Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp

Today would be a relatively short day heading up towards the Everest Base Camp.  The path was rough and fairly narrow and undulated along the side of the valley.  As per normal now the views were stunning with mountains towering above.

The path undulated (as usual!) along the rocky moraine/scree.  The path was very busy from EBC.  After the accident lots of teams had abandoned the mountain.  The Discovery channel had planned a major broadcast over 7 nights (A sort of springwatch, Everest Live), but this had been cancelled.  We saw lots of equipment being carried down, showing how big an operation it had been.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Lobuche to Gorak Shep

Today was due to be a big day.  A walk to Gorak Shep, breaking 5000m and a possible climb up Kala Patthar.  I was feeling good, and doing a lot better than I thought I would be. The day before had been great and at times I had been 'flying'.

A few hours later and I was back down with a bump.  The walk to Gorak Shep isn't that hard, it climbs around 200m over a few hours with only one notable climb.  For the first hour the trek is fairly flat before a short steep climb onto a glacier.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Dingboche to Lobuche

After the relaxing rest day we were back on the move.  A short but sharp climb out of Dingboche followed the same path as the acclimatization hike the day before.  It was still as steep and got the blood flowing early in the morning. 

The valley was fairly gradual and it was a good walk surrounded by high mountains.  Summer pastures and huts provides shelter to the Yaks and Yak men during the summer months.  We passed above the village of Pheriche in the deep valley below, in a few days time we would be returning via a tea house below. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Dingboche Rest Day

Today we had an acclimatisation day in Dingboche.  As it was a nice rest day we were allowed a 30 minute lie in!  The acclimatisation walk today headed up a ridge covered in prayer flags and chortens.  The views are incredible, Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Taboche, Cholatse and the seemingly small Island peak (only 6100m!).


Whilst only a short walk in distance, you can get pretty high (4700m).  The afternoon was spent on the kindle and generally resting.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Tengbouche to Dingboche

Today had a gentle start, dropping down from Tengbouche to the village of Debouche.  The path was mainly through woods dropping down to an old bridge across the river.  This fairly substantial bridge collapsed last year in the monsoon, so we carried on down lower to cross a temporary wooden bridge.

This section of the path is prone to landslips and rock falls, so there was no pausing or rest stops!  After the wooden bridge the path climbed steeply to regain some of the lost height.  Ama Dablam is again the biggest and most majestic mountain looking over us.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Kjangjuma to Tengboche

The day started fairly easily, undulating along with great views down the steep valley.  We had great
views of Ama Dablam, which is a superb looking peak and looks just like a mountain should!  The glacier on top is massive and looks like it could collapse at any moment!

Today was a lot warmer at around 20 degrees, so we were back in t-shirts.  The path undulated gently along before dropping steeply to another suspension bridge at Phunki Tenga.  This place is famous for its water powered prayer wheels; unfortunately most appeared to be broken.  We then began another steep climb.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Namche Bazzar to Kyangjuma

Most guides recommend a 2 night stay in Namche Bazzar to help with acclimatisation, but we only stayed 1 and then moved onto Kyangjuma.   This small town is slightly higher than Namche Bazzar but a couple of hours down the trail. 

We headed up and out of Namche Bazzar towards the Shyanboche airstrip.  This is a hard steep climb to start the day with and certainly gets the heart going.  Some of our group were beginning to see signs of mild AMS, this included people much fitter than I.  This shows how variable altitude is on the body, it truly is a lottery.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Phakding to Namche Bazzar

We had an early start to the day, woke at 06.30 with a cup of tea.  This was the standard practice, a nice hot cup of tea followed by a check from the Leader (Sukman) around 15 mins later.  He was looking for signs of any altitude issues, and to get us out of bed!

Today would be a much harder day and one I was fearing.  I had no idea how I would cope with the altitude and I knew that the climb into Namche Bazzar was a fairly tough steep climb of around 600m.  I know I struggle on steep hills so I had some trepidation. 

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Lukla to Phakding

The day began in spectacular fashion with the infamous flight from Kathmandu to Lukla.  Renown as one of the most dangerous airports in the world (combined with the fact that the EU has banned every Nepali airline for safety reasons), there was more of a sense of anticipation/apprehension than a normal flight. 

It was a lovely clear day and by all accounts there were great views over the mountains and Everest.  These views are very dependent on what seat you can grab!  The left hand side or front row is the best.   The flight is short and sweet but the landing is even shorter!   Lukla’s runway is a one shot only affair, you either get it right or crash, there are no second chances.