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Author Topic: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted  (Read 11426 times)

1982chris911

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2012, 11:00:05 AM »

Three lenses max, one tripod, 1 FF body, and one P&S camera - I took a little less up Kilimanjaro summit night, so I should be ok.
14, 15 16 0r 17 mm only three degrees apart, and yet such a difference, in special being the 15 a fisheye... Where's that Canon 12-24mm? Oh, wait! That's onlly with Nikon - darn..

Now, the hard part is wait all summer long :)

Three Lenses: Canon 24-70 f2.8 or Canon 50mm 1.4 + 70-200 f2.8 L IS2 and Sigma 12-24mm HSM II and I would take an extender 2x III to get more reach for wildlife and all things distant
Body: 5d MKIII
Tripod: fitting one for the gear and a very small table tripod (the 30$ Manfrotto one).
P&S: Well a second body like a 7D is also only 200-300gr more and you re safe in case one fails.
BTW 12-17mm is not only 1 deg each it is much more 

5D MKII, 5D MK III, 7D, Sigma 12-24 HSM2, Canon 17-40 F/4.0 L, Canon 24-70 F/2.8 L, Canon 70-200 F/2.8 IS II L , Ext x2 III + some other stuff

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2012, 11:00:05 AM »

davehollandpics

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2012, 12:51:12 PM »
Hey NWPhil, are you planning on day hikes from Kathmandu/Pokhara or are you going on a trek to Everest or Annapurna base camp?  This will make a huge difference in how you approach this.

Send me some details on your itinerary.

NWPhil

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2012, 01:49:54 PM »

Three lenses max, one tripod, 1 FF body, and one P&S camera - I took a little less up Kilimanjaro summit night, so I should be ok.
14, 15 16 0r 17 mm only three degrees apart, and yet such a difference, in special being the 15 a fisheye... Where's that Canon 12-24mm? Oh, wait! That's onlly with Nikon - darn..

Now, the hard part is wait all summer long :)

Three Lenses: Canon 24-70 f2.8 or Canon 50mm 1.4 + 70-200 f2.8 L IS2 and Sigma 12-24mm HSM II and I would take an extender 2x III to get more reach for wildlife and all things distant
Body: 5d MKIII
Tripod: fitting one for the gear and a very small table tripod (the 30$ Manfrotto one).
P&S: Well a second body like a 7D is also only 200-300gr more and you re safe in case one fails.
BTW 12-17mm is not only 1 deg each it is much more

not bad, but none of that gear is my bag  :'(
The 40D - only crop body, is now a full spectrum IR camera, so tempting to bring, but at same time...
Oh, I said 14 thru 17 - but I wish Canon had a 12-24mm like Nikon. I would buy that baby in a snap
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NWPhil

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2012, 01:58:18 PM »
Hey NWPhil, are you planning on day hikes from Kathmandu/Pokhara or are you going on a trek to Everest or Annapurna base camp?  This will make a huge difference in how you approach this.

Send me some details on your itinerary.

Don't have one yet, per say.
We are going to do our very own itinerary as we go - well, whithin limits, as it will be only me and my wife, aside porters and guide.
The idea is to go from Lukla to Gokyo lakes area, and then cross to EBC, finalizing at start point. Looking at 21 days plus - meaning that, the usual 21 day trek includes about 5-6 days in Kathamandu and Lukla, for aclimatization and tours.
We might add up that to the 21 days of trekking, but not sure yet

see standard hik itinerary below:
Day 01 : Arrive Kathmandu / dinner with cultural program.
Day 02 : Explore Boudhnath and Pashupatinath / Trip preparation.
Day 03 : Fly to Lukla and start Everest trekking.
Day 04-05 : Trekking to Namche / Acclimatization rest day.
Day 06 : Trek to Kumjung.
Day 07-08 : Trekking up the Gokyo Valley and enjoy views of massive Cho Oyu.
Day 09-10 : Climb Gokyo Ri / savour the stunning looks of Mt. Everest and pristine lakes.
Day 11 : Trekking on the moraines of the Ngozumpa Glacier to Thangna.
Day 12-13 : Cross the challenging Chola pass and trek to Lobuche: enjoy the superb beauty of Nature.
Day 14 : Trekking Kala Pathar for views across Khumbu Glacier to Everest.
Day 15 : Exploration to the Everest Base Camp.
Day 16-18 : Trekking down to Lukla to end the Everest circuit trek via Pheriche, Thyangboche.
Day 19 : Himalayan flight back to Kathmandu / Rest day.
Day 20 : Free day in Kathmandu.
Day 21 : Trip ends / Airport transfer.(...)"

