In 2007 Corlius met Chheten Sherpa in an expedition shop in Kathmandu, Nepal. They proceeded to trek for 30 days by combining two routes around the Annapurna massif (8th highest mountain in the world). They enjoyed the experience so much that they decided to work together to bring clients to the mountains. On subsequent treks Nurbu Sherpa guided our groups.
Since then we have led treks to Kanchenjanga (3th highest mountain) 2011, Everest (highest mountain) Base Camp & Three Passes 2012 and Langtang-Helambu-Gosainkund 2013. Our next trek is around Makalu (5th highest mountain) scheduled for April 2017.
All these month-long tours are treks around the mountains or to the base camps up to a height of around 5600m. We don't summit the mountains because that is a completely different experience with technical gear, complicated logistics, long term planning and enormous expenses (up to US$50 000 pp). Most of these treks are teahouse treks which means that we sleep in lodges, although on some treks we camp in tents and take all our supplies with. Our equipment and personal gear are carried by porters from the Sherpa and Rai tribes.
The best months for trekking in the Himalayas are March, April and October, November. Summer months are too wet and hot in monsoon season and in the winter the passes are snowed under.
How can I prepare?
With the correct preparation almost any fit and healthy person can successfully complete a Himalaya trek. We have taken people from ages 27 to 74 over the passes.
Do at least one 3000+ meter mountaineering trip of 4 days or more beforehand - maybe 1 to 2 months before - and carry all your stuff by yourself on the trip. The Drakensberg is an excellent place to start.
Gym and exercise will only help marginally - you need to train and hike passes with a loaded backpack.
We have witnessed how the appropriate gear makes the difference between being comfortable in all trekking conditions and suffering through an ordeal. It can also be the difference between living and dying.
In Kathmandu you get the chance to buy all the gear you need at very affordable prices – a fraction of what you would pay in SA or even in the USA or Europe. Everything is available in the hundreds of expedition gear shops in Kathmandu.
One can be overwhelmed by the choice or get ripped off with inferior quality gear or exorbitant prices, so Corlius can suggest shops in Thamel Kathmandu that sell good quality gear - your subsequent savings on gear alone can make this whole experience a bargain.
Himalaya trekking is a life-changing experience. The knowledge that you completed the whole trek with your own feet walking every step of the way in forested valleys, over frozen streams and snow-laden passes and gazed from high peaks into an infinitude of space is a profoundly grounding and elevating experience at the same time.
Annapurna Circuit & Sanctuary
Kanchenjunga North and South Basecamps
Three Passes (incl. Everest Base Camp)
Future tours planned
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