2006 Everest Base Camp Trek Cybercast
April 10 , 2006 PM
Good morning everyone out there, this is evening our time, this is Willi reporting in again from the Khumbu. We had a really delightful half day walking down from Namche to the little village of Munjo here in the lower Khumbu region. Just about the second to last day of our trekking here. It’s amazing how when you look back on it, how fast the days have gone by, we had a very beautiful trip today, partly cloudy, a nice cooling breeze, it’s wonderful dropping to the world of green, growing things, many flowers blooming, blooming rhododendron forests and everything, very, very nice and enjoyable day. It’s always nice to have a short day after several long days, just enough to kind of keep the muscles limbered up and what not.
We’re all having a good time here, we hear there’s a number of curfews and other things going on in Kathmandu, and undoubtedly the rather generally pathetic mainline American news media is probably making a hash out of reporting, but it doesn’t seem to be affecting the flow of tourists here in the Khumbu at all. Today the trails were pretty much full of people there were American groups, Australian groups, several Eastern European groups that we ran into, French, German, some Canadian folks, pretty much a little of everybody, folks were coming and going, as per normal through Kathmandu, and certainly over the last decade and a half, there’s been a lot of various strikes and demonstrations and curfews and stuff around here, but it generally doesn’t affect the tourist trade too much. So I am sure some family members have been following the news reports and get a little concerned about things of that nature, generally it doesn’t merit the concern that the American news media tends to present it as.
In any case we’re having a great time here, and I should say the yours truly actually won the hearts tournament, 4 to 3 to 3 to 3, and then I magnanimously agreed to extend the hearts tournament, so tonight we are 4 to 4 to 4 to 3, Harris being the fourth person down. But I suspect there’s probably going to be more to come in the next couple of days on that front as well. In any case, having fun here, although all of us are looking forward to seeing family and friends back home when we get there, it’s still a great trip and we’ve got a couple of days to go. We’ll keep you posted, ciao for now.
April 10 , 2006 AM
We’re in Namche Bazaar this morning enjoying a lounging morning after a third long day of descent after our high point of 18,400 feet, Kala Pattar. We actually were on the trail between 7 and 8 hours yesterday, coming here to Namche, so some pretty tired people, but happy with their accomplishments, as well they should be. We go to Namche just before the weather broke, we had pretty good thunderstorms coming through last night, snow down pretty low and rain here in Namche and everybody was happy to actually get to the lodge before that downpour began. Good to sleep in this morning, we’re spending the morning here in Namche, a late breakfast, showers last night, people are doing some shopping here and are planning on leaving around noon to continue down to the little village of Munjo, which is only about two hours walk or so away. Take a nice decompression day after three very long days in a row.
On the gaming front, last night we played a tie game, (a game that tied up the hearts tournament), sorry to say personally anyway, that Bob lost that one, the score now stands Dennis 3, Randy 3, Harris 3 and myself 3, so we’re looking forward to the grand finale here coming up probably tonight down in Munjo, in the valley.
Also a couple of messages I’d like to get out, Uncle Dennis and Dad (that would be Larry) Get well summer (?) Sandy: hello to his family and friends, mission accomplished, and now on the way down, miss you all look forward to seeing you in Texas.This has been a really fun trip, a really great group of people (Transmission breaks up)
April 9 , 2006
Good morning to all family and friends out there, at least it’s morning for us here in the high Himalaya, reporting to you from Dingboche, at an elevation of around 14.2, or .3 thousand feet. We have an outstandingly beautiful morning, yet again, with mountains surrounding us, we’re almost at the face here, of Ama Dablam, on our way back down. Today we’re going to be parting company with three of our members from the trekking team. Those members are going on to extend for a few days and actually climb Island Peak, a peak of just over 20,000 feet, a beautiful route here in the Himalayas. Those members, who are going to be Firat, Fred, and also Darrell, who is a new sign-up on this program. We’ll be sending them off this morning, they’ll be heading up valley, and we’ll be heading down valley. Yesterday was also a very spectacular day, we got 13 members including myself, (as a team to Base Camp the day before), actually got the opportunity to go up Kala Pattar and join the experience with the other four members who had done it previously. And we had an absolutely stunningly beautiful morning, couldn’t ask for better photography weather, lighting conditions, everything. Took us about 2 hours to climb up and about 20 – 30 minutes to do the descent back down of about 1,300 feet or so where our high camp was at Gorak Shep. So mainly just a hike, going up to this viewpoint of Kala Pattar, but the last oh about 30 feet are vertical, it’s a little bit of rock scrambling to get up to the top and there were a couple of members who were shy of the couple thousand foot drop on either side of the final little rock pinnacle, but in the end everybody did it, and we we’re able to really enjoy the beautiful views that we had.
