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Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

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Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby JB99 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:42 pm

I am looking into the next big climb I'd like to try and have a few that I am considering, money is a consideration as I am a relatively poor college student and I'm thinking anything over $6k is out of reach. I was looking into Aconcagua or something in the Andes and realized the cost might be somewhat comprable to some Himalayan Treks. The two that interested me most were Lhakpa Ri or an Everest North Col climb. Anyone have any experience with either of these or helpful info about this area? Thanks.
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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby andinismo_de_co » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:21 pm

i have no experience in the east, but lived in chile last year, argentina is cheaper than chile, and you could easily set up a quality aconcagua expedition for less than $6k... air travel would be expensive but everything else can be arranged for very little money provided you don't need a guide or much new equipment. if you need a guide or full equipment load it might cost alot more, unsure... anyways, moral of the story is that the Andes are badass, and you should check them out!

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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby JB99 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:36 pm

Thanks, I'll tally one vote for the "save your money and climb in the Andes which are bad ass" category. I don't need much in the way of gear at this point for either trip. Double plastic boots and a heavier sleeping bag are the only major items I can think of. From the very limited research I have done on Aconcagua it looks like I could keep the costs around $3k including my flight with support but unguided. If I can't talk the lady into joining me and can't find another partner then I would probably get a guide though.
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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby cheeseburglar » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:37 pm

Of course, I vote for Ecuador.
I've never been to Aconcuago, but rumor is that it is not that pretty. I only climb pretty mountains.
Ecuador is very nice.
Of course, if you want something really spectacular, you could contemplate one of the many trekking peaks near Chomolungma. You can do some of them in October-November, when the weather is a little cold but clear skies are common. Incredible scenery. That might end up in the $4 or 5k range. Going to Ecuador would be a lot less.
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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby jbchalk » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:51 pm

Aconcagua can be relatively inexpensive if your willin to put in the time and effort to organize the expedition yourself. Not including the flight to Mendoza (I spent $1300, I think), it only cost me probably $800 or so including food, fuel, permit, mules, taxi to mtn, etc. My two buds and I split the expenses three way and it came out to around $800 each. Coulda been less - cant quite remember exactly.

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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby Scott P » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:01 pm

I've never been to Aconcuago, but rumor is that it is not that pretty. I only climb pretty mountains.


Haven't been, but looks pretty nice to me from most sides.

Image

It also has what Messner says is the greatest (size) wall in the world outside the Himalaya.

As far as 6K goes, all my trips to Latin America, per person, I've spent $700-$1700 including airfare.
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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby JB99 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:42 pm

Scott P wrote:As far as 6K goes, all my trips to Latin America, per person, I've spent $700-$1700 including airfare.


Any tips Scott? The $6k is by no means just some amount of money I have sitting around or somebody will give me. That's just about the most I can feasibly scrounge together in the next 6 months to a year... So a $700-1700 trip would certainly be appealing, easier to talk Jessica into coming if it doesn't cost that much too. I'd agree that Aconcagua is a really cool looking mountain too. Benners trip report had some of the most scenic photos I've seen.

Cheeseburglar- Ecuador looks pretty amazing. The thing that was appealing to me about Acon was that there doesn't look like there is too much exposure or anything to deter Jessica from coming. Also getting close to 23,000 feet and seeing how my body performs spending awhile up high was also appealing. Then as I researched Everest treks I found that there are a lot of companies willing to take you to Camp 3 on the North Col at 23k and thought that would be as close as I can get to the big one until I have an extra 100k laying around :mrgreen: . Looks like that trip costs in the $2-4k range, plus a plane ticket to Katmandu of course.
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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby Scott P » Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:20 am

Any tips Scott?


Going un-guided is obviously much cheaper, but takes more planning. In Latin America, I’ve taken seven independent trips. Knowing a bit of Spanish helps, but otherwise you just more or less climb mountains the same way as you do here. Use a map and guidebook (if available) and go (although some mountains I've climbed has no map or guidebooks available)! The only real difference is getting to the mountains, usually on a rattle trap or even chicken bus.

If you wanted to use a guide service first, a local and reputable guide service is going to be much more cost effective than using a US based service. I’ve gone guided twice and both services were very good, but reasonably priced and I would highly recommend both.