Thanks
Phil
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davehollandpics

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2012, 04:05:36 PM »
I see you are using porters.  Take whatever you want. 

gn100

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2012, 04:09:04 PM »
Hey NWPhil, are you planning on day hikes from Kathmandu/Pokhara or are you going on a trek to Everest or Annapurna base camp?  This will make a huge difference in how you approach this.

Send me some details on your itinerary.

Don't have one yet, per say.
We are going to do our very own itinerary as we go - well, whithin limits, as it will be only me and my wife, aside porters and guide.
The idea is to go from Lukla to Gokyo lakes area, and then cross to EBC, finalizing at start point. Looking at 21 days plus - meaning that, the usual 21 day trek includes about 5-6 days in Kathamandu and Lukla, for aclimatization and tours.
We might add up that to the 21 days of trekking, but not sure yet

see standard hik itinerary below:
Day 01 : Arrive Kathmandu / dinner with cultural program.
Day 02 : Explore Boudhnath and Pashupatinath / Trip preparation.
Day 03 : Fly to Lukla and start Everest trekking.
Day 04-05 : Trekking to Namche / Acclimatization rest day.
Day 06 : Trek to Kumjung.
Day 07-08 : Trekking up the Gokyo Valley and enjoy views of massive Cho Oyu.
Day 09-10 : Climb Gokyo Ri / savour the stunning looks of Mt. Everest and pristine lakes.
Day 11 : Trekking on the moraines of the Ngozumpa Glacier to Thangna.
Day 12-13 : Cross the challenging Chola pass and trek to Lobuche: enjoy the superb beauty of Nature.
Day 14 : Trekking Kala Pathar for views across Khumbu Glacier to Everest.
Day 15 : Exploration to the Everest Base Camp.
Day 16-18 : Trekking down to Lukla to end the Everest circuit trek via Pheriche, Thyangboche.
Day 19 : Himalayan flight back to Kathmandu / Rest day.
Day 20 : Free day in Kathmandu.
Day 21 : Trip ends / Airport transfer.(...)"

Thanks
Phil

After 3 trips to Nepal (and 5 treks in total) here are my comments....

Times of the year - October/November is perfect - you'll probably get no rain - at most a shower or two between Lukla and Namche. Very pleasant through the day, bit chilly at night, especially above 4000m.

Itinerary - Looks a bit tight to me - remember high altitude means altitude sickness if you don't aclimitise .... and if you do aclimitise, then mild discomfort. I'm used to trekking long days (10-14 hours) here in New Zealand, but in Nepal have always taken my time and it has paid big dividends, especially when trying to take half decent photos (I have tried to start by 7:30am and finish my trekking by lunch-time, allowing the afternoon to meet the locals, reading, photography. If you haven't been at altitude immediately before arriving at Lukla, then look to spend 2-3 nights at Namche - do day trips to Thame and Kumjung, allowing the recovery at night at a reasonable altitude (3300m) - it will set you up for the rest of the trip, which you will enjoy more. Also take Diamox as a preventative - I found I have gained about 1 day in terms of acclimitisation schedule. The general recommendation is only gaining 300m altitude per day. Take time early in the trip to aclimitise is the best recommendation I can give. I would suggest ......

day 1 Lukla - Phadking or Mondo
day 2 to Namche
day 3 Namche (day trip to Kumjung)
day 4 Namche (day trip to Thame)
day 5 ......onwards (I think its 3 days from Namche to Gokyo)

Gear - last time (and the only time I was using digital), I carried Canon 350D, 17-85 and 70-300. I left my 10-20 in Kathmandu. The pop up flash was sufficient for the 1-2 flash photos I took. I find that the telephoto can be very useful, more than the ultrawide. Image stabilisation is important - with the lack of oxygen it is much harder to handhold a camera. I took sufficient batteries last time for the whole trip - electricity is very limited / non existant beyond Namche. If I was using full frame, I'd take a 24-105 IS and a 70-300 IS L. A lightweight tripod would be handy, so would a polarising filter. Keep your kit simple, with lack of oxygen at higher altitudes, everything is an effort, so there is a tendency to take the easy option, so lenses rarely get changed, tripods only get used when they have to (I didn't take a tripod on 4 of the 5 treks I have done).

