I have just completed the Everest Base Camp trek with my two teenage boys (15 and 17) The entire experience was amazing and will be etched in our memories for a lifetime. This was made possible by the excellent service and support provided from the AME team. I originally inquired with a larger non-Nepal based adventure company, that was recommended by a family member who had used their services. They had an age limit of 15 and refused to take us, despite that my youngest boy would be turning 15 on the trek. I then did some research via Trip Advisor and contacted AME. Tika responded within and hour, providing all the necessary information. His responsiveness to further emails over the next few months was excellent. As such, I decided to book with them over twelve months ago. The earthquake, six months ago raised serious concern. I considered cancelling/deferring the trek, however after communicating with Tika and doing some independent research, I decided with my boys, to go ahead. It was the right decision.
On landing in Kathmandu we were greeted by our guide Shusil and taken to our accommodation, the Yellow Pagoda. After checking in, we visited the AME offices and Tika explained the Trek. We spent two days in Kathmandu visiting the historic sites, unfortunately all had suffered some damage however there was still plenty to see and experience. After landing in Lukla (no delays due to bad weather) we met our porters Hari and Roman. These guys were amazing. From carrying our bags/fruit, cleaning tables and serving our meals. I did not see this type of service provided to other Trekkers that had chosen other companies. The fruit at the end of each dinner was a special touch. The tea house accommodation along the route was basic and as expected. The food during the trek was above expectation and surprisingly good. The team helped us achieve our EBC goal. Without them it would not have been possible. We suffered from altitude sickness, stomach issues and slight colds, however all of this was manageable. Along the route, there was some evidence of earthquake damage in most villages. The rebuilding/repair process is well underway and in my opinion no reason not to visit Nepal and trek to EBC. The experience from start to end was excellent, the scenery spectacular, the trek demanding both physically and emotionally. It is a great thing to do with teenagers to bond, set a joint goal and achieve. AME is a very well run company. Their approach is very flexible and caring. Their pricing is competitive. If you are looking to Trek Nepal, I have no hesitation in recommending AME.
1. As AME request. Insurance is a must. We saw several helicopter evacuations each day of ill/injured people. The cost can be as high as US$6000 for an evacuation. Confirm that the policy covers altitudes up to 6000 metres. We live in Singapore and most insurers would only cover to 3000 metres. Check the policy document carefully.
2. As a practice run, we climbed Mt Kinabalu (Borneo) 4000+ metres in October last year. The ascend is quite dramatic so we took Diamox. The side affects are not pleasant. For EBC we had Diamox, however AME/Shusil our guide recommended to manage without. We did this with no major issues. Apparently beer can make AMS worse as such I refrained for the duration of the trek...feel much better for it anyway.
3. Clothing and equipment. The AME list on their website is excellent. If you need to buy gear, my recommendation is to do so in Kathmandu. The range is extensive, quality is fine and pricing was much less then buying in either Singapore or Australia. I could have saved quite a bit of money if I did this. Some shops also sell secondhand.