- Bring a lightweight computer, wifi is everywhere
- To avoid an icelandic volcano, avoid traveling to Europe (tho anything can happen anywhere)
- Bring your drivers license (cause you never know when you absolutely will need a car)
- Give your self a little extra time in travels (a few extra hours between flights is a good thing when delays are so pervasive)
- Bring your frequent flier numbers
- Have emergency numbers for your group to catch them where ever they are.
How I am doing things differently:
- I am flying west. First to Tokyo, then to Bangkok, then Katmandu. I am quite aware that North Korea is in the region and we know that is less than ideal, but the choices are a) europe (volcano) b) middle east (egypt+ whatever) or c) far east. I also know the far east has some volcanic activity but I checked and the flight routes go very far south and should be fine.
- Leaving a day early to account for unexpected delays
- Going with a new trekking company that brings both trekkers and climbers so when we get to base camp, for a significant portion of the group, it is just the start.
I am hopeful this new group (Peak Freaks out of British Columbia) will be a good match for me. In my past life on the US Kayaking Team, we were all very used to sleeping in cars, tents, grabbing whatever was available in the local markets (though in Katmandu, never) and generally making things up as we went along. This group while more disciplined for their climbing group, seems to go with the flow. I am looking forward to meeting the fellow trekkers and see who will be in the climbing group.
My physical training is still my physical training...the hill is still there to go up and down (ALOT), but it has been a slight change in that the foot of snow we got brought down a dozen trees and changed the trail and the snow stayed for 3 weeks so I got to do it in snowshoes. I had no idea what a workout that was! Fun, but up hill on snoeshoes is WORK! LOL
I've been doing 1.5-2hr workouts and when the snow wasnt there was averaging 8,000 feet up up and down with a 40 lb weight vest. While some of our treks on the trip are 7-9 hours (much longer), I have just given up the thought of being able to get those kind of workouts given my work schedule. I'll persevere, even if uncomfortable. Hopefully the higher intensity steep climb and decent workouts I am doing will be a good training for some of the longer days.
I am also lightening up the load. I had near 50 lbs of gear last time and this time it is asked to keep it to 33lbs. I am closer to 37 right now but can decide what to leave back at Katmandu after assessing the situation when I get there.
Oh, and the altitude tent arrived. Lots of time to acclimatize to a good ways up in altitude.
I heard that there is now 3G wifi all the way to base camp. That should allow me some interaction with the states and to keep in touch a little though I figure it will be like satellite phones and be VERY expensive so no guarentees of long blog posts . I'll post low res photos if I can, the rest when I return.
Someone asked me what happens if I dont make it this time? I am thinking a bit more like a ski-diver, you continually plan more and more to make sure that doesnt happen, but if it does, you just deal with you have to do and come up with plan B.