Published: August 15th 2009
August 15th 2009
Ok this might be a long one! so going to have to do this in parts!
Started with a flight to Lukla (look up a video of the landing strip etc) which we took at 7am but the pilots got lost, flew around for about an hour giving amazing views of most mountain ranges and then told us we were lost and it was too foggy to land and we went back to kathmandu a bit dejected. But then we got another flight at about 10-11 when the mist cleared and landed on the shortest landing strip i've ever seen which was pretty hairy and then walked 2 hours to Phakding and stayed there. Our guide Bishnu seemed pretty normal at this point and it was a good way to break outselves in at about 2500m and not being used to trekking really. We washed in the river - forseeing that there wouldnt be any good showers any further up and then next day did the 4 to 5 hour walk to Namche Bazaar which was pretty crazy. A big descent because theres no such thing as a flat walk in Everest region. That meant an overall climb of about
400m, but in reality, a climb of about 1000m up in one go. Me and quick decided to bosh that one out so smashed it in about 1hr and 30 with proby not that far behind, but our guide! and jon right at the back both seeming to feel the altitude quite a lot which was a worrying sign. Felt a bit out of breath and tired as expected but not too bad all things considered, just glad to get done. We got as much meat as possible while we knew it was safe to eat and then slept in freezing conditions under lots of blankets pretty well. Next day was a similar walk to Tengboche with a really cool really high monastery another 400m-ish up at about 3600m which again involved a long climb with a similar outcome. Getting pretty tired after a few 5 hour days but good stuff, and amazing views when the clouds cleared. We got to go sit in the monastery when they prayed in the evening which was great and another cold cold night playing cards but got to sleep pretty early. Everywhere was pretty empty but they're building like crazy!!! Loads new lodges
for the new season and really glad we managed to go in low season. Even if a few views were lost behind the mist, we barely saw any others when walking apart form when we stopped or those we passed.
From Tengboche we went to Pheriche, without a doubt one of the coldest coldest nights of my life where you have to tuck your duvet in right around just to maintain any sense of feeling in your body. Did however buy some peanut butter that looked like it came from the 90s just for a bit of a sugar rush while we recovered from what was becoming an average 5-6hour solid walking day mixed up with breaks for lunch and good views! Met some cool people along the way, various groups of brits, aussies, NZ's and americans as well as a group of 60 taiwanese who followed us about a day behind most of the trip. Pheriche to Lobouche was pretty boring and altitude was really hitting us at 4900m with jon feeling pretty miserable and most of us with headaches. Next day however, was everest base camp
We got up at 5 and trekked to gorakshep, the old basecamp in the early morning light, dumped our bags, had breakfast and did another 2 hours to everst base camp. The path was barely a path with precarious rock perched above us on the graveley slopes and a glacier standing between us and the mountain itself. the sun gradually came out along this awlk until at base camp it was amazing sunshine. All along the path we could hear avalanches from glaciers coming down the mountians towering down on every side. got a video but once again its on proby's usb and internet is so slow so i'll up load it later with photos. we mocked up a cornish flag our of gaffa tape, a sleeping liner and toilet paper that looked awesome and went photo-crazy, even venturing out across to the far side of the glacier for pictures in front of, climbing and doing anything we could with everest, even grabbing some rays! Awesome and Bishnu really came through taking us right out over the glacier to real base camp, where most other trekkers hadnt managed to get to because of adverse conditions and probably a rather sensible respect for the dangers of the glacier.
Next morning we climbed to the summit of Kala Pathar - 5500m to see stunning views of everest which never appeared throught he mist so instead we began an 5 hour stomp back to pheriche and similar days back to Namche and Lukla. These were horrible. Tired from 7 days walking at altitude we then had to walk mostly downhill which may sound easy but we were all pretty soon moaning about knees and i certainly enjoyed the uphill more than the down! In lukla we successfully solved our junk food cravings and also the prblem of not flying for 2 days and having to wait for a plane by sampling some of the Nepali Rum to pass the time. Good idea but still had to get up at 5am to check if we could fly. which we eventually did on the 3rd day. Same crazy take-off only lifting the wheels with about 10 yards of tarmac and a pretty massive drop on the other side below us. Back in kathmandu, washing which was our top priority as hot showers were non-existant not he trek and we had only taken 2 sets of clothes. We'd also succeeded in a getting a pretty spectacular farmers tan on the face arms, neck and legs but nowhere else, have to even that one out on the beaches in goa, such a shame!
Anyway, that was such a great trip, definately worth every penny and so many great memories as well as photos, but as usual they're on proby and jon's cameras so we'll have to wait for those aswell!