There followed a 4,000 foot descent and a good distance that we had to cover, to get down here to Dingboche, the four members who had previously climbed up to Kala Pattar the day before, got about a three hour head start on us that morning. They had spectacular views across the upper trail, when we got there however, the clouds were streaming up valley and we had an altogether, different experience, which was actually enjoyable in its own right. It was much liked by a couple of our members to the moors of the British Isles, with thick fog, flowing through the very short alpine vegetation, and only near views.
Speaking for myself, sometimes, it can be very nice to have something to focus our attention up to the small instead of the large. The Himalayan mountains of course being so large, beautiful, breathtaking and overwhelming, but there’s much of beauty around us in the small as well. Speaking for myself, sometimes even in life that’s true, you can get so focused in on the other things in life that you miss much beauty or importance in life, so we had a very, very nice afternoon walking down here.
Corrections department, I apparently said on one of the last cybercasts, when I was reporting on the hearts tournament that is ongoing, that I actually gave Larry credit for his brother Dennis’ wins in hearts, and so I heard about that one, and the updated score in the hearts tournament stands as: 3 games for Harris, 3 games for Randy, 3 games for myself, and 2 games for Dennis, more on that later. Unfortunately I also have to report that being as Firat as I mentioned is leaving us for the Island Peak climb. What that means is that I am not going to redeem myself on the field of honor in chess, and he walk away with a 5-0 victory against me. We’ll have to come back and revisit that one on a future trip I am sure.
In any case, we bid you all goodbye on this beautiful morning here in Dingboche in the High Himalayas, our route will take us down to a return to Namche Bazaar today, and we should be a gross loss in elevation of about 4,000 feet and a net gain of about 3,000 feet, so it will be another good day for us. So we’ll talk to you all later out there, see you on your computer and keep you posted on what’s happening.
2 quick announcements that I’d like to post: 1. “A Happy Birthday to Shane from Dad and uncle Vinnie.” 2. “Pam, I love you and miss you and I look forward to seeing you in a few days, having the time of my life here.”
We’ll be back later.
April 8 , 2006
Hello everybody, this is Will again, from the Khumbu. We successfully made Everest base camp yesterday, about 2/3 of the team, and the other third of the team elected to wait behind and actually went up Kala Pattar that day. We had an all-night snow, which created some concern amongst some people that things would be slippery and taxing and that actually it did prove to be. But when all was said and done it cleared off very beautifully in the afternoon, we had a nice lunch at base camp. The other folks actually had wonderful views from Kala Pattar as well, so I think that was a pretty win-win situation there.
It’s a long day, usually 3 hours one way and 3.5 hours returning from Base Camp, so there was some pretty tired people when we got back to our camp at Gorak Shep. We had a wonderful dinner thanks to Biri, our cook, and actually celebrated the success with some German Chocolate cake, can’t ask much better than that.
At any rate tomorrow we’re planning on, if things look good and it’s not cloudy and snowy, it’s actually pretty socked in as we speak, the rest of the folks are planning on actually climbing Kala Pattar, and we’re going to keep our fingers crossed that we have some good views up there. That’s all for now from the Khumbu. We’re just about at the pinnacle of our achievement, then we’ll be heading back down for thick air and downhill walking from now on, we’ll keep in touch, that’s all for now.
April 6 , 2006
Greetings everyone out there, for the Alpine Ascents International Everest Base Camp Trek. We’re calling you this afternoon from Gorak Shep at just under 17,000 feet. Everybody is actually doing quite well, a few little minor effects of altitude, but the team is moving well and doing well up here. Yesterday en route, we had a short day to Lobuje, and that day was characterized by a kind of gentle blizzard all day long. Luckily our backs were to the wind and snowfall, but it always has a kind of beauty of its own when you are out there in those conditions.
