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-   -   Clean-up Expedition To Nepal Summer 2009 (http://www.koreaontherocks.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1787)

shanja 12-13-2008 02:18 PM

Clean-up Expedition To Nepal Summer 2009
OK So Kyung Ah has given it the "double thumbs up", so here's the plan. A joint KOTR-KMPL clean-up expedition to Nepal for the summer 2009 season. This should fit well with weather and holiday availabilities for a few of us too.
Shawn will be there this Feb, so he might do some ground work to get a feel on things.:becky: I am sooooooo pumped about this plan, it will be awesome. If we pick a mountain that has technical sections we can divide the teams into those that will clean the lower/ easier/ safer areas and the dudes and dudettes that'll tackle the higher/ harder/ riskier slopes. With luck, the Nepalese might even waive our permit fees for this (low as they are). C'mon fellas and ladies, who's "in"?

jsp1001 12-14-2008 08:43 AM

I'd love to spend time on the rooftop of the world. Can you say more about what is involved? How long of a project? Are we basically picking up trash on the trail? Never having been there I dunno what is needed. Would there be time for just climbing/hiking?

Maybe one item on my bucket list will get ticked off sooner than later . . .

mil-mil 12-14-2008 08:58 AM

dates? gear? sounds like an amazing idea...

shanja 12-14-2008 03:00 PM

OK I'm gonna publicly name you guys. Joe Park, Mike Miller, Brandon Sherman, Kim Kyung Ah, Shawn Morrissey, Jake Preston.
These are the people who have called and e-mailed abut it already. Sorry no details are available yet. Shawn thinks 2009 Oct-Nov is a good date, I'm more inclined to try for Jun-Aug 2009 simply because that's when I have holiday time to go:o
Gear lists and such aren't avail yet...but think hiking, camping basic rope climbing and snow climbing as a start point.
If you are serious, you need to think also about insurance (travel) and also about vaccinations. Yes I hope there will be a few days at least at the start and end to explore K'du and so on. The hike in and exped itself (should it happen) would be a pretty amazing thing also...not just gruelling work!
YOU CAN HELP! - Research the clean-up expeditions from the past and look at possibe mountains in Nepal that are feasible (6000m and under, relatively easy). Then:

We can contact trek agencies in K'du via the net (search out reputable ones) and ask them about a cost estimate for providing a K'du to BC service (transport of our gear, permits, transport of trash out etc) and base it on say 15 people.
Please let me or Shawn know if you can help/ are interested. Thanks.

shanja 12-14-2008 09:14 PM

OK just a start point then. Here are 4 possible mountain areas we could aim at. They all have a general "trekking/ climbing schedule" of 20 days or less and are easily accessed. Now as I said our primary goal is rubbish removal, and a peak as a secondary bonus for those who wanted to take the chance. Look into these yourselves and see what you think.
1-Mera Peak (high traffic area so trash aplenty I guess) Khumbu Area
2-Island Peak
3-Pisang Peak
4-Lobuje East

Hypoxic 12-15-2008 07:25 PM

I have friends in Kathmandu, and one very close friend in particular, Balkrishna. He has a huge 5-story house where I always stay when I visit. He gives me an entire floor to myself, which is great so I can come and go as I please without having to disturb his family - especailly on nights when I hit up Freak Street for some tongba and stagger back in! :D Anyway, I think he'd allow our team to stay at his places during the stay in Kathmandu. He'll likely let us stay for free. On the return side, though, I believe it only proper to get our porter support from his company, Adventures Unlimited. He's a government registered company that has highly experienced porters and guides, some of them experienced on large expeditions to hills like Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Gangapurna, etc. One of his guides is a camp cook and a dear friend of mine, Dom Tamang. I always try to help Dom and help put his daughter through school, so this kind of thing would help him out a lot. Guiding and portering is the only work he does. So, if no one objects to my personal matters regarding porters, and is keen for possible free accomodation in Kathmandu, then let's try to hook things up via Balkrishna.

