Blog Entry 13 - The Trip Down

October 23rd 2014
Published: October 23rd 2014
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Blog Entry 13.

It took us seven days to ascend from the crazy airport at Lukla to Gokyo Ri. We made it down in three, dropping several thousand feet of elevation each day.

It was not all downhill (there were still many descents and climbs), but the journey down was easier than the trip up. And its amazing how thick the air feels at 14,000 feet when you have been lurking on a ridge line at 17,575 feet.

As we mentioned before, on the way up into the mountains, our guide Chi-tra took the lead. Using his 19 years of experience, he identified our fitness levels (probably not as good as they should be ... but at the same time quite "average") and set a slow and steady pace that kept us from hiking too aggressively. There is no doubt in our minds that we would not have reached to top of Gokyo Ri if we had not traveled at Chi-Tra's slow methodical pace for the previous six days. He is a true master.

On the way down, when the risks of mountain trekking are reduced a bit, there were days when the more seasoned guides allowed our young guide Prem (who had been trekking at the back of the pack for over a week) to lead. But letting Prem lead held its own risks. In the words of our head guide Giri "Prem is good, but he is young, and sometimes he goes too fast."

Well let us take a minute and tell you about FAST ...

Our last day of hiking was spectacular. We were below the tree line, in the thick air and we traveled all the way from Namche Baazar to Lukla.

On the night before, Jeff decided to rid himself of some excess weight by preparing a package of his remaining snacks for Prem.

Now you need to understand that the Sherpa diet is very basic (lots noodles, broth and vegetables). It does not include a lot of processed sugar.

Well Jeff's "care package" for Prem included at least a dozen candy bars and several packages of Oreo cookies.

The next morning we set off for Lukla with Prem in the lead. It did not take us long to realize that we were booking. After about an hour of this unprecedented pace we were breathing hard and beginning to wonder out loud why were were moving so fast. Kris identified the problem right away ... pointing out that the speedy pace was Jeff's fault ... because he got Prem all hyped up chocolate.

In the end we covered nearly 13 miles of mountain trails in less than seven hours, while ascending almost 3,000 vertical feet and descending 3,900 vertical feet ... by far our best day.

After a good nights sleep in Lukla, we flew back to Kathmandu. At our official weigh-in, we had an average weight loss of between 10 and 20 pounds.

So here we are, safe and sound in Kathmandu. We had a nice farewell dinner and now we are relaxing at a lovely hotel. We head home tonight.

There will be one or two more blog so stay tuned.


23rd October 2014

The trip down
I was worried about that Lukla Airport thing. :-( Glad you made it. We're really excited to hear & "see" about this adventure. You're probably somewhere into your 17 hr flight home. Hope you're enjoying it. It must be sort of sad to leave your new friends behind knowing you'll never see them again and at the same time be excited about getting home. Oh well. Len
23rd October 2014

Now that your back....
For those of you interested - Discovery Channel did an unbelievable 3D video of Mt Everest with elevation levels noted....regarding the avalanche tragedy. They even let you navigate a 360 degree view form the top. // Even appreciate more what you all accomplished - amazing! Congrats!
24th October 2014

What a trip!
Just caught up on everything post-avalanche, and it sounds like a fantastic ride! Kudos to you all for undertaking the adventure, and thanks so much for the heroic efforts to blog it along the way. It is phenomenal to be back here in Madison enjoying the "view" from the other side of the world (metaphorically, at least. My geography's not so good, so I'm making no claims as to literality). Safe travels home!
27th October 2014

Welcome back
Was concerned about the avalanche. Serious stuff. Gald y'all are back.

Tot: 0.916s; Tpl: 0.014s; cc: 8; qc: 44; dbt: 0.0114s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb