After you have decided on a trekking agency, you need to be really specific with the services that you need. You have to specify
who will care for the sherpas' tents, climbing gear and so on.
What food (BC and high altitude) will you provide, what should be provided by them, kitchen tents, BC-mass tents, fuel, oxygen, transportation and such. The Sherpas should be insured (a small, yet important cost to save lives).
Beware if you are promised a permit space by your agency; you could end up without it upon arriving in Kathmandu. Pressure the agency in time for all the facts about your expedition leader, contact him/her yourself and check with the Ministery
that the permit really has been filed for and that your name is included.
Make sure that all the negotiations are confirmed in writing (fax or e-mail) and bring all the correspondence with you upon arrival in Kathmandu. Phone agreements will NOT be enough! Having everything put on print makes it very
clear who said what. It prevents unnecessary hassles and added costs when time is short in Kathmandu.
The following is an example of what you need to have cleared before you get to Kathmandu, in terms of who should handle what:
- High altitude Sherpas "climbing gear" (sponsored by you with an amount of cash, say 1000-2000 USD each, actually their salary)
- Climbers climbing gear (you)
- Climbers tents, burners, and camp gear for all camps (you)
- Sherpas tents and gear all camps (agency)
- BC- and C2 kitchen tents & kitchen gear (agency)
- BC- and C2 mass tents (preferably you)
- Oxygen climbers and sherpas (you - Poisk)
- Oxygen gear climbers and sherpas (preferably you - Poisk)
- Transportation all gear Lukhla-BC-Lukhla (agency)
- Transportation gear your country-Kathmandu-back (you)
- Permit handling (agency)
- Icefall fee (upon agreement or agency)
- Fixed ropes fee (you - to providing climbers - be honest)
- Fuel kitchen tents (agency)
- Fuel all high camps (agency)
- Food BC and C2 (agency - but bring loads of extra goodies)
- Food high camp Sherpas (agency)
- Food high camps climbers (you)
- Airplane tickets Lukhla-Kathmandu-Lukhla (agency)
- Liaison officer (agency)
- Sherpas insurance (agency)
- Climbers insurance (you)
- Medical aids (you)
- Weather forecasts, sat phone, computers and all other tech (you)
- Permits for all of the above tech stuff (agency - but check fees before deciding, "private" videocam is free, "pro" cam is up to 5000 USD, some projects even requiring added Liasion officers)
- Sherpa salaries (agency)
- Sherpa gratuity (you, depending on satisfaction and altitude 10-20% of climbing gear fee and don't forget cooking boys).