mil-mil 12-15-2008 09:34 PM

sounds good to me. I don't see any down side to this at all. Free stay is more then enough reason for me to hire said friends guides/porters. Especialy if one is using the money to put his kid threw school. I see only positive in this venture.

shanja 12-16-2008 12:11 AM

Goes without saying that it gets my double thumbs up. I'm just glad to make sure our money would be going to a local operator, and one we can trust. Tongba in freak street?! Now that's a good reason also. Thanks everyone we have about 7-8 people already pretty well interested/ sure to join in.
Help out by starting your thinking now (even if you eventually don't/ can't join) about:
Vaccinations and meds (natural or whatever) you'll need.
Clothing and gear (with some extras for end of exped "donations" to villages, porters etc.
Fitness training and first aid courses - be prepared.
Sponsorship options - if you have a contact at an appropriate company etc mention it and asap we'll get a formal exped promo thing out to help sell it.
Holiday times and leave.
Costs. We think it'll run to about 2,000,000won a head, but who knows.

nomadicmind 12-16-2008 12:38 AM

Freak street! Why didn't anyone say there was a freak street? It'll be like coming home. Now I'm really there.
I don't have a bucket list, but I do have a "Things Morgan Freeman has done" list. Did he ever go to Nepal?

ricardo 12-16-2008 07:58 PM

i'm lurking on this thread.

(that's my way of saying i'm interested without being too committed)

Hypoxic 12-19-2008 12:46 AM


Originally Posted by nomadicmind
Freak street! Why didn't anyone say there was a freak street? It'll be like coming home. Now I'm really there.
I don't have a bucket list, but I do have a "Things Morgan Freeman has done" list. Did he ever go to Nepal?

He stood on the top of Chomolungma as God once...:D

I'd like to add one thing to Jake's list. For those seriously considering joining, please get educated on AMS, that is acute mountain sickness. It's a real potential problem, one that can be life threatening. I know some of us here have some extensive knowledge about it (not blowing my own horn, but I've spent a long time studying AMS and have a very good working knowledge about it). If so needed perhaps we can set up a seperate thread for health & safety/preparation issues regarding the expedition.

shanja 12-19-2008 01:18 AM

Well said. This trip, not to make it sound melodrmatic or anything, could be quite a tough little venture with some genuine health issues involved, including AMS (altitude sickness). I'll be sending out a pre-trip medical questionairre soon to anyone who expresses interest (even thread lurkers). This is not to scare or discourage anyone, but to keep things safe and help you plan as well. I'll be putting out other memos and such too with Shawn's help (and your help too! I don't want to be in charge of you and your trip!) on topics such as cultural hints and language, area back-ground, gear and equipment lists, conditioning and training, Kuhkri Rum versus Rahkshi moonshine etc etc etc. If you've been to Nepal before, or just on an exped/ mountain clean-up please put forth your suggestions too.
Even if you are less than 50% sure at this stage, consider setting aside some money each month and starting a little research and exercise.
Ladies might be interested to note the following point. Females typically sleep 2-3degrees (C) colder than men - so warmer sleeping bags/ clothes can be nice. Females and smaller males tend to suffer less from AMS than big beefy blokes as they have less muscle mass needing oxygenation. Super areobically fit men actually show biggest declines in performance at "high" altitude (it's a great leveller!:becky: ) - above 4000m. So girls you might well be the strongest people there, don't be intimidated by macho garbage boastings or warnings about trekking and the Hims.
Finally, even if it's not super hot, altitude and dry air suck the water out of you. Hydration, hydration, hydration! This is key to staving off AMS and to being strong and healthy always.

shanja 12-23-2008 10:40 PM

It may not be a necessity for every single person, but anyone seriously interested might also think about getting certified in first aid. I put a link to the Korean Red Cross where you can contact them about English courses. It's http://www.redcross.or.kr/www/eng/faq.jsp
Also if you are thinking of trying for a summit (or just high slope cleaning) try getting in some ice-climbing practice this winter (or anytime at O2 in Ui Dong North Seoul).
I'll try and set up a few dates for practicing some crevasse rescue systems (they also work as great haul systems to lift heavy loads of trash etc) and avalanche awareness. This shouldn't be a major issue, but we will all benefit from a little education here.
Another lesson/ topic might be on hygeine and waste collection/ packaging. We want to clean up the place safely and get it out safely.
I'll be getting some basic Nepali lessons too from a Nepali student here. A few words will go a long way to breaking down cultural barriers and making sure we don't come off as being "holier than thou" do gooders.