When we pulled into Lobuje, just a little after 1 in the afternoon, we spent the afternoon relaxing, playing cards, eating drinking, always a lot of eating and drinking, just to try to keep health up and acclimatization levels going smooth. Today was just the opposite, we had an absolutely stellar morning getting up here to Gorak Shep, beautiful 360 degree views every place here of the high Himalayas, including our first close views of the summit of Everest and first distant views of the Khumbu ice fall. So we’re looking forward to tomorrow, to where we can actually head out into Base Camp and get very close and personal to the world of the high altitude climber.
Unfortunately I have to report that yours truly is doing rather poorly on the cards front, he was totally humiliated last night so we’ll have to see if that trend in bad luck can be broken. The tournament as its stands is: Larry – 1, Randy – 3, Harris – 2, and Willi – 3, but definitely was a poor performance in yesterday. Also the chess tournament that is ongoing with Firat, is not going well for yours truly, I’m zip for 5 right now, so “go Firat” I guess everybody is saying in the background. In any case, that’s all to report for now, we’ll let you know how it progresses, as the days continue here in the high Himalaya, in the Khumbu region of Nepal.
April 5 , 2006
Good morning everybody out there following the cybercast, this is Willi Prittie reporting from the Khumbu in Nepal. We have another absolutely glorious morning; we seem to be into a typical weather pattern here, very clear mornings, slowly clouding up over the afternoons, usually pretty cloudy afternoons, and then sometimes some precip. Well we’re moving up to 16,000 feet today, I think we’re going to definitely get a cloudy afternoon, maybe even a little snow before we get there. Normally you get a really good view of Cho-Oyu from here in Pheriche at 14,000 feet, but it’s all clouded in and has a lot of kind of wind-torn clouds, obscuring the morning, and generally that means it’s going to cloud in a little earlier today, so we’ll see. I think this is going to be a pretty critical day for people feeling the altitude and we’ll see how that all comes together; we have about 2,000 feet to gain today. But in the meantime, we’ll certainly be enjoying some outstanding views as we gain altitude here in the Khumbu.
We did a really good acclimatization hike to a little under 15,000 feet yesterday, so that should help everyone an awful lot, and also we worked on being efficient in speeding up going downhill, some people were a little on the slow side, so it’s always good to work on efficiency, and work on being able to speed things up a little bit, we have a long distance to cover here a lot of times.
Things are going well in general, we’ve been enjoying some awesome food, thanks to our Sherpa cook, Betty, we had a really nice feast for lunch yesterday, a kind of Japanese miso soup and some rice rolls, and I’m almost thinking I might gain weight on this trip, but we always consider that’s money in the bank because the higher we go from here, oftentimes people’s appetite really starts dropping off due to the elevation.
So that’s all for this morning and we’ll keep you updated tonight or tomorrow morning about how events transpire. I do want to mention, it’s been about 4 days now, we like to give folks some time, and one of our team members, actually withdrew from the expedition, Martin about 4 days ago, we just want to tell you Martin if you’re following this hope everything was fine on the way home, we really miss you, and you’re with us in spirit if not in person. So that’s all for now from the Khumbu.
April 4 , 2006
Hello everybody out there, this is Willi Prittie again reporting from the Everest Base Camp Trek here in 2006. Having some on again off again satellite phone problems, so I am not sure that my last transmission actually got out, in any case, hopefully we’ve got that solved. We’re all ensconced in the little village of Pheriche at 4,240 meters or just under 14,000 feet above sea level, taking a rest day today after progressing up valley from Deboche yesterday.
Still a few little minor problems with some people getting head colds and some getting intestinal problems associated with pretty normal travel in Asia and what not, but in general I’m very impressed, everybody is doing very well health wise, and we’re enjoying gorgeous weather now, up here and of course, it’s very spectacular to be in a place like this with high peaks all the way around us.
Enjoying some socializing, pretty much the climbing team and the trekking team are here, and running across some Israeli trekkers, and a few German trekkers and a Polish group, so it’s a nice international scene, and you get a chance to actually chat with a lot of people who all have come here for the same purpose, to enjoy this most spectacular mountain range here, the Himalayas.
