Competitor information


As we countdown to November, we’ll be updating this page with useful, more details information to help you prepare for your trip. Note the “normal” FAQ page here.

Key things to look out for:

  • Cover for travel above 4000m and less than 6000m  – normal trekking / hiking “active” policies will cover this. It is not mountaineering.
  • Cover for helicopter evacuation.
  • Cover for repatriation to your country for emergency treatment.
  • Check small print for “race” entry conditions, though this is not a “professional race” for prize money.

http://www.snowcard.co.uk/ is a good company in the UK.  Often your country’s mountaineering organisation (like BMC in the UK, or the Austrian Alpine Association, or ITRA) has an low cost insurance scheme for members. Sometimes it is economic to become a member and take out the insurance.

First see this  summary recommendation page here.

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You can see the itinerary here.

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Yes you do. You can apply for it less than 14 days before entry. See here: https://nepaliport.immigration.gov.np/online

Don’t worry about the data being super exact, apart from the passport data, which must of course be exact! Some notes:

  • Have a digital passport photo ready before starting. If the file size is huge, perhaps send it to yourself via WhatsApp and download the reduced file.
  • Point of entry: Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA)
  • Visa type: tourist visa
  • If you live in a different country to your passport’s country, then please just go with the flow. It will expect an address of that country and phone number of that country, so just enter data accordingly.
  • For the address in Nepal, type: Hotel Manaslu
  • Finally, download the resulting PDF. Print it if you can. Otherwise you can show on your phone if it is charged and can access the phone.

If you notice a mistake, just repeat the process from the beginning and ignore the previous entry. It will expire on its own.

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As of May 2023, a covid certificate is no longer required.

Here is updated information from the US embassy in Nepal.

 

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Yes you could if so inclined. Giving to individuals creates problems and giving to organisations is much better. Schools are an obvious choice.

If you really want to donate something, we’re happy to put your donation into a pool and buy equipment that is suitable and appropriate for schools in the area.

Alternatively, you can use your challenge to bring attention to certain organisations in Nepal. This is an example from a 2023 race competitor.

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We’ll make sure you are properly hydrated at all times, or at least have as much clean water to drink as you need.

Local water taps might be 99% clean in every place we go to, but we’ll not take any risks with the 1%.

We will carry Swiss Katadyn gravity filters to provide enough filtered water for those who require cold water for drinking. This is the most environmentally sensitive option by far. A softbottle filter is also quite useful, like this BeFree.

We provide filtered water at most checkpoints too (except stage 5).

Traditionally in trekking lodges in the mountains, water is provided boiling hot in thermos flasks. As you get higher up this is a pleasant way to stay warm and enjoy your favorite kind of tea (bring some bags). This requires though that trees are chopped for the fire to heat the water and it is expensive, so please be mindful of this and treat hot water as precious.

We will not offer bottled water because there because of the obvious pollution issue – where to put the used bottles?

There is of course always the option of purifying water with tablets such as iodine or, better, chlorine dioxide. It could be handy to have a pack with you just in case you find yourself with no other options on the trail.

Tip: Just make sure you have a heat-proof 1 litre bottle for hot water. A Nalgene bottle or small insulated cup is ideal.

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Yes. Please send us your flight arrival details as soon as you have them. Then we’ll plan to be at the airport waiting to save you from the hoards of taxi drivers.

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Yes. Of course. Arriving earlier is a great idea.

Just let us know if you want help to book a room (in the race hotel, or somewhere else) or plan any visits.

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Yes you can. Just make sure it is clearly labelled with your name and we’ll store it at the hotel. In fact we will give you a label for your bag. We give you a ~50 litre duffle bag for the race, which works well on mules and saves your own bag getting damaged.

You can also send a bag to the post-finish hotel with a clean set of clothes, shampoo, wash kit etc. Even swimming trunks, there is a very cold outdoor pool at the post-finish hotel.

Please be brutal with your packing for the mule duffel bag. We can help you with this on the Sunday morning after the briefing.

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It is commonly recommended by people to dress modestly in Nepal: cover your shoulders, no plunging cleavages (for those with big pectoral muscles), and no tiny shorts.

This is more than fair. Tiny running knickers would be a bit like wearing a bikini in a library – completely out of place.

Running tights or slightly square cut shorts will be fine, as will a simple running shirt with sleeves. People know what you are doing, and understand the dress used for this.

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The chances of rain or snow are very slim, but never impossible. It has rained twice on Stage 4 in 10 years. If it does rain / snow, then it will be dangerously cold. Rain is unlikely to be heavy, but your jacket should keep water off your dry clothes underneath for at least a couple of hours.

Waterproof trousers should not be necessary, however a cheap, lightweight pair of windproof trousers (poor waterproofs) will be essential crossing the high pass so should be packed.

