
Click here to learn more about our volunteer programs
We cater to all group sizes, while maintaining the field staff ratio to give you the best quality and experience.
Notice should be provided 20 days before the trip start date in case of cancellation. The trip can be canceled for justifiable reasons. Once the trip is canceled, a fee of 30% of the trip cost is retained for administrative costs.
However, the trip amount is entirely non-refundable if the cancellation is not made before the 20 days as per our terms and conditions. For submitting a claim to your insurance company after the cancellation, we can assist with documentation such as a receipt of monies paid. Refund will not be provided for unused accommodation in case of trip cancellation caused by personal reasons/sickness/weather.
More information about our cancellation policy can be found here in Terms and Conditions page.
Yes, you can extend your holiday. Ace the Himalaya offers many options and alternatives for your holiday extension. For more information, you can visit our Day trips pages.
Our company insures all our trekking staff members, including guides, cooks, Sherpa, and porters. Please browse through our legal docment page to view insurance details.
Yes, you need to book your own international flights. We are a local agent and it would cost you significantly higher to book through us. Please find more information in the International Flight page.
As long as possible, we request you to arrive in Kathmandu on the assigned date, to assure your baggage makes it on time, and you have time to recover from jet lag before trekking. It is hard to catch the group if you are arriving late and still waiting for lost baggage! We can arrange extra nights in the hotel. Many people depart from our Nepal expeditions later, to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kathmandu, but do keep in mind that this is long expedition and we find that people want to head home as quickly as possible after the climb finishes.
Yes, you can obtain a Nepal visa upon your arrival at the airport. There are kiosks in the arrival hall that you use to complete the necessary forms. The cost is USD 30 for a 15-day tourist visa, including numerous entries, or USD 50 and USD 125 for a 30-day or 90-day tourist visa including numerous entries respectively. You should carry cash (USD) with you to pay your visa fees quickly and easily, as digital payments are frequently unavailable.
After meeting all your team and crew in Kathmandu we fly directly to Lhasa. After exploring Lhasa and Potala Palace with lots of sights and monasteries, we drive to base camp and after some rest and preparation we begin the ascent. Base camp will be a collection of sleeping tents, as well as a large kitchen and dining tent. We utilize the services of specially trained Sherpa cooks and we import a lot of high quality food to supplement the local produce available. The guides and Sherpas will fix rope on the route and stock the camps with provisions and equipment. By utilizing fixed rope we can climb in average weather, and, if necessary descend to base camp with little problem in case of a major storm. Two or three climbing Sherpas will assist with the load carrying but no more will be engaged in order to avoid clogging the route and spoiling the nature of the climb. When the fixed line is in place, and the two camps are established and stocked, we will climb back up the ropes and make a bid for the summit. Sufficient supplies will be available to support all members. Guides and Sherpas will carry all group gear but members are expected to carry their own personal gear. Radios will be used to co-ordinate the movements on the mountain and provide a safety back-up for the lead team.
As we all know that when you make a decision to climb any 8,000m peak, it is one of the most financially challenging trips to come on. Our prices compared to other outfitters that provide the same product, services, if not a lesser product are actually less! We invite you to shop around and compare, both in price and quality. We feel strongly that you will find us to be the best in the business.
One of the main things that set us apart is our attention to detail. Nowhere else you will find a team of people more dedicated to your success! From the time you contact the office to the time you step on the mountain, our customer service is the best. Another most important reason to choose is our community service.
Our trip prices are much more reasonable compare to many global based companies; it is not because we are economical in service in which we operate. We are local operator therefore we DO NOT re-sell or use second party or agency. Many international companies will take anything from one third to three quarters of the profits this is how your trip price makes huge unusual.
Sure! This is one of the best parts points to start the expedition. Having family and friends trek to base camp to see you off on your journey. Base camp for non-climbers is not a very hospitable place, but we strive to make your guests comfortable and welcome. Guests for the duration of the expedition are allowed on a case by case basis. The reason for this is simple. On the trip, our job is to be climbing; spending time just at base camp can be quite boring sometimes, so we usually encourage guests to trek in at the beginning or end of the expedition, to join you during the most exciting parts of the trip! Contact us for details.
You must have a solid experience of climbing skills. It is suitable for experienced, self-sufficient mountaineers. Climbers who have already climbed the peaks like Mera Peak; Island, Huascaran, Illimani, Denali, Muztag Ata, Spantik or similar, could well consider Shishapangma. Climbers must be in excellent physical condition. Climbing an 8,000m peak is a tough test of endurance; both physical and psychological. Only having such condition, one has maximum chance of kissing on the top.
Of course! Most people on the climbing, members end up bringing “the kitchen sink”!
Taking as your Shishapangma climbing may be a once in a lifetime experience, we wanted to make sure you have every possible advantage. Some clients enjoy the added privacy and schedule flexibility that a private expedition allows. A private means you will have your own guides, your share of the Sherpa carry staff, a private dining tent, and optional private communication facilities. This allows you to climb at your own pace, and enjoy the mountain on your own terms. The costs vary depending on how many clients there are in your private group. Please contact the office for details.
