Everest Base Camp Trek Cybercast
Well we are all about to head out the door here this morning en route to our home bases. Last night we had a grand celebration dinner at the Roadhouse Cafe. I don't think pizza has ever tasted so good coming back from the mountains and I've done it numerous times! I think everyone truly enjoyed the food and company. A small crew then headed out for a last beer- it was great fun. This trekking group did a tremendous job hanging in despite our schedule changes at the beginning of our trip which affected various things throughout: itinerary, accommodations, rest days, etc. That combined with the normal harsh environment of these high mountains makes for a difficult endurance fest. This group responded well and I believe everyone truly enjoyed the experience. The magic of the Khumbu and its people is hard not to feel and enjoy. I hope all will remember it for a long time to come. Cheers to the Everest Trekking '07 team! My best, Dave
Namaste! We've made it back to Kathmandu and the crew is definitely excited. We were able to fly out of Lukla today as the weather held all afternoon. This morning there was a bit of fog in Kathmandu but flights began around 10 a.m. and didn't stop until we were out! The crew is now finishing up last minute shopping and getting ready for our celebration dinner tonight. We have a few joining us from the Island Peak group so it will be a gang of 20. Pasang Tenzing is going to bring his son as well which should be a lot of fun. I love little 4 year old Sherpa kids- especially Tshering! We had another long day walking down to Lukla yesterday but the gang held strong. There were a couple of horses hired for some of the team that woke up with a surprise stomach bug but all in all it went well. The party last night was WONDERFUL! We handed out our tips of appreciation to the staff and then danced and danced. Lots of Nepali folk/pop remixes and a few Western songs thrown in. I'd like to say thanks once again to our great staff of Nepali and Sherpa who are always wonderful in helping out with everything from tea in the morning to moving bags to arranging special requests. They are the glue of the trip! We'll talk tomorrow after our celebration dinner. All the best, Dave
Tashi Delek from Namche Bazaar. We arrived here yesterday evening after two long days. The first brought us down from Gorak Shep to Dingboche.
Dropping down from 17,100' to 13,800' felt like we were ending up nearly at sea level. The air felt thicker and more moist. It is amazing how the body adjusted to such altitudes making high altitudes feel relatively low.
Yesterday was also a long day and brought us back to Namche. It was of course always a pleasure to get back to the Panaroma lodge and Lhakpa Doma's smiling face.
The trip to BC and Kala Pattar was a definite challenge for all but was well worth the pay off. We were able to get up Kala Pattar at 18,500' the afternoon after arriving in Gorak Shep. It's a constant burn straight up and everyone feels the thin air as you climb. The 'highest gig in the world' was going on when we arrived (see picture) with members of the bands The Fixx, The Alarm, Squeeze and Stray Cats. They've been fun to get to know along the way as we've been with thim on and off throughout the trip.
Allen has been bonding in their common goal of the fight against cancer.
Base Camp was a treat for everyone and it was an atypical year in that there was an autumn Everest expedition. That meant showing an actual base camp rather than saying 'here we are' with no sign of a base camp. The team trying to summit is a group from Thailand which doesn't look like they'll have enough time. They have fixed the route to CII but no farther (that's the gossip going around!).
Last night after making it to Namche people were able to get a few showers in though some were done after dark as our yaks arrived a bit later than usual. The hot water was still wonderful! We are leaving Namche this morning for one more long pull into Lukla. After the harsh conditions of being at high altitude the long three day trip from Gorak Shep to Lukla always seems like a long trip. The thoughts of hot showers of the Yak n Yeti is definitely a topic of conversation now.
This morning before leaving Namche Bazaar we visited Nima Tshering's home for a wonderful cup of butter tea and a farewell khata. We've been picking up many of them along the way home and will no doubt have a couple of more before boarding our international flights home. Nima's father is an important man of the community here and his grandfather was one of the mail runners back during the first successful expedition to Mt. Everest. Nima is a great addition to our guide team whenever he joins our treks.
I'm sending along some photos from up high. I'll also be sending more later on tonight or tomorrow morning from Lukla. Look for those!
We'll be in touch soon!
All the best,
Walking through the ice with tent of base camp in the distance
Walking on the Khumbu glacier just below the Khumbu ice fall
Tents at Base Camp
The amazing view of Everest and Nuptse from Kala Pattar
'The highest gig in the world' 18,500' on Kala Pattar
Namaste from Dave calling in from Dingboche in the Khumbu Valley. We just got done making the long journey from Gorak Shep to Dingboche at under 14,000 ft. The group is pretty spent from having 3 days up high. I'm guessing tonight, our team's appetite will come back a bit and tomorrow night in Namche, they'll even be better. We couldn't have asked for any better weather up high at Kala Pattar or Everest Base Camp. I think there is an inverse relationship to people's spirits and the altitude. The lower we go now - the higher their spirits will be. Everybody loved the views and spectacular environment of Everest Base Camp but are ready to get back to the creature comforts of Namche. We'll be in touch from Namche in greater length when we can also send some photos. All the best, Dave.