Hypoxic 12-29-2008 06:12 PM

Agreed. A few people should be certified in first aid. Like Jake said, it's great knowledge to have regardless.

I also agree that education on hygeine and waste collection/packaging may be imperative. To add to this, it's important that the expedition is thoroughly knowledgeable about the current packaging issues in Nepal. For example, plastic-bottled water is a major litter issue in the Himalaya. The plastic bottles are non-recyclable and inevitably end up as waste and litter. It would have to be a rule of the expedition to not use these water bottles (also, the water is often just tap water that goes through UV light testing) so as to minimize our own impact and not add to the problem we'll be trying to manage. Therefore, knowledge on how to prepare drinking water properly - boiling at altitude, how to use iodine, etc. - will also be necessary.

shanja 12-29-2008 06:51 PM

Just to keep this thread ticking over, I have done some more checking into things. There is a Nepali student here in Daejeon who I'm (hopefully) going to learn some basics from. The language looks to be somewhat similar to Korean in general grammar and ordering, and even a few words! Likewise anyone interested could look at getting themselves acquainted with some aspect of this exped and it's goals.
Shawn's suggestion to avoid bottled water (at least during the hike in and out stages - though in K'du itself I think we can find some brands that are using recycleable plastic, no?) is good, so we might need to make sure at least a few people have water filter pumps etc. Up higher, boiled CLEAN snow (not the dreaded yellow stuff) has never given me or anyone I know any "Delhi belly", and if you've been in Asia a whiles and been out eating street foods and such, you might have a good base layer of immunity to the milder bugs already (that was my experience when climbing in Tibet and Nepal with other foreigners who'd arrived from the states/ Europe - they got sick much more readily than those of us who'd been living in Korea).
Another issue will be creature comforts and the provision thereof. A basecamp (when we are actually at the mountain area - not trekking in-out) really needs to be comfy to maintain motivation and help keep the troops healthy (mentally and physically). It'd be great to have a solar powered generator to supply a bit of electricity to the mess tent for lights at night and maybe even a portable DVD player/ laptop (no internet though!). Sounds wantonly luxurious I know, but when you're there and working hard all day, it makes a big difference. Diesel/ Kero jennies (generators) are the norm, but heavy, dirty and noisy. Someone out there with experience in solar jennies wanna suggest something here?

I'm imagining the exped schedule will play out a bit like this:

Day 1- Arrive Kathmandu (can buy visa at the airport or ahead of time).
Day 2- Quick tour of K'du (Monkey Temple, Boudanath etc) and shopping.
Day 3-4 Sort out gear and paperwork etc, head off (by bus/ plane)
Day 5-10 Hike in to clean-up mountain area, staying o'night at tea-houses.
Day 11-14 Acclimatize and set up BC, start low altitude clean-up work.
Day 15-20 Acclimatize more and continue clean-up to higher areas.
Day 17-22 Summit party clean up highest areas and down.
Day 20-22 Break BC and send last garbage out (by Yak/ porter etc)
Day 21-26 Hike out
Day 25-27 Back to K'du etc
Day 26-30 and beyond, your free-time in Nepal. Enjoy!

The reason to get going outta K'du asap is weather (monsoon tails can be long) and also it's in the cities you have the biggest chances of getting sick and so on. Party hard and get sick when you finish!:p

We'll be at BC cleaning up for maybe 2 weeks, so make sure you have a greatly comfy camping system worked out! Two foam pads are worth the extra weight/ bulk on the way in (probably you won't be carrying it anyways), and a warm sleeping bag with liner is a must. A few books (light reading to share) and a guitar/ frisbee/ harmonica/ deck of cards etc keeps us all sane.