You should be in the best shape of your life! This is our long climb of the year. It requires patience, stamina, mental fortitude, and a strong will. Summit day can sometimes be over 15 hours long! Day by day the challenges are different, but the more prepared you are, both mentally and physically, the smoother your trip will go.
Maximum 10 members can be included on our Ace Shishapangma Expedition. This is to ensure that we can maintain safety and our attention on detail. There may be more in base camp and in the camps on the mountain if there are private expeditions, but they will generally travel separately from the main team.
Yes, we encourage that. Perhaps there may be someone in your area that can become a training partner, perhaps they can help you source some hard to find gear. The bottom line is that it’s a good idea to have some contact with folks that you will share this experience with.
It will depend on the day. On a “carry” day, where you are moving your personal gear between camps, your pack can be 20-40lbs, equal to 9-18kg , sometimes higher if you choose to carry more of your equipment. On “move” days, the weight goes down significantly, to 10-15lbs., 5-7kg.
Travelling in Tibet is one of the best experiences in life, the travelers are required to know that Tibet is located in a very high altitude. It is natural that most of the travelers have the more expectations while travelling any part of the world in terms of hotels, accommodations and the services as a whole. But what we have to consider that world is not perfect and no one is perfect. Since, Tibet is located in very high altitude, the hotels, accommodations and other services can’t be expected deluxe similar to Kathmandu all the moment. We normally provide two star (as per Tibetan stander) hotel accommodation in Lhasa but the accommodation outside of Lhasa can be very basic and some time even dormitory style. All the accommodations are pre-booked before starting the trip. While in the tour, if you want to change the hotels, the additional cost should paid by you to our guide directly. You will have your own tent in base camp, but on the mountain and while one the 4WD tour in Tibet, you will be sharing a room with others. We generally book you in to a single room in the hotel in Kathmandu. A single supplement is available. Please contact us for further details.
All these will depend on what camp we are in. In the base camp, we import tons of food from Kathmandu. So don’t be surprised by our sushi nights, fresh muffins, yoghurt for breakfast, and pizza! On the mountain, we usually have a wide variety of meals; these are significantly tastier than freeze dried, as they are real food and ready to heat and eat! At our advanced base camp, we have Sherpa cook staff, who prepare more ‘base camp like’ food. Pizza, pasta, eggs and bacon! We work hard to make sure our food is second to none.
We will arrange hotel and guesthouse accommodation including breakfast below base camp, however lunch and dinner in the hotel and guesthouse is not covered by our package price, you will be spending roughly US$ 14 to USU 18 per day for the lunch and dinner. From base camp and above until you return to base all the foods are provided.
It depends on the day and your level of acclimatization. At the beginning of the trip, everything seems slower and longer, but as you get more adjusted to the mountain, the days go quicker. Average days can be 5-12 hours long. Summit day can be up to 15 hours long.
Experience has shown how important it is on mountain to be able to talk to every team member, at all times. If you join Ace the Himalaya, you will have a dedicated radio. Each Sherpa will also have his own radio, so that at all times we can keep in touch with everyone, and everyone can keep in touch with each other.
Base Camp is equipped with a lap top and high speed satellite connection. The satellite communications are also used to send back regular reports, every couple of days, to Ace the Himalaya office. Expedition updates are then posted on the web and/or are sent to family and friends via email.
We use standard rooms from three/four star hotels in Kathmandu with breakfast included. Hotel Vaishali, Samasara Resort are the examples of the hotel that we use in Kathmandu.
There will be an Ace the Himalaya representative at the airport to meet you, and the first of many team briefing occurs in the evening of day 1 and 2 in Kathmandu with our local Sherpa guides.
Laundry service is difficult to find, except in cities. For other trips, laundry is done by self at the taps.
In major places, we arrange guesthouse with hot shower. And in rest of the places, hotel water in bucket will be provided for shower. We will also have the shower tent at the base camp.
Since this is our biggest and longest trip, we usually suggest our climbing members to bring USD$1500 -$2000. This will cover everything from gifts, to bottled drinks, tips, and anything else that catches your eye on the trail. ATM cash machines work in Kathmandu, but only pay the local currency, Rupees.
This is a difficult thing to gauge. We have seen everything from 20USD to 15,000USD for an Everest expedition tip. Tipping is not must, but a small way to show your guides thanks for their help. The level of the tip should reflect the level of personal involvement with your guide. Recommended tipping and Sherpa bonuses are as follow:
Besides Chinese Yuan, only US dollars can be accepted in Tibet. Also shops that accept American currency are very limited and you might not be able to get a good deal for an exchange rate. Credit cards can only be used at some hotels. The Bank of China also accepts credit cards. ATM is not widely available. Exchanging your money to Chinese currency will be the best option for you, which can be done at the Bank of China (exchange rate between USD & RMB is 1:7.5 at the time of writing this text). While changing money at the local money exchange centers, please make sure that you are accompanied by your guide and do consult him as you may easily be duped with counterfeit notes.
Tibet is becoming more expensive every year. There are many shops in Lhasa, Shigatse and Gyantse that sell traditional Tibetan handicrafts. We recommend you to bring extra money to spend on souvenirs.
These full and frank reviews are from travelers who have traveled with Ace the Himalaya previously. The reviews and experiences shown here are from reputable travel websites like TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, and Trust Pilot, etc.