Hello and Tashi Delek, it is 8:00 pm in Nepal, this is Dave calling in for the Everest Trek. I am in my sleeping bag in Gorak Shep at just over 17,000 feet. It is a beautiful night and the stars are out, we have had two absolutely spectacular days in a row, weather wise. We spent last night at Gorak Shep as well. We did not touch base last night but I can tell you what we have done over the past couple of days. Yesterday we came up from Lobjue and had a late morning breakfast and then went up Kala Patter up to 18,500 feet and the group did phenomenally well. It wasn’t the typical experience at the top of Kala Patter, this time there were many more people around as the Everest Rocks, a fundraising group was up there doing a concert which made it a unique experience. Everybody did well going up, we had a couple people elected to stay in Gorak Shep and not make the hike up and save themselves for today when we went to Everest Base Camp.
Tashi Delek, it is about 8:00 pm here in Lobuje, this is Dave calling in for the Everest Base Camp Trek, we are at about 16,200 feet. We made it up to Lobuje this afternoon it sits at the base of the giant Nuptse as well as Lobuje peak and we have views of all the other surrounding 7000, 6000, 8000 meter peaks. The gang here is doing well, everyone made into Lobuje in good time and is feeling pretty good considering how high we are and how inhospitable these environs are some times. It is a very busy scene here in Lobuje, every lodge is completely full and people are sleeping on benches. We are in tents tonight, luckily, because everything is so full. Because everything has been so busy we had to wait until 8 o’clock to have dinner, people are eating in shifts at the tea houses in order to accommodate everyone. After dinner we will get back in bed, everyone has been in bed these last few hours.
Namaste…(Transmission garbled)…13,800 feet in Pheriche again. It’s about 7:00PM here in Nepal and everyone is rolling into bed. We had a long day hiking up high to get some acclimatization as we were able to spend two nights here with one as a “rest day” although most people didn’t feel it was quite a rest day because we gained about 2,500 feet today in our acclimatization hike. We had a couple great nights at the Himalayan hotel in Pheriche. Tomorrow we head up to Lobuje where we finally get up into the very high alpine terrain. We will be spending time at 16,000 plus on the side of the Khumbu glacier. We’ve left two lines and tomorrow we thread lines for the most part. We will be up in the high alpine rock and snow and ice. …(transmission garbled)…We’re all unpacked and everyone is happy and for the most part we are as healthy as can be expected in the Khumbu valley. We will be in touch further on down the road as we near our objective of Kala Pattar and Everest base camp. From everyone here we send our warm wishes to family and friends back home. And we will talk to you soon. All the best, Dave.
Hello, it is Thursday the 18th in Nepal and it is about 9pm here. We are checking in belatedly from the Everest Trek. This is Dave calling in with the update from our last four days or so. As we left Namche Bazaar we were able to send off some photographs, but after that we proceeded to Thame for the evening then on after tame to Khunde where we had a long walk where the ending was in an unusual blizzard for Nepal in October. We got a bunch of wet snow and it was quite a surprise to everyone including the yaks and our staff who hasn’t seen snow in October for a little while, at least that much and that wet. After Khunde we parted ways with the Island Peak group and ended up going a little bit off the beaten path to the village of Phortse. We went up over the Mung Da, which is a pass that drops you into the mouth of the Gokyo valley, and then across that river coming out of the Gokyo valley and then up to Phortes.
Phortes is a small village like tome where most of the work for the young Sherpa doesn’t have to do with running lodges, tea houses and tourism, but has to do with climbing Mount Everest and some of these big peaks on expeditions. So we were able to see some of our friends there and slept outside all three of those nights. Luckily last night it was beautiful and clear and we had perfect views. We had gotten back on track to the typical October weather here in Nepal. Tonight we are in Pheriche, which is about 13,800 feet. I’m happy to report that the group is all doing very well- no altitude issues. We do have a little bit of a head cold going around that is keeping people up at night and keeping toilet paper and tissues close to the bed. It is a beautiful night right now. I’m standing outside in the clear skies. The moon is coming up and there are lots of stars.
The island peak group with Winslow is staying right next door. We parted ways the last couple of days and now we are back together. We have had some problems with the satellite phones. We apologize for not being in touch more, but that is resolved. We should be in touch in the next few days as we climb higher and higher. Tomorrow night we will be in Pheriche again and then the following day we are going to move up to Lobuje, up over 16,000 feet. The group here says hi to everyone back at home that has been wondering about them. Sorry we haven’t been in touch earlier. We will talk to you soon.
Namaste, tashi delek, and a big hello everyone out there waiting for updates...
