Climbing Everest - how I chose my partner
The day before yesterday (it was fall 2017) I had just returned from Nepal. It was my seventh season in my favorite country. This time we were able to climb Manaslu (8,163 m), the eighth peak in the world without oxygen. It was my first time at that altitude, I wondered how my body would behave.
After returning from the expedition to Manaslu in Nepal I stayed for two more months, taking the group on the Langtang trek and climbing Mera Peak (6,461m).
At the same time I was looking for someone to climb Everest with. Two important factors were the company's great experience and leadership in climbing above 8000m and a reasonable price.
It so happens that last years I spend up to 150 days in Nepal, I made a lot of friends and connections there. I'm treated very well because we bring more than 200 trekkers a year. Everyone is interested in working with us and give us good prices.
In my searching for partners for the 8000m climb, I looked for all the local companies I could find. Ukrainian and international companies had very high prices and in any case the whole organization the climb fell on the shoulders of the Nepalese. I wrote letters and met personally with a dozen people. I analyzed the proposals, the company's experience, the perspective, and the executives.
In the end I chose Seven Summit Treks (Not to be confused with the Seven Summit Club and other Seven Summits). There are several subjective and objective reasons for this:
The company's founders, Mingma and Dawa Sherpa, are the first brothers whose climbed all 14 eight-thousanders. I trust those who go to the mountains. I don't trust those who don't go and organize climbs.
Dawa Sherpa became the youngest climber who completed 14х8000m program at the age of 31. In total he has 22 climbs on the eight-thousanders.
About 60 climbers on Everest annually entrust this event to Seven Summit Trek
About 300 climbers a year climb all eight-thousanders with the company.
Among the most successful cases is the organization of the ascent of K2. In 2012, 23 of 25 participants reached the summit, including Dawa himself. In 2014, 25 of the 27 participants climbed, with Dawa already tucked away at base camp. He did not want to go to K2 for the second time).
More than 300 Sherpas work in the company, including more than 200 were on the summit of Mount Everest.
They have their own helicopter company, which allows to respond promptly and without intermediaries in case of necessity. As a bonus - always fresh food in the first and second camps, delivered by helicopter.
Excellent offer including oxygen, personal Sherpa and two base camps (base and L2)
SST have similar vision of development to Kuluar, I just enjoyed communicating and working together.
Actually, getting to know the guys from Seven Summit Treks started from my Manaslu expedition. There were two nice meetings: the first time we were offered tea/coffee at Camp 1 - although we had nothing to do with them and had no friends there either. The second time we were offered them a flight from Samogon to Kathmandu at almost half the price, then our organizers offered to us. Of course, we gladly took the flight.
This is the story of my personal choice of the climbing company.
In the spring of 2018, we went to Everest. It was our first collaboration with SST, it was good enough, but I made myself a list of things to improve for the next time. I'm sure the service will be a notch higher each time.
Purely personal. I've been to both Tibet and Nepal. Tibet seemed very dry, windy and unfriendly to me. I did not like it. But I love Nepal with all my heart and I feel at home here.
Khumbu Icefall is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Its beauty is cold and dangerous, but I haven't seen anything like it anywhere else!
Visas to Nepal are made out directly at the border, the cost of a visa for a 90-day stay is $125. Here you can find detailed instructions on visa application >>. To get the visa you need only a valid passport, valid for more than 6 months from the date of return flight.
Everest is the highest mountain on the planet and one of the biggest challenges for any climber. Next you can climb other eight-thousanders or technically difficult peaks of lower altitude.