Im looking into doing this trek but im having trouble finding useful info about it other than guided tours. i want to hire a porter and all but not do it with a tour group. whos done it, how long did it take, how much for a porter, what level of fitness is required for this sort of trek saying i gave it two weeks?
Individual guides and porters can be hired very easily in Kathmandu, via travel agents, hotels, etc. - this shouldn't be any problem (although you may have to allow a couple days for you/them to prepare).
As for fitness level - I met a friend who had done it, she was young, but at a fairly average fitness level and said it was a challenge but not too bad. She actually said that when you get higher up, due to safety reasons and altitude sickness - you couldn't do all that much trekking per day (ie it was around 300m altitude a day). This is the only opinion I've heard though. As for myself, I just did a 5 day trek in the Annapurnas.
If you're of average fitness, altitude sickness and how susceptable you are (esp. if you've never been up high before) is probably the biggest concern. Your guide/porter will allow you to go at your pace, although you'll have more chance of getting rained on the longer you go in the afternoon - most treks you'll leave early morning though, and perhaps arrive early afternoon.
Also, the best thing about going without a group is that if you feel tired or sick, you should be able to just take a day's rest with the guide/porter, although you'd probably have to give them some payment.
Generally, I think a rough guide is that you shouldn't be paying much more than $60US a day - includes food, accomodation, 1 guide or porter, permits, etc. Of course this varies with the type of trek/currencies/guide etc.
[ Edit: Edited on Nov 20, 2008, at 11:52 PM by Erik85 ]
yeah i havnt done any high altitude hiking before but yaeh im gonna have to train heaps over the next 2 months. could anyone recomend a good travel agent for booking porters and flights from kathmandu? whats the best way to book flights to and from lukla?
Out of curiosity, what kinda price is this trip going to cost you excluding the flights. I have been intrested in this trip myself.
I wish i knew too.im still at the drawing board but im planning to go in late january. does anyone know of a good sorce of info for this area?
The Lonely Planet guide for Nepal was what I used - it's pretty good for general information and has quite a few itenarys for the treks you can do.
As for prices, they are generally very cheap, you should only pay about for $10 to $20US per day for food + accomodation. For trekking, I gave an amount of "you shouldn't be paying much over $60/day", which I remember being stated in LP. Costs there include a guide/porter (their payment as well as their food/accomodation), trekking passes, etc.
Keep in mind that if going in January it will be cold. It still can be done (my friend I mentioned before went in December). So there you may have to fork in some more for clothes/trekking gear that is appropriate for well into the negatives (not sure really, a guess is up to -30 degrees C or so). Although beyond 4000m or so it is snow all year round anyway.
Sorry I can't really give much more info!