We are finally in the Khumbu Valley- and in the very heart of it tonight in Namche Bazaar. Yesterday we boarded an MI-17 helicopter early in the morning and flew into Lukla in time to catch a late breakfast with my group who had already arrived the day before. After a bite and a cup of tea we made our way on to the town of Phakding for lunch which was the town we would have spent our first night in if we hadn't spent so many nights in Kathmandu. We had our first views and tastes of the beauty that is the Khumbu Valley from our friend Tshering Nima's teahouse. Then it was off to Monjo where we spent our first night. Monjo sits just at the edge of the Sagarmatha National Park and at the base of one of the more spectacular 6,000 meter peaks in the region called Kusum Kanguru.
It rained a bit during our night in Monjo but we woke up to broken clouds and were able to get glimpses of the snow capped giants above. They had a fresh dusting just to make it even more surreal. As we climbed the hill to Namche Bazaar this afternoon we were also able to get our first views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse. It was a shock to see not only all of the people going up the hill getting their first views but the people going DOWN the hill also getting their first views of the big peaks. Apparently the upside to being stuck in Kathmandu during all of this bad weather is that we missed the bad weather up here where trekkers have not been able to see much more than the trail ahead of them.
It's now about 9pm and the crew has already crashed out for the night. Getting to Namche is a treat in and of itself since the climb up is a long steady one. Tomorrow we head to Pasang's hometown of Thame. Pasang is our head Sherpa for this trip and is also part of our large group of friends from the Thame area. It's always a highlight to get to Thame and reconnect that large contingent of friends.
The gang here is having a great time. The crew is already working on some team "songs" and skits to be performed at who knows what stage of the trip. I did listen from the front of the line and it didn't sound PG rated. We're sending along some photos and we will be in touch soon (scratch that- I will send in the a.m.- this cybercafe is missing it's card reader!).
All the best,
A scene from our walk up to Monjo in the Khumbu Valley
Our wonderful retreat at the mountain town of Dhulikel
Finally ready to board the flight to Lukla
Some of the gang hanging at the Yak &Yeti Hotel
Street scene in Kathmandu
Namaste again from Kathmandu. Yes, I am still here in Kathmandu writing to you from the Yak n Yeti Hotel. The rest of the Everest Trek group is finally in Lukla this evening. Unfortunately I was unable to make it to the flight with the gang because I was working on securing a space for our Island Peak group to make it to Lukla. Winslow, myself, and the rest of the Island Peak group were able to board a MI-17 helicopter at around 4pm after the Everest Trek group had taken off in a Twin Otter towards Lukla. Unfortunately boarding doesn't mean flying. After 20 minutes in the helicopter with the rotors running the pilot decided it was too late to try and get to Lukla. Therefore, we are back again at the Yak n Yeti. So far the delay for my group is 3 days and 4 days for the Island Peak group. Needless to say it has been a bit frustrating but the group is in great spirits and keeping their heads up. I'm sure that the trekkers are enjoying being in the mountains tonight. We will again board the helicopter at about 6:30am and hope to be in Lukla by 7:30. We will then head to Monjo and spend the night just outside of Sagarmatha National Park. The following day we'll then climb the long hill to Namche Bazaar.
We've had a couple of great nights recently. One being a large group dinner on Wednesday night when we celebrated Allen's birthday. Last night both groups plus our trekking agent Jiban spent the night out of the Kathmandu Valley in a town called Dhulikel. It was a wonderful distraction from the days spent in the airport wondering whether we will get out of Kathmandu. Before an amazing sunset and cocktail hour we were able to go on a short walk up to some local's homes. There were kids returning from school who we walked and talked with. Everyone has now learned a few words in Nepali and we were all able to practice, laugh, and smile a bit with the kids. Well, tomorrow we hope to be in the Khumbu. We will be in touch from the mountains. All the best, Dave
no Lukla luck today... hey there everyone. it's Dave Morton writing in for the first installment of our cybercast of the Everest Base Camp trek. we've had a wonderful few days here in Kathmandu with all the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. the whole team arrived without much lost luggage on monday and we had a spectacular tour of the city and temples yesterday. our day today has been a little less predictable. we woke up to another fine Yak n Yeti breakfast but while eating received news that it was socked in at Lukla. after consuming copious amounts of coffee while killing time we got the word that they were flying and we needed to be at the airport ASAP. After a chaotic departure from the hotel we arrived to find that once again it was shut down and no flights were able to land in Lukla. the rest of the morning and early afternoon was spent with brief moments of possibility but in the end we were shut out. the gang was able to get out late this afternoon to make some gift purchases and check out the craziness of Thamel. as I write this the rest of the group is milling around the lobby waiting for me to show and head out to another feast in this exciting city. we will be in touch tomorrow as we board our flight to LUCKLA! all the best, Dave