Nepal is a wonderful place, the scenery is spectacular and the people are fantastic - enjoy your trip

NWPhil

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2012, 05:47:24 PM »
Hey NWPhil, are you planning on day hikes from Kathmandu/Pokhara or are you going on a trek to Everest or Annapurna base camp?  This will make a huge difference in how you approach this.

Send me some details on your itinerary.

Don't have one yet, per say.
We are going to do our very own itinerary as we go - well, whithin limits, as it will be only me and my wife, aside porters and guide.
The idea is to go from Lukla to Gokyo lakes area, and then cross to EBC, finalizing at start point. Looking at 21 days plus - meaning that, the usual 21 day trek includes about 5-6 days in Kathamandu and Lukla, for aclimatization and tours.
We might add up that to the 21 days of trekking, but not sure yet

see standard hik itinerary below:
Day 01 : Arrive Kathmandu / dinner with cultural program.
Day 02 : Explore Boudhnath and Pashupatinath / Trip preparation.
Day 03 : Fly to Lukla and start Everest trekking.
Day 04-05 : Trekking to Namche / Acclimatization rest day.
Day 06 : Trek to Kumjung.
Day 07-08 : Trekking up the Gokyo Valley and enjoy views of massive Cho Oyu.
Day 09-10 : Climb Gokyo Ri / savour the stunning looks of Mt. Everest and pristine lakes.
Day 11 : Trekking on the moraines of the Ngozumpa Glacier to Thangna.
Day 12-13 : Cross the challenging Chola pass and trek to Lobuche: enjoy the superb beauty of Nature.
Day 14 : Trekking Kala Pathar for views across Khumbu Glacier to Everest.
Day 15 : Exploration to the Everest Base Camp.
Day 16-18 : Trekking down to Lukla to end the Everest circuit trek via Pheriche, Thyangboche.
Day 19 : Himalayan flight back to Kathmandu / Rest day.
Day 20 : Free day in Kathmandu.
Day 21 : Trip ends / Airport transfer.(...)"

Thanks
Phil

After 3 trips to Nepal (and 5 treks in total) here are my comments....

Times of the year - October/November is perfect - you'll probably get no rain - at most a shower or two between Lukla and Namche. Very pleasant through the day, bit chilly at night, especially above 4000m.

Itinerary - Looks a bit tight to me - remember high altitude means altitude sickness if you don't aclimitise .... and if you do aclimitise, then mild discomfort. I'm used to trekking long days (10-14 hours) here in New Zealand, but in Nepal have always taken my time and it has paid big dividends, especially when trying to take half decent photos (I have tried to start by 7:30am and finish my trekking by lunch-time, allowing the afternoon to meet the locals, reading, photography. If you haven't been at altitude immediately before arriving at Lukla, then look to spend 2-3 nights at Namche - do day trips to Thame and Kumjung, allowing the recovery at night at a reasonable altitude (3300m) - it will set you up for the rest of the trip, which you will enjoy more. Also take Diamox as a preventative - I found I have gained about 1 day in terms of acclimitisation schedule. The general recommendation is only gaining 300m altitude per day. Take time early in the trip to aclimitise is the best recommendation I can give. I would suggest ......

day 1 Lukla - Phadking or Mondo
day 2 to Namche
day 3 Namche (day trip to Kumjung)
day 4 Namche (day trip to Thame)
day 5 ......onwards (I think its 3 days from Namche to Gokyo)

Gear - last time (and the only time I was using digital), I carried Canon 350D, 17-85 and 70-300. I left my 10-20 in Kathmandu. The pop up flash was sufficient for the 1-2 flash photos I took. I find that the telephoto can be very useful, more than the ultrawide. Image stabilisation is important - with the lack of oxygen it is much harder to handhold a camera. I took sufficient batteries last time for the whole trip - electricity is very limited / non existant beyond Namche. If I was using full frame, I'd take a 24-105 IS and a 70-300 IS L. A lightweight tripod would be handy, so would a polarising filter. Keep your kit simple, with lack of oxygen at higher altitudes, everything is an effort, so there is a tendency to take the easy option, so lenses rarely get changed, tripods only get used when they have to (I didn't take a tripod on 4 of the 5 treks I have done).