K'du is a great and super cheap place to pick up cheap camping/ climbing/ outdoor gear ex-expeditions from the gear stores that abound in K'du's Tamel district etc. I'd almost reccomend picking exped gear up here to save on travel weight....but not on the absolute essentials, they may not always be available in your size!

OK well that's all for now. Get wise about the trips possible demands and start figuring how you can prep in advance. It will be an abolutely unforgettable and awesomely grand adventure!

Hypoxic 12-30-2008 10:47 PM

Good stuff, Jake.

I spoke with my good buddy in Kathmandu, Balkrishna (goes by BK), this morning. The talk was mostly of my upcoming trip in February/March, but I did mention the expedition, and he's keen as of now. Now that our ideas are becoming more rounded, I'll be able to provide him with more details.

So, again, this is what I suggest:

- During our stay in Kathmandu, we crash at BK's place; he has a very large five-storey house, each floor seperately accessible from the outside stairwell; plenty of room for a small group of rugged and burly mountaineers. I believe that BK will allow us to stay gratis, or at least cheap (perhaps food costs).

- In return for BK allowing us to stay at his house, we make use of his trekking company to organize the essentials in terms of: guide (at least one may be necessary, even if only for helping with translation infield and keeping fickle porters organized - I've never made use of porters myself, but the stories of their stubborness is stuff of legend), porters, camp cook, yaks/horses, paper work, red tape, etc. I do think a gift for BK and his family (his wife and two exceptionally polite children) would be appropriate, too.

I'll keep everyone posted as I things develop on this.

Katz 01-01-2009 03:22 PM

Im interested but Im only available til Aug

skinsk 01-05-2009 07:00 AM


i'm lurking on this thread.
my thoughts exactly. . .

shanja 01-05-2009 02:57 PM

Thanks Shawn! I'll let you know more precisely what I think we need to put to him vis-a-vis detailed questions, but generally just need his opinion on feasability, area choice and a time frame (I'm hoping to keep it within 3 weeks or so).
Lurkers, thanks it's nice to know you ae out there. I'll be asking for more firm expressions of interest soon (but not a fully fledged comittment) so we can better communicate and prepare.
Kat, the exped would likely be scheduled in somewhere betixt mid-June to late Aug. I'll try and get that fixed up asap so you can get holiday times prearranged with schools/ bosses etc.
Even if this doesn't pan out precisely the way we are planning now, KA and I will be there and doing some stuff.
People seriously thinking should get vaccinations organized by April, and in training/ preparing to some extent asap.

shanja 01-07-2009 07:00 PM

For thoise interested I have an initial questionnaire I will e-mail you (if I haven't already). Please ask me to send this to you and tell me (in a pm not here) your email address. Lots of work to be done, and I wanna start delegating tasks and confirming things. Love you guys!

Hypoxic 01-10-2009 01:22 AM

I'd like to start encouraging interested people to ask any questions you may have regarding the expedition, the Himalaya, trekking, Nepal, or anything else pertaining to the whole wonderful package. Feel free to ask here or at the KMPL Facebook page where there is a discussion board for this topic. If you have any questions of a personal nature, you may ask them in PMs.

shanja 01-15-2009 06:43 PM

A good idea if you want to join in this is a CPR/ 1st aid course, and if you see the thread in the forums on CPR certs you can see we are trying to get at least 10 folks together to make it happen. Sign on if you are interested and details on cost, location, time etc will be posted soon (I hope:p ).

