Our news & trip reports
Read on for the latest news from the TRT team, and trip reports posted by our leaders and clients.
Extracts of a Leader’s Diary…….Everest Base Camp
I met the members at Kathmandu International Airport, arriving late in the afternoon. A group of friends and friends of friends from different parts of Europe and Canada. They had converged in London and taken the flight together, the start of their re-union and journey to the foot of Everest. The Kunti Bar in The Shanker Hotel was ablaze with excitement, friends meeting each other after long absences and anticipation of their once in a lifetime adventure together trekking to the highest mountain in the world.
There’s no other flight like the one to Lukla. Flying over the hills you gaze down on terrace slopes and trails that snake through the villages and over the mountains. Small isolated villages only connected by these trails makes you wonder in awe of life for the people who inhabit these remote recesses. You also get a fantastic view of the Himalayas from the minute you take off to landing on this awesome airstrip in the lap of Everest, or Sagar Matha: Mother Goddess of the Snows, as she is know locally. The weather was good and the flight on time. Our Dzoes (hybrid between Yak and cow) were waiting and the Sirdar quickly arranged for the bags to be loaded up as we started the trek. Lunch stop at Thado Koshi provided stunning views of Kunsum Kangaroo up the valley. As the dzoes passed us by, cameras were clicking away as the members recognised The Responsible Travellers bags strapped aloft teh saddles. The driver smiled at everyone and carried on.
Already on the first day, one is in awe of the landscape and scenery of Nepal. As we pass through the small sherpa settlements we get a glimpse of the rural life in Nepal, a step back in time to medieval costumes and practices. I learn talking to the members that with the exception of their trip organiser, Jamie, non of the others had trekked over 3000m before. That evening, as always on the first night in the mountains, we had a talk on altitude in order for them to understand the basics of being at altitude. What to expect, how to prevent illness and to enjoy the experience of the journey in this most beautiful but hazardous environment.
Climbing up to the view point above Namche Bazaar, the Sherpa capital, we took in one of the most celebrated views in teh world. I don’t think there is a travel brochure that does not include thiis magnificant vista. The members were all acclimastising well and we had an excellent walk visiting Sir Edmund Hillary’s Hospital and school.
I was reminded however, that a leader’s job is not a regular 9-5, but that my responsibilities extend 24 hours round the clock when there was a knock at my door in the middle of the night. One member was worried about her health and had some anxiety. We sat and I confided that what she experienced was very common and explained the physiology behind trekking at altitude. I suggested some ways to avoid any discomfort and soon she was settled in bed again. Since that night she had no problems again, and I had perfect night’s sleep!
After trekking through Tengboche, the famous Monastery where climbers go for blessings before attempting the summit, we had 3 nights at Dingboche. This allows us time to explore the chukung valley and climb the less frequented Nangershang which I personally think is an amazing viewpoint. Looking down on the confluence of Khumbu, Imja and Chukung valleys it is a 360 degree viewpoint. We pushed on to Loboche, and after a beautiful sunset it began to snow. Well, you can’t expect to come to the mountains and not have snow can you?! Actually for many it may not, but we had the white stuff still coming down at breakfast time to make the experience completely authentic! As we trekked out it was beautiful with the light covering which didn’t hamper our progress. After a quick refuelling at Gorekshep (the 1953 base camp and last permanent building) we headed out to base camp. We made very good time, even ahead of others who had started behind us and the team were coping well with the altitude. The sun smiled down on us providing glorious views today and indeed throughout our trek. Upon reaching Base Camp there were congratulations and hugs all round, the culmination of their shared experience. I was delighted to be there, a wonderful group of people who make my job so worthwhile and satisfying – 100% success to the top. Dave, with his great foresight fished out a can of beer from his pack, not just any beer but non other than the Everest label. Amidst much cheering he unclasped the top and bubbles and foam came gushing out. Whoever said you need champagne to celebrate!
Celebrating International Literacy Day……
The Responsible Travellers are celebrating International Literacy Day with a £50 donation to education charity CHANCE with every enquiry received today which results in a booking.
Working to help improve access and quality of education in the Himalayas, CHANCE is one of the charities we support. As today is a special day to remember those less fortunate who aren’t lucky enough to go to school, we wanted to show our support.
What do you have to do? Just write to us about your travel plans today and when your booking form is received we will contribute £50 towards CHANCE’s education projects to help children like these pictured on the right.
Tell us what you think of our new website!
Well, you’ve probably noticed things have changed a little round here. The new TRT website went live today in time for the start of the autumn season in Nepal next month, and we’d love to know what you think of it.
Here are some highlights:
News and Trip Reports
As of today we’ll be posting regular news items here to keep you up to date on what’s happening with our trips and the charitable projects your money goes towards supporting in Nepal. From now on we’ll be asking our leaders to post reports to the website at the end of every trip we run, to give you a better idea of what it’s like to travel with The Responsible Travellers.
Feedback and commenting
We like to think we offer a unique experience to those of you who travel with us, by providing a high quality of service to our clients, while looking after and training the many staff who help to make your trip the experience of a lifetime – from leaders, sirdars, cooks, guides and porters, to the lodge keepers and homestay families who put us up for the night – and by travelling to little-visited and unusual parts of Nepal so that other areas of the country can benefit from tourist income. But in order to keep us focused and offer continuous improvement, we need your feedback. All pages of the new website allow commenting. If you have any views on the content of the site, then we’d love to hear them, so please don’t be shy about posting your comments and starting a discussion.
And we don’t just expect you to come to our website to find out what we’re up to – we’d like to keep you updated in the places you visit more frequently. For this reason we’ve also set up new channels for The Responsible Travellers on Facebook and Twitter, and if you’ve never been to the Himalayas and want to see what it’s like, or if you’re one of the many people who visit again and again and want to remind yourself how beautiful they are, then check out the stunning photographs on our Flickr channel. And if you don’t use any of these, you can always sign up to our good old-fashioned e-newsletter or subscribe to our RSS feed.
So have a look round, post a comment and let us know what you think. And better still, when you’ve done that, why not book a trip, and we’ll give you a warm welcome in Kathmandu!
Environmental Feature: FREE Filtered Water provided on every teahouse trek
As you know, we strive to be the leading provider of Himalayan holidays with real down to earth practical ways of making our trips the most responsible available. Believing in action rather than words, we are proud to offer you FREE filtered water as part of our attempt to manage waste produced by trekkers in the mountains.
What do we use? Our guides carry MSR water filters as standard, described here by the manufacturer: “The MiniWorks microfilter is the worldwide best-selling microfilter, delivering long-lasting, field-maintainable water filtration in demanding environments. Engineered for frequent and heavy use, it utilizes our workhorse Maratho EX carbon/ceramic element to ensure clean, reliable and taste-free water.” They are acclaimed to be effective against bacteria, protozoa, particulate matter, toxins and chemicals.
What are the benefits? This avoids the consumption of mineral water and the related issues of waste disposal of the plastic bottles. Other alternatives such as boiled water also have environmental impacts as vital fuel is used to boil the water (which is often wood fuel in remote areas). Of course, you benefit financially from a significant cost saving by not needing to buy water which can be expensive when being portered to high altitude destinations along the trail. As well as this and perhaps more importantly you have piece of mind of that your trek has had minimal impact on the environment.
This is one of many reasons to book your next trek with The Responsible Travellers. You can read about all our ethical action policies at: our ethics We endeavour to be the best so please post your comments and let us know what you think about our FREE filtered water policy.