In Ecuador, I went with Moggely:

http://www.moggely.com/

Seems like it was less than $900 for Pichincha, Iliniza Norte, Iliniza Sur (I got sick at the Houston Airport in the US so couldn’t attempt this one), Antisana, Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, but that was a few years ago.

Photos:

http://www.summitpost.org/album/262841/Ecuador-January-2007.html

The only other time I used a guide service was Zarate Adventuras:

http://www.zarateadventures.com/index.php

They are really reasonably prices, especially if you choose a destination that can be reached by public bus rather than private vehicle. Their website is mostly in Spanish, but if you send them an email they can send you descriptions in English. Some of the treks such as the spectacular Cabanaconde to Andagua trip were something like $140 for 4-5 days. See below for the full report:

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/378565/Father-and-Son-Adventures-in-Peru.html

Going unguided I've spent $5-10 a day ($5 hotels and $1 meals are easy to find in much of the Andes except Chile and Argentina), but as said Spanish helps, plus you have to have experience for many of the mountains.
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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby Haliku » Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:22 am

cheeseburglar wrote:Of course, I vote for Ecuador...Ecuador is very nice...Going to Ecuador would be a lot less.


I second Ecuador. After your Mexico trip it is a logical step up. The flight there is your biggest cost. Once incountry the costs are cheap. When I was there in '07 my cost, including flight, for 16 days was $100 per day (based on a team of 3). This covered food, flight, lodging, transport and cook/guide on Cayambe. The other 4 peaks we climbed were self guided; adding a guide for other peaks wouldn't add that much. TR can be found on my SP profile. Other options, also cheap, would be Peru or Bolivia... Cheers!
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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby JB99 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:07 am

Thanks for more good info. Sounds like a lot of votes for Ecuador. That was originally my number one choice, then I read Benners Acon report and thought that might be cool. More of a big mountain expedition style experience. I like the idea of going unguided whenever possible. The trip planning is half the adventure so just letting someone else handle it for me takes a lot out of it. In Ecuador I would probably get a guide just because it sounds so inexpensive and the crevasse danger is higher then on Aconcagua. In Nepal a guide seems necessary at this point in my life, the logistics seem a little out of reach for me. I would want to be as involved as they'd let me be though and would consider more of a supported trip. Scott- thanks for the links and tips.
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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby jrbren_vt » Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:35 am

Throwing in my 2 cents, I am not clear why in Nepal a guide would be more needed then in Ecuador. Nepal has handful of snow peaks that are allegedly straightforward, probably moreso then Cotopaxi & Chimborazo. Disclaimer, I have never been to South America. I was trekking in the khumbu in Nepal in 2005, and I am signed up on a guided trip to Mera peak in Nepal in October, which I hope is pretty straightforward snow climb as advertised as I am not a technical climber. I expect airfare to be about $1500-1600 to Kathmandu, but once there Nepal is pretty cheap and one can go with just local porters, or with local guides and porters, or hire a "western guide" like I did where they take care of all the planning for you. Depends on what you want out of the trip. I do not know the airfare to Ecuador. I have seen threads with one person on this forum going to Ecuador this year, and another with someone else going to Bolivia. You may want to change the title of this thread if you have decided on South America and see if they chime in. From what I have read, people climb Lhapka Ri from Tibet (China), which recently increased permits substantially, hence I think Tibet treks are much more expensive then Nepal. Also do not discard the cultural benefits of whatever trip you take. Nepal and Ecuador/Bolivia/Argentina are likely to be very different from that standpoint. Not to add to the decision rather then reduce your options, but there are many big peaks in India as well, depending what you are looking for.
South America is definately on my bucket list, sounds like a great trip whatever you choose.
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Re: Lhakpa Ri/Everest North Col

Postby lazy climber » Thu Apr 02, 2009 1:09 pm

In SA you can climb "unguided" on several of the hills. AC is one you can do without guides, it will still run you several $K by the time you get there, permits, mule team and gear.

Nepal will require permits. The guide thing is just a bit safer. Go on line and look at some of the Nepal Climbs. You may be able to do Ama Dablam for in the 4K range and then flights. Look at the Ang Rita Trekking/climbing web site.

A Denali climb might run in the 4K range as well. Check with some of the local Colorado Guide services to see what they have going in AK.

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