Also as for basic gear to take, it's all just common sense regular hiking, camping gear. Climbers note: If we hit up to clean to the summit you should not need plastic double boots, good proofed leather boots with crampon compatibility and super gaiters/ overboots would be fine. It won't be that cold. Hiking sticks with snow baskets and a hiking style ice-axe would also be great...if you lack these picking them up in K'du should be very easy and cheap. Leave your gri-gris at home, just an ATC/ tube etc for any belays. We'll need to be familiar with roped travel, snow travel, self arrests (we are a bad lot!), crevasse rescue and how to do ones toiletries whilst wearing multiple layers into a receptacle for latter removal to BC. Oh, sure sounds easy doesn't it? But there are some gruesome stories of alpine toilet accidents and embarrassments, believe you me!

Hypoxic 01-15-2009 11:07 PM

Just to add to Jake's post, if you don't have proper gear and the sort and fear the often hefty price tags that mountain products proudly boast, pretty much anything can be purchased cheaply (but at compromised quality) in Kathmandu. Most anything can be rented there, as well. Just something to consider.

And I'm hoping everyone will wait for my return before delving into the first aid course...:o

jsp1001 01-28-2009 09:51 AM

i'm seriously lurking too. I think a somewhat firm date would be nice so that we can make a decision. e.g. I have to start school mid August.

shanja 01-29-2009 04:47 PM

OK, I understand people want a firm date and details. So, I can tentatively say July 25 (sat) - Aug 22 (sat), which gives us 29 days inclusive. It's highly likely the exped would take a week or so less. Having viewed the schedules of other exped groups etc to the Chulu area of Manang Himalaya in Nepal (our best bet I think) and allowing for monsoon disruptions etc I think 22 days would be quite sufficient (say July 25-Aug 15).
Please post preferred dates here anyone who is a lurker, allowing a range of 22 days (if you can say a date with 3 days either side, all the better). As yet only a single person has bothered to fill in the requested info form, so it's hard for us organizers to know how serious people are. I realize it goes both ways, but let's try and commit to some details. Shawn will be in Nepal in a week or so and get a better idea of itinerary and costs etc.

shanja 02-15-2009 02:13 PM

So I think I've more or less been able to narrow the peak down to Chulu East (6534m) in the Manang Himalaya. There is also a nearby Chulu Far East (6081m) and a Chulu West (6441m) but Chulu East looks the more attractive peak for a few reasons, so get familiar with it if you are coming.
Although it'll be up to BK and his company exactly how we get there, I imagine it'll be K'du-Pokhara, then hike up to BC via the Marshyangdi and back va Jomsom to Pokhara and K'du. A circuitous trek, in and out via different paths should be possible.

I'm really keen that the climbing part be done safely and in good style. Chulu East (6584m) looks like it will give us a bit of scope to try an alpine/ semi-alpine ascent via a new route or variation. The "standard" route is the NE ridge, and is rated generally as an Alpine Grade (French) PD+ (Peu difficile), a new route we could expect to be stiffer...maybe AD+ (Assez difficile) or D (Difficile). You can all help by searching out photos of Chulu East and trying to pick out possible lines. Look for ice-cliffs, avo-chutes, cornices and so on.

Under training I've mentioned the desire to get a few prac days on roped travel and crevasse rescue. Let's work together to help each other be well prepared.

At BC we will all help clean up what rubbish we can find. With permission of the Sirdar/ Nepalis we can burn that which is combustible (fire is sacred to Tibetans and some Nepalis so they might be offended). Other stuff we will try and collect and sort into barrels for removal back to Pokhara (?).

As we will be at BC about a week, we will need build a toilet that captures our waste too, and we will need to pack this poo and paper out. I'm serious.

Thus we will need everyone to bring 5-7 pairs of cotton gloves (those dinky Korean white and red things perfect) and a pair of stronger work (leather) gloves). Lots of antisceptic handwash (better than soap) and so on.

I'm hoping that on the days when the climbing team takes on the mountain, the others will be able to rest or go off on a 2-3 day side trip. Bring some books, cards, camera, travel games, frisbee etc. It isn't meant to be all work and no play!

shanja 02-22-2009 10:14 PM

Good general info on the region can be viewed online at www.destinationmanang.com take a look. Really beautiful and varied scenerey even for those of us who've been in Nepal before, this area should be different again.