Nepal is a wonderful place, the scenery is spectacular and the people are fantastic - enjoy your trip

Thanks for your insights.
You are very right _ I do feel the schedule a bit tight, and that's wahy we are thinking in add another 4-5 days. We truly want a good 20 days hiking. The cookie-cutter plan, actually only allocates 15. We will have too an extra open day, just in case we need it, as deciding to hike one more day, or take another short trek from Lukla.
Been over two years, but our campsites in Kili were about 5-6 miles apart, and less in the end. By the second day we were already at 12k, and mind that Arusha (basecamp/hotel) is about 6k, and we were in town for two full days - By the 4th day, as we kept having slight headaches, we went for the Diamox, and they went away. However we got the annoying itching hands side effect.
Not an high elevation expert, but been up in clouds a few times, meaning way above 8k(feet).  That does not mean a thing however. One climb one might feel fine, and a few weeks later, at lower elevation, mild AS can occur - no matter how fit one is, paying close attention to initial/any signs is a must.

I am planning too to get a solar panel thing to recharge batteries - The side kick with that, is having to get a non-OEM charger, so I can plug it to the solar battery pack.
REI carries a few brands, so I will see which one might work better this summer.
 If you or anyone has any experience using any type/kind to recharge LP-E6 batteries and others while in the backcountry, please chime in - Thanks
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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2012, 05:47:24 PM »

penywisexx

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2012, 06:03:29 PM »
I would look at getting a Capture Camera Clip System  http://peakdesignltd.com/ (also on amazon). It attaches to either your belt or the arm  strap of your backpack. It securely holds your camera to your backpack and makes it very easy to retrieve. After a few minutes with it on your belt or backpack strap you won't even notice it. I've used it hiking Yosemite and have had it on all day and it was much more comfortable then a neck strap or having to retrieve my camera from my backpack constantly. The plate that attaches the camera to the clip system is also compatible with the Joby Ballhead X tripod head, a very lightweight yet good quality tripod head that may be a good choice for your trip.

If you do go with this I'd replace your neck straps with hand straps for your camera bodies. I'm sure you'll enjoy the clip system.

NWPhil

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2012, 06:36:17 PM »
I would look at getting a Capture Camera Clip System  http://peakdesignltd.com/ (also on amazon). It attaches to either your belt or the arm  strap of your backpack. It securely holds your camera to your backpack and makes it very easy to retrieve. After a few minutes with it on your belt or backpack strap you won't even notice it. I've used it hiking Yosemite and have had it on all day and it was much more comfortable then a neck strap or having to retrieve my camera from my backpack constantly. The plate that attaches the camera to the clip system is also compatible with the Joby Ballhead X tripod head, a very lightweight yet good quality tripod head that may be a good choice for your trip.

If you do go with this I'd replace your neck straps with hand straps for your camera bodies. I'm sure you'll enjoy the clip system.

neat system - somewhat similar the blackrapid - and yet some fear LOL
hmmm.. got a lot invested in RRS plates - 2 L's plus two base plates, so it's kind of a snag/
But thanks anyway. Seems easier than BR, and whitout having to get a sling
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pj1974

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2012, 08:29:56 PM »
Although I've never been to Nepal or Tibet, I have some experience with mountain hiking and carrying photo gear. In general I would agree with the other posters to go light. My standard setup is a 7D with 15-85 and 70-300, polarizers, spare batteries and CF cards. What to bring depends on what else you have to lug around and on how much time you have to take photos (there's not much sense in taking too many lenses if you have not the time to change them). And in my experience it depends also on the quality of your backpack. If you don't have one already, it really pays to invest some time (and money) on a very good pack that lets you carry relatively heavy loads comfortably for several hours and allows you quick access to your photo gear…
Most importantly: have fun and take care!  :)

You've already received lots of good advice, Phil

I've not been to Nepal / Tibet - but I have been to SE Asian (eg Thailand), holidaying and trekking there.  I also have a lot of experience travelling in and living in Europe (from the Swiss Alps to Western European cities to remote villages in Romania, etc).

My advice would very closely echo stefsan's above.  I have a Canon 7D, and would take that as my primary camera with the 15-85mm and 70-300mm L as my first two 'travel lenses'.  For a third lens I might take my Sigma 10-20mm, though the Canon 15-85mm @ 15mm can often be sufficient for many landscapes, etc.  :)

When I went to Thailand some years ago, I took all my lenses and 2 camera bodies. It was way overkill. I only used my Canon 100mm macro a few times, and my bright prime once or twice during the few weeks I was there. I didn't bring a flash, as I used a tripod for low light / night shots.  IS on lenses and having a camera with ISO capability certainly helps while travelling!   ;)

If I would go to do your trip, particularly as you're doing quite a few different areas, packing light adds to the convenience.  A back-up body is of course handy in case body #1 breaks. For this, I'd probably take my small, old (but reliable) Canon 350D.  I'd probably not take a tripod, but that's me (I often find other things to use or make do without).

