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Published: January 8th 2006
I spent the whole day up on Kalapatar with Andrew and there was no one else around for 99% of it. Watching the sunset with this view and no one else around is an experience I will remember forever
Everest/Sagamartha/Chomolungma - These are the English, Nepali and Sherpa names respectively for the infamous mountain.
TO MY MULTINATIONAL TEAM - Swedish - Robert and Line, Australian - Adam and Andrew and British - Me! "We may not be quick up but just watch us come down". Thanks for your company, friendship and support along the way it wouldn't have been half as good otherwise. Here's to the next best ever snickers.
Summary: I booked a flight on my own to Lukla the most popular destination to start trekking from and picked up my bag armed with warm clothes but no sleeping bag and headed off into the himalayas. I spent in total 16 days trekking to Kalapatar (the main everest viewpoint) with one shower on day 4 and made some great friends who I plan to stay in touch with. I'll be visiting two of them in Australia for beer, Australian football and Indiana Jones movies amongst other things hopefully. Along the way I stayed in small lodges owned by Sherpa families eating mostly local food (daal bhaat and other things) and enduring temperatures which went down to -17Celcius while trekking.
The Itinerary for my trip as a
Proof! - I was really there :)
personal record is at the bottom of this page.
Having heard some bad stories about the current status with Maoist rebels charging English/American people 5000Rps and even turning some people back altogether I decided to take the flight to Lukla airport which was an adventure in itself. The runway is incredibly short and on a big slope so it looks like the plane is going to smack straight into the mountain but landings are actually pleasantly smooth.
The normally busy and reputedly rubbish cluttered trails of Sagamartha national park turned out to be empty (thanks to the cold) and relatively clean (thanks to various clean up operations). Don't get me wrong the rubbish level could still be better especially during the early stages of the trek but the rubbish is now very minimal and seems to mostly be from locals. During the day on the way up we would maybe bump into 2 or at most 3 groups of people and normally the same ones who we became friends with.
I'm particularly proud of having gone out and done the trek myself carrying all my own gear the whole way. OK so at the end of day
Day 3 - steak lunch!
It's a hard life. Everest on the top left and Ama dablam on the far right.
2 I dumped a load of stuff at a lodge to pick up on the way back deciding my pack was far too heavy but I still carried luxuries like an mp3 player (which stopped working on day 3!!) and a xmas pudding to eat on xmas day (which i was sick for so i had to eat the pudding after the trek!!). Pleased to say though that the mp3 player is still working and the xmas pudding was just as delicious.
The weather although cold turned out to be perfect. Clear blue skies with minimal wind for every day except the last two/three on the way down when things became unstable and clouded over - the day after we spent the whole day on kalapatar the weather closed in and you couldn't see a thing which made us feel extremely lucky. December is I would say by far the best month to go trekking in - statistically the driest month so snow isn't really likely to be a problem and also the number of trekkers is a fraction of what it normally would be.
The scenery along the whole way is spectacular and always changing - it's
Robert and Line (the Sweedish couple) on the left and Adam (one of the Aussies) on the right.
amazing how far you can walk in a day. Anyway thats enough about this part of my trip.
Day 1: Fly KTM-Lukla, Trek Lukla (2850m) - Phakding (2650m) 2hrs 50min - "this is the life nice and easy"
Day 2: Phakding-Namche (3480m) 6hrs 20 min - "my god what have i got myself into i'm going to die!"
Day 3: Acclimatisation day. Namche-Everest View Hotel (guess around 3700m) - Namche. Total 4hrs 45min walking. "Steak lunch infront of everest, this is more like it again"
Day4: Namche-Phunki Tenga (3250m) 3hrs 20 min, Punki Tenga-Tyanboche (3860m) 1 hr 55min. "sniff sniff, ooh better take a shower - and bloody good it was too"
Day5: Tyanboche-Pangboche (4000m) 2hrs 45min, Pangboche-Dingboche 2hrs35min (4350m)
Day6: Acclimatisation day. Dingboche-Nangkar Tshang peak (5080m) 3hrs 35min "getting into the swing of things now"
Day7: Me and Adam very sick - rest day. "Looking on the bright side it's free colonic irrigation"
Day8: Dinboche-Dughla (4620m) 2hrs 45min "Liable to blow at any time but made it up with no majr problems"
Day9: Dughla-Lobuche (4940m) 2hrs20mins - "sniff sniff - eh, I'm learning to live with it"
Where we stayed on day 4. The lodge was amazingly owned by the daughter of Dawa Tenzing (NB:not Tenzing Norgay) who organised the first succesful expedition to the top of everest. They had an amazing collection of original letters and photos which they showed us.
otos and itinerary to come soon
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