find a trekking guide for Nepal

Micah Hanson is an expert on independent trekking in the Himalayas (indietrekking.com).

In collaboration with a Sherpa friend from Nepal, Micah launched Sherpana.com.

There hikers who don’t want to go it alone can book trekking guides online and review the guides.

In addition the site allows people to join each others treks, if they choose, so that they can share the cost of the trip with other trekkers. (It reminds me of TrekkingPartners.com, a site I’ve used in the past.)

They’ve tried to make pricing as transparent as possible, and allow people to book only the guide and pay for the food and lodging directly to the lodge owners.

Prices do look competitive. For example, this upcoming trek:

Everest Base Camp Trek (13 days) 

Price for 2 hikers would be $352 (each) for 13 days, but you can add extra days and side trips like the Cho La pass to Gokyo, ect.  Extra days for 2 people, would be an extra $15.50 per person per day.

 


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my hiking jacket – Columbia OutDry Ex Gold

Hmm.

GearJunkie posted a sponsored ad from Columbia. This is the opposite of transparency in advertising. I’m disappointed. ☹️

The article, at first glance, looks a legit review.

Here’s my legit review. Columbia paid me nothing.

Top layer is the new Columbia Men’s OutDry Ex Gold Interchange Jacket

It’s fairly heavy with the removable Omni-Heat Reflective inner layer. For most hikes, I’ll leave that liner at home carrying only the 2 layer shell.

I tested it in the rain while cycling. With seam tape it feels entirely waterproof. And it’s reasonably light.

It has no pit zips.  Breathability is not nearly as good as Columbia claims. In fact, I’d say breathability is LOUSY.

I paired it with the new Columbia OutDry EX Gold Down Hooded Jacket

For most hikes I will bring this along, replacing my usual down hooded parka.

The most compelling reason I decided to go this direction is the OutDry™ EX outer layer. It seems obvious to me that down jackets should be waterproof. The down is not hydrophobic, but doesn’t need to be as it won’t get wet.

I’m confident I’ll never be wet nor cold with this system. The hoods are excellent.

Some feel the fit is boxy. I’d agree. But I like the extra room for more layers underneath.

For warm hikes I also picked up the Frogg Toggs Men’s Ultra Lite Rain Jacket as an alternative.

This is what the cool thru-hikers wear. It’s not breathable at all. But at US $14.22 you can’t lose.

All in all I’m very happy with my new OutDry system. It has got some bad reviews, however.

Gortex` wets out. Starts to fail after a few years. It’s the fabric of deceit. I’ve never trusted it.

Here’s how Outdry is supposed to work. Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

 

Trekking for Tips

As I travel around the world I join many FREE city tours. If you enjoy the experience, you tip the guide.

One such company, for example – tours4tips.com

Because the guides only survive if they make good tips, the tours are (usually) excellent.

For the first time I saw offered in Valparaíso, Chile Trekking for Tips.

A minimum charge is fixed at the beginning, depending on the number of people in the group.

After that you can tip the guide additionally if you like the experience.

GREAT IDEA.

hiking Ausangate hut-to-hut

The Ausangate Circuit in Peru is one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

You can now do Ausangate without a tent with a company called Andean Lodges.

To avoid altitude sickness, they recommend a 10 day itinerary:

DAY 1: FLIGHT TO CUSCO + CITY TOUR

DAY 2: SACRED VALLEY

DAY 3: TRIP TO MACHU PICCHU

DAY 4: MACHU PICCHU- OPTIONAL HIKES (SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY)

DAY 5: VISIT TO HUANACAURE AND SAN PEDRO ́S MARKET

FROM DAY 6 TO DAY 10: AUSANGATE TREK

Download the company brochure from the link below. (PDF)

CUSCO & ITS SACRED MOUNTAIN

That looks pretty great to us. The 5 days, 4 nights on the trek itself costs about $1600 if you are in a group. Their guided treks run March through November.

If interested, email them at info (a) andeanlodges.com.

Read some reviews on TripAdvisor.com.

 

 

Trekking to Aconcagua’s Plaza Francia INDEPENDENTLY – Day 3

trip report by editor Rick McCharles

day 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | info page | video

Up early again. Coffee as the sun rises.

Rather than doing any more hiking I enjoyed a lazy morning at camp. Toying with my electronics. Listening to my Spanish lessons. The sun was HOT.

There are all sorts of characters coming and going. Some carry huge backpacks.

The craziest of the crazy are trying to summit Aconcagua independently and unsupported. Somehow transporting 70kg of gear or so up the mountain with multiple shuttles.

Around 11am I finally packed up the tent.

I figured it would be an easy walkout. No rush to catch the 5pm bus.

On a rest stop I laid out my basic gear to dry.

I’d expected a quick 2 hour 400m descent, but the walk felt long. Full pack. I was tired.

It was nice to finally reach vegetation.

If there’s something green here, there’s plenty of water.

Laguna de Horcones (2950m)

I checked out at the park entrance. Turned in my permit. Handed over my trash bag.

My Aconcagua trek was a success.

With a couple of hours before the bus arrived, I walked the highway …

… down to Puente del Inca (2740m).

…a natural arch that forms a bridge over the Vacas River, a tributary of the Mendoza River. … 

In March 1835, Charles Darwin visited the site, and made some drawings of the bridge …

In the old days people would walk across the bridge to reach the stone church.
It’s a tourist trap with overpriced junk and yappy dogs.

I decided to wait to eat in Mendoza.

There are a couple of hostels and a campground, however. A good emergency stop. Or hikers could sleep here one night before heading up towards Aconcagua.

I slept well on the bus. Then got myself a big chunk of Argentinian beef to celebrate back at the hostel.