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Best avoided. It will be easier to take a few sets of clean socks and t-shirts than wash them, but you can wash them. Drying is a problem in some places as the sun sets behind a mountain ridge, for instance, but then you could try to dry them out in the sun the following day. Sama (after stage 4) is the ideal time to do this, but still better to avoid carrying wet clothes with you, by reusing your running clothes and socks. Dust out the socks at the end of the stage, wash your feet on arrival. Consider a merino wool t-shirt as your running shirt. It’s won’t smell even if you do. Consider a face cloth for washing armpits and wiping over your body.

 

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You can buy pretty much everything you might need in Kathmandu – even French cheeses. The quality might be slightly different to what you are used to.

Trail running gear is very limited in range in Kathmandu. Hiking & mountaineering gear is in abundance.

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There is limited power in four of the places where we stay.

  • before and after stage 1
  • Not after stage 2
  • Maybe after stage 3 – unpredictable supply
  • Very likely after stage 4 & 5 if sun shines in the day (solar).
  • Likely after stage 6, where we stay for 2 nights.
  • Unlikely after crossing the pass. Very limited solar only.

In Samdo (after stage 6, before pass), they switch on the hydro-plant at 5pm. Hopefully most cameras or GPSs will need just a couple of charges.

Bring a charged spare battery pack / power bank if you can – 10000mA is great. If you don’t use this at home, you could donate to the staff afterwards, as they always struggle with keeping batteries charged when in the mountains.

To increase battery life, dim the screen brightness on your phone / camera, this will increase battery life as does airplane mode for phone, and closing apps.

Micro-hydro plants can break down or freeze. Don’t be disappointed if there is a problem with the electricity. It’s a normal occurrence for the lights to go out in Nepal.

When you see that there is electricity, charge your batteries immediately, it may not last for long.

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Yes. You need to carry a small first aid kit with you to manage blisters, cuts and bruises etc. You should be able to clean and dress small wounds. The doctor is not able to fix your blisters.

Our first race doctor recommends this  Lifesystems Adventurer First Aid Kit – Red which is ‘bulky’ but not at all heavy. Feel free to make and bring your own. See equipment list for more details.

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No. We can discuss use of diamox at the race briefing. Many people use it prophylactically to improve acclimatisation though it can have some minor side-effects. It is freely available to buy in Kathmandu and cheap. We’ll also carry a good supply of diamox in our medical kit so you don’t need to buy or bring.

Dr Beth McElroy has provided this following info sheet for you.

Diamox information sheet 2014

There is a technical downside to diamox. “Acetazolamide (diamox) will still be on the 2018 Prohibited List published by WADA,” says Dr McElroy.

 

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There is a big variation from the first day to the pass. We are expecting stable, sunny conditions though that cannot be guaranteed of course.

The first days can be hot and shorts and t-shirt will be suitable until evening time.

At the end of stage 2 – you’ll feel better in warm jacket and hat in the evening. From stage 3 – it will be cold, probably just below zero centigrade. From Samagaon (end stage 4) to Bimtang (start stage 7), then you will be wearing a big down jacket, hat, warm pants when not running, and when running, depending if there is wind or cloud, people might choose to wear running tights and add a thin fleece. A hat against the sun, buff, and sunglasses advised.

After stopping running it can quickly feel cold so this is why you must carry warm clothing – warm hat, down jackets and leg covering in your running pack.

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Historically the places we stay don’t have hot showers as standard and may point you to the local public tap and give you a bucket, but this is improving however.  After stages 1, 2 and 4 its possible to take a warm-ish shower as gas showers are now available.

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No. You don’t need to bring any food with you. You could bring a few dehydrated meals if you really want to and we can provide hot water to prepare them. The food we give you is tasty, healthy and plentiful. If anything, you may want to bring some energy bars, gels or favorite chocolate.

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Yes, you should have vaccinations for Nepal. Please read this advice from the Centers for disease control and prevention in the USA:

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/nepal

From a point of view of vaccinations, we will clearly not be spending long periods living in a rural village in Nepal coming into contact with large numbers of people, or travelling to the warmer plains etc etc. and indeed traveling in an area with low population and lower temperatures.

We’ll be ensuring all of the water you drink is filtered and that we all (including staff) follow a rigorous clean-hand policy, which will substantially reduce the risk of getting ill. There is no risk from malaria.

We have a race doctor with us so any treatments you receive will also be rapid and professional.

This said, immunisations are a precaution against very serious diseases. While to our knowledge no previous participant has suffered from any disease listed on the page above, and we feel that the risk of serious illness on this trip is low compared to other modes of travel, it is important that you make your immunisation plan based upon advice from a medical professional. As a minimum, we’d advise that you make sure you are up to date with Hepatitis A and Typhoid (plus the routine vaccinations).

 

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