Hypoxic 03-29-2009 11:51 PM

I'm back and ready to help get this thing rolling. I got the map, Jake. Let's plan to hook up soon.

shanja 03-30-2009 11:14 AM

Great! Thanks a million gazillion Shawn. Would this weekend sometime work for you? I might be able to pop up Seoul-wise and see you. Brain (Brian123) from up near Inje in Gangwon-do is also really interested in getting in on this. Maybe we can coordinate something? Love to hear and see what you have to say about your recent exploits in the Hims too!

Hypoxic 03-30-2009 02:00 PM

Yep, this weekend would be fine. Maybe a hike with some good eats and drinks afterward. Let me know.

shanja 04-02-2009 03:03 PM

OK here is some mandatory viewing courtesy of Will in Daegu...very useful stuff indeed.
On a different note, looks like we now have maybe 5 folks from KOTR plus a maybe 6th person. Anyone wanting to buy a great brand new guide book to hiking and climbing in Nepal pm me (Amazon stuffed up and sent me 2 copies), bargain at 15,000won (full colour 2008 edition).
Shawn I might be up this Saturday/ Friday...not sure will call you tonight after I finish classes at 7 and talk to KA and Brandon.
Those folks interested (Brian, Erica, Brandon etc) we were thinking of a shakedown ridge route in Seoraksan April 11-12.
Not too hard, but requires a bivvy and some teamwork...just a get to know each other thing. If you can make it and sounds good answer here please or pm/ email me).

gt29905 04-06-2009 10:17 PM

Hmm........... sometimes, it's only when you realize that you can't have something that you become acutely aware of how bad you want it. :doh:

There is no way that I could get that kind of time off from my Hagwon unless I quit. I couldn't/shouldn't do that.

Hey Jake, do you think you'll be organizing something like this again, as in the next couple of years? :o

shanja 04-07-2009 09:57 AM

Hey Gabe, yeah if this goes OK I'm sure I or someone on KOTR will be doing a similar trip again in the next year or so. Usually there is also the bi-annual summer and winter exodus of KOTRers to Vietnam, Thailand, China and Japan etc which though smaller trips are also great fun. If you need to change jobs and get a uni gig with better hols let me know. With a year or so of experience, good refs and a TESOL cert it is possible to land a uni job.

jstarkweather 04-07-2009 04:17 PM

Hey Shanja...what would be the possibility of a non-KOTR member that doesn't live in SK being able to go on the trip?

shanja 04-07-2009 04:53 PM

Yes indeed, if the non-KOTR person wants to join in, either as a full climbing member or as a trekking member (still getting to 5300m!) they would be welcome to join us. Just ask them to check the details thus far and send me an e-mail or facebook message. We will try and get costs etc hammered out asap.

captainettegreen 04-08-2009 09:11 PM

Hey Jake et al.
This trek looks fantastic. I've been planning on going to Nepal since I knew I was heading to Korea...and what better way to experience a place than through acts of altruism with great people!! Is it too late to voice interest in the trip? If not, I would love some of the info./surveys/whatnot you've sent out if possible (I'm a bit nervous about my readiness for such an expedition)! Unfortunately, I cannot make it to Seoraksan this weekend :(, but I'm glad to be on this thread to get updates!
Thanks and peace!

captainettegreen 04-09-2009 09:38 AM

A friend, working for Geographic Expeditions, graciously sent me this Altitude Tutorial. Hope it helps anyone with questions.

shanja 04-09-2009 09:50 AM

Alex I pm'd you, so yeah sweet I think you'd be quite welcome to join in. We are having a mini-conference in Seoul this Sat evening/ night (details on where/ when exactly I'll post later when I know) to discuss issues and details and costs. Thanks for sharing that tutorial great to have people volunteering good info and helping each other out.