Enjoy your time there, indeed. Best wishes... hoping to see some of your photos.
  8)
Paul
I'm not a brand-fanatic. What I do appreciate is using my 7D and 350D cameras along with a host of lenses & many accessories to capture quality photos, and share with friends.

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2012, 09:01:01 PM »
I have a Voltaic solar charger, along with a Canon LPE6 adapter.  I've mostly just used the USB Battery it came with, which has been great to charge my phone.  I'm slightly hesitant to say it's great for charging camera batteries because I only recently bought the Canon adapter, and only used it once to partially charge a camera battery, but it did its job, no problems when I've used it.

http://www.voltaicsystems.com/solar-camera-charger.shtml

NWPhil

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2012, 10:19:30 PM »
Although I've never been to Nepal or Tibet, I have some experience with mountain hiking and carrying photo gear. In general I would agree with the other posters to go light. My standard setup is a 7D with 15-85 and 70-300, polarizers, spare batteries and CF cards. What to bring depends on what else you have to lug around and on how much time you have to take photos (there's not much sense in taking too many lenses if you have not the time to change them). And in my experience it depends also on the quality of your backpack. If you don't have one already, it really pays to invest some time (and money) on a very good pack that lets you carry relatively heavy loads comfortably for several hours and allows you quick access to your photo gear…
Most importantly: have fun and take care!  :)

You've already received lots of good advice, Phil

I've not been to Nepal / Tibet - but I have been to SE Asian (eg Thailand), holidaying and trekking there.  I also have a lot of experience travelling in and living in Europe (from the Swiss Alps to Western European cities to remote villages in Romania, etc).

My advice would very closely echo stefsan's above.  I have a Canon 7D, and would take that as my primary camera with the 15-85mm and 70-300mm L as my first two 'travel lenses'.  For a third lens I might take my Sigma 10-20mm, though the Canon 15-85mm @ 15mm can often be sufficient for many landscapes, etc.  :)

When I went to Thailand some years ago, I took all my lenses and 2 camera bodies. It was way overkill. I only used my Canon 100mm macro a few times, and my bright prime once or twice during the few weeks I was there. I didn't bring a flash, as I used a tripod for low light / night shots.  IS on lenses and having a camera with ISO capability certainly helps while travelling!   ;)

If I would go to do your trip, particularly as you're doing quite a few different areas, packing light adds to the convenience.  A back-up body is of course handy in case body #1 breaks. For this, I'd probably take my small, old (but reliable) Canon 350D.  I'd probably not take a tripod, but that's me (I often find other things to use or make do without).

Enjoy your time there, indeed. Best wishes... hoping to see some of your photos.
  8)
Paul

Thanks Paul,
Indeed i have, I thank you all to pitch in, sharing your knowledge and ideas.
It will be a while - accounting by the time I PP all of it and organize:), but I will post
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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2012, 10:29:56 PM »
so you aren't going to tibet at all then?
its a pity it really is amazing, the palace and the lake of heaven particularly
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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2012, 10:29:56 PM »

NWPhil

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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2012, 10:31:18 PM »
I have a Voltaic solar charger, along with a Canon LPE6 adapter.  I've mostly just used the USB Battery it came with, which has been great to charge my phone.  I'm slightly hesitant to say it's great for charging camera batteries because I only recently bought the Canon adapter, and only used it once to partially charge a camera battery, but it did its job, no problems when I've used it.

http://www.voltaicsystems.com/solar-camera-charger.shtml

Nice setup - Thanks for the link
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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2012, 12:51:27 AM »
Hi, I noticed that you have only ONE rest day at Namcha. Most people need more then one day to acclimatise. Please be careful, altitude sickness is not a joke!!!
Gokyo is infamous for altitude sickness, many people need to be helicoptered out because they are at risk of dying.

Anyway, the trek you are going to do is fantastic, I have done it three times and the views (photos) are excellent.

Think about your health, so you can enjoy
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Re: Nepal/Tibet hiking with DSLR and lens - vacation feedback wanted
« Reply #44 on: May 09, 2012, 12:51:27 AM »