2010 expedition to Tilman's Pass

Paper work


For Nepal a visa is needed.

Dutch citizens can obtain their Nepal visa at the consulate on Herengracht in Amsterdam. It takes a few minutes. The application form can be downloaded beforehand.

Permit / peak royalty

Naya Kanga is considered a group "B" NMA trekking peak, for which a permit is needed. The royalty is $350 for up to 4 members. All royalty fees for the so called trekking peaks can be found on the website of the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).

Duty clearance

All cargo that is sent separately must be cleared by the Nepalese customs. Therefore a packing list is required. All items should be marked consumable or re-exportable. This year we paid a flat fee of $87 for clearance, temporary storage and transport to the office of our trekking agency. It was for 38 kg only.


The unit of currency in Nepal is the rupee (NPR).

The rates below are the real time updated forex rates coming from www.exchange-rates.org.

Nowadays there are plenty ATMs in Nepal, even in the smaller towns. If you plan to bring cash then US dollars or Euros are the best options.


International flights

KLM (via Delhi, long wait, not recommended), Gulf Air, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines have connections from Amsterdam to Kathmandu. It is also possible to fly to Bangkok and then to Kathmandu. The average price in 2010 was € 800-1300.

We have used Qatar Airways. Unfortunately they forgot to bring along our baggage. But 24 hours later it did arrive at Kathmandu Airport.

Excess baggage

WWBSWe shipped excess baggage to Kathmandu by Worldwide Baggage Services (only from The Netherlands). Up to 45 kg including insurance costed us €154. Back to Amsterdam you have to use a local Nepalese company; there are plenty in Kathmandu. We paid $240, which was considerably more than the €154 we paid on the other flight. So apparently Europe is cheaper than Nepal when it comes to shipping cargo.

It is advised that excess baggage is sent to Nepal 2-3 weeks prior to the expedition to allow for sufficient time for duty clearance. This was handled by our trekking agency.

Local support


We agreed on a full service trekking which was completely handled by our Nepalese trekking agency:

  • 1 Sherpa climbing guide who was also the cook (he had been on Everest twice!)
  • 1 cook helper
  • 7 porters
  • National Park permit, peak permit,
  • Kitchen utensils, kitchen tent, food, water, local transport

We have a friend in Kathmandu who happens to own a trekking agency: Ngima Sherpa from Unlimited Sherpa Expeditions. His agency took care of all logistics.

Accommodation in Kathmandu

We stayed in 2 hotels:

  • Nirvana Garden Hotel before the trip;
    this hotel in the heart of Thamel was not very comfortable, quite hard bed bottoms and a shower that did not work very well.
  • The Everest Hotel after the trip;
    This is quite a luxurious hotel close to the airport, great soft beds and a good shower, something we really needed after almost 4 weeks of trekking.

Altitude Sickness

Visit the Base Camp Clinic!What is it?

Altitude sickness is a complex of health problems that occur as a lack of oxygen. Usually one will not suffer from it in the lower altitudes (< 3500 m). Almost everybody will have some form of altitude sickness when climbing higher than 5000 meters. A full acclimatization needs 7 to 10 days and your body will not acclimatize fully above 5500 meters. There are three types of altitude sickness. They may occur on their own or together:

  • Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
  • High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE)
  • High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE).


Symptoms of AMS are:

  • Headache
  • Dizzyness
  • Sleeping problems
  • No or less appetite

You may suffer from AMS if these three facts are all valid:

  • You’ve been climbing recently and usually over 300 meters a day
  • You have been on altitude for some hours now
  • You suffer from a headache that you did not have before.

In addition, you must suffer from one of these:

  • Feeling sick, no appetite, vomiting
  • Very tired
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Having sleeping problems that you normally do not have.


These two forms of altitude sickness are potentially lethal. You may suffer from HACE if:

  • you have a very heavy and persistent headache
  • You behave like a drunk
  • you seem to lose your coordination, you hallucinate, you have epileptic attacks etc.

To be brief: if you have both AMS and suffer from typical brain disorders (that you normally do not do) you may have HACE.

You may suffer from HAPE if:

  • you have AMS
  • you have a persistent cough
  • you feel very tired
  • you need a lot more time to recuperate.

Almost everybody will suffer from some kind of headache. A minor headache, which reacts well to painkillers, is not very important. However if you develop a headache during nighttime and it does not react to painkillers, you must wonder whether it is more serious than just AMS.

How to avoid altitude sickness

Here are some tips for avoiding or minimizing the chance that you get altitude sickness:

  • Recognize the symptoms and know what to do
  • Avoid a fast ascent to height above 2500 meters
  • Two or three night sleep on 2500 m
  • Avoid a gain of over 300 meters a day. It is good to climb higher that day but your sleeping altitude should not be over 300 m higher (Climb High, Sleep Low)
  • One extra day of rest after every 1000 meters
  • If you have any altitude sickness symptoms, do not climb higher
  • Descent if the situation worsens
  • Drink, drink, drink.

How to react if one suffers from altitude sickness


  • Descend immediately; at least 500 meters; try to reach the 2500 meters altitude
  • Use dexamethason
  • Stay at lower altitude until you have fully recovered (this may last a week). Ascending to soon may kill you!


  • Descend 500-1000 meters
  • Use nifedipine


  • Do not climb higher
  • Drink a lot
  • Use painkillers and/or diamox

Diamox as prophylaxis

Acetazolamide (brand name Diamox) is a well know drug for AMS. It can also be used as a 'prophylaxis'. This is only recommended if a fast altitude gain is inevitable, for instance if you fly to Lhasa without proper acclimatization.

Diamox not only helps against the symptoms of AMS, but also cures it! It help with the acclimatization process. It also seems to help against Cheyne-Stokes respiration.

Do not use sustained release Diamox!

Dosis as prophylaxis: start 24 hours before; 2 doses per day of 250 mg each. Continue taking it every day. Stop after the second or third night on altitude.

Other health issues

Altitude cough

Visit MountEverest.net!Many people suffer from a cough when they are on high altitude. This cough is also known as the Khumbu Cough.

If you get the cough during descent you can try codeine. If you lungs are affected then use antibiotics.


Headache is usually a symptom of AMS. Regular painkillers can be taken, although aspirine is slightly better, because it makes your blood thinner. Aspirin may also help a little against the Cheyne-Stokes respiration.

Sleeping problems

Sleeping pills are not recommended because they lower down your respiration, which can be dangerous on high altitude. Diamox may help a little if you suffer from Cheyne-Stokes.

Zoldipem and Melatonin are the only pills that have proven to have no negative effects on respiration.

Thuraya SO-2510Satphone

A satellite phone may be convenient. But they are expensive! Thuraya has coverage in parts of Asia (including the Himalayas) and in Europe, not in the Americas. For full world coverage you need an Iridium. The advantage of a Thuraya is that it's cheap and it's light.

We have a Thuraya SO-2510. The SO-2510 can be used as a dial-up and GmPRS modem as well.

Coverage Area Thuraya


Whenever we had time and the possibility we published our diary on our blog (only in Dutch). We used our satphone to make an internet connection. And we also used Ipadio a lot. That was a free service that records phone calls and allows others to listen to those calls using a dedicated player. Unfortunately Ipadio does not exist anymore and all our phlogs have been removed.