shanja 04-12-2009 01:33 PM

OK eco-climbers with a lust for high and wild places (ie "you cats"),
post the sat mini-climb and meet and feed this is what we have got settled.
Brandon Sherman (nomadicmind) is taking point on air-tix
Brian (Brian123) is taking charge of vaccinations etc beta
Jake Preston (shanja) will be the gear freak rep
Shawn Morrisey (hypoxic) will puppeteer the ecological and cultural aspects
Erica Pfeifer (ericamp), Kyung Ah (naomi), Alex (capainettegreen) and anyone else interested...you have no specific tasks as yet, but it's important that you also try and ask questions, kick-in info on any relevant topic and just keep up with things too. Our Exped is pretty democratic, no formal leadership and that works well when we all communicae well and help out. There is definitely a buzz in the ether over this trip and it will be an awesomely grand undertaking! Get excited and get prepared! Vaccinations should be dealt with now, I'll let Brian tell you what you need.
Costs:Airfares are Brandons puppy, but from the meeting we can expect a rough figure of 7-900,000won a person return. It might be good to have "open-ended tix" too. Visas can be obtained on arrival in Kathmendu airport, but nowadays they only accept foreign currency for these! Not Nepali rupees and not Korean won. So you'll need US dollars, Euros or whatever. 30 day and 90 day visas are all they offer too...no more 45 day visas:( ...if we go over our 30 days we automatically have to pay the 90 day visa fee ($100US:eek8: ). 30 Day visas are $30US...right?
Budget totals: apart from airfares we are looking at about 2,500,000won each...though you may well need less. This will cover (correct me if I'm wrong):
3 meals a day, porters, tents (2pax/tent + mess tent, cook tent, toilet tent), sirdar (head Sherpa guide), permits, park fees, tour of K'du, and so on. It should also allow you shopping money and odds and ends...but how much you spend there is really up to you.
Kathmandu is experiencing some hard times as Shawn said, with electricity being rationed to about 4 hours a day in many areas. Don't bother bringing too many gizmos. But a book or two would be nice (2nd hand book shops a plenty in K'du).

PLEASE BE CULTURALLY AWARE. Nepal is both Hindu and Buddhist. In K'du predomindantly Hindu, in the hills Buddhist. Our Sirdar and Nepali Liaison Officer & friend "BK" is a Brahmin Hindu. Cows are scared there so let's not gobbled down a steak OK? Likewise in the trek and hills pass all stupas, chortens and religious monuments in a clockwise direction (on their left), greet people modestly with the palms together "Namaste" and avoid overly intrusive photography habits. I'm sure this as all uneccessary advice, you'd do it anyways...and remember not tank-tops, mini-skirts or obsene Tees.

Monsoon is a malarial time in Nepal, so be aware of this. Once we are above 2000m it's very unlikely we'll encounter a mozzie, but in the lower earlier stages it's likely. Wear light coloured clothes (mozzies like dark colours), wear no perfumes, use DEET insect repellent and common sense...Brian will tell you about meds for malaria.

NO PLASTIC BOTTLED WATER!!! The plastic used in Nepal is not recyclable and is a major cause of pollution. Iodine tincture drops are the best and cheapest/ easiset solution...but as Erica and Brian and Gabe said, they will also bring water filterers. Thanks!

Finally, DATES and TIME:
According to BK and Dom (Nepali end) the trip should take 20-25 days all up (revised from my pm-ed schedule), but allow an extra 5 days for delays, weather etc. So say 30 days.
If you need to leave earlier that should be very easy, as you can exit at various points on the way. Just post here about that issue and we'll try and work that in for you.
Start dates: As Eriica is working on 22nd July, we can work on leaving from Incheon on the 23rd July and finish up about August 21st or 22nd...remember that the 30 days visa is from day of arrival in K'du...not leaving Korea.
If these dates are really not good for you, then say so now! We need to get things set in stone asap.

captainettegreen 04-12-2009 06:48 PM

Awesome, thanks for update; and thanks to you all for the work you did yesterday! I wish I could've been there :(. I will talk to my co-teacher/principal tomorrow about dates! and get back to y'all asap. Again, many many khamsahamnidas, you rock!

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