So like I said we’re talking a rest and acclimatization day here before we progress to higher elevation up valley, and that involves a little bit of walking today and there will probably be a number of chess games and card games, and we’re sort of evening things up here on the hearts match, and about to launch into some chess games, so I’ll update you on that later. I’m hoping to recover my honor as a hearts player but this is a tough competition here in this group.Other than that, things are pretty normal here in the Khumbu and we’ll keep you posted on a daily basis, and let you know how the views progress, how health progresses, and various other things progress, so that’s all for now from the Khumbu.
April 2, 2006
Hello to family and friends out there, this is Willi Prittie reporting from the Khumbu, en route to Everest Base Camp, having a great time. We woke up in Khumjung to once again a spectacular morning, not much in the way of clouds at all. Of course it’s a beautiful view of Ama Dablam, it’s arguably considered by many people one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, right in front of us, had a really nice trek here to Deboche and visiting the famous Tengboche Monastery en route. Also it was another very good wildlife day. We were eating lunch at a little village called Phunki Tenga where we have to cross the main Dudh Kosi River en route to where we are going, and the whole hillside above us there must have been close to 20-25 Himalayan Tar, which as my last cybercast indicated, they’re like a mountain goat only dark chocolate brown.
The gaming front continues to go poorly for yours truly, Old What’s His Name won another game and Who’s It’s, won yet another game after that, I don’t think I feel at liberty to spell these names out at this point. The chess tournament is shaping up, we haven’t been playing too much chess here at this point, but what we are looking forward to tomorrow, trekking up to Pheriche, and we’ll actually have a rest and acclimation day up there, so I suspect we’ll have a little bit more gaming time up there. We’ve been getting some good days on the trail and enjoying the views here the last few days. Everybody is doing well, and we’re really looking forward to getting up to Pheriche and having another rest day. Some people are psyched to get showers in and whatnot. Good bye for now.
April 1, 2006
Last night I actually had this idea that I would get up early and tell all of the folks on our Everest Base Camp Trek that there was a big Maoist insurgency that had spilled over farther up the Khumbu so that the Trek was cancelled until further notice. The problem is I Forgot in the morning of April 1 st and I didn’t remember until all of the Sherpa started pulling April Fool’s jokes on me. So I guess I am the April Fool for this year.
In any case, we had a great trip to Thame, actually got some snow, about an inch of snow overnight, things were really socked in when we got there, so it was a spectacular unveiling to be surrounded by very, very impressive peaks in Thame, first thing in the morning when we all got up. That was great. Actually people are a bit healthier now, a couple of colds have settled down that we had, a few intestinal problems have settled down, so things are good in that regard.
Good trip to Khumjung, beautiful forest, a lot of us were doing some bird watching. The National Bird of Nepal is the Impeyen pheasant, it looks kind of like a small peacock, every color of the rainbow almost and we saw numerous ones of those. The Himalayan Tar, which is like a chocolate brown mountain goat, saw a number of those, also some musk deer, so it was a great day for watching wildlife through the forest on the way to Khumjung. Cloudy once we got to Khumjung again. Precipitation in the evening once again, so no views tonight, that’s it we will be keeping you updated as we are advancing in our elevation and in our way towards Everest Base Camp, ciao for now.
March 31, 2006
Once again good morning to family and friends out there, this is the Everest Base Camp Trek cybercast. We had a great rest day in Namche, both the climbing team and the trekking team. We’ve been enjoying the sights and sounds here in Namche and have been making purchases in hoards here. We’re going to be heading down to the market area in a while then we are actually going to be heading out of town. It was a foggy day when we woke up this morning at 6, but it looks to be a very sunny beautiful day. (Transmission trouble) We’re going to be off today but you’re going to be hearing more from us, more beautiful views, more fun, a great time here in the Khumbu and of course, more games. We’ll keep you updated, bye.
March 30, 2006
Greetings to all out there again, this is Willi reporting for the Base Camp Trek. Good morning to all out there, at least it is morning to us on the other side of the world here. We had a very good day yesterday, on our long uphill stint, we arrived here at the commercial center of the Khumbu, Namche Bazaar. Everybody in the group did very, very well, I was very surprised, we have a very experienced and capable group here. (transmission breaks up). We’re all having a great time here, and appreciate the good thoughts you are sending our way.
March 29, 2006
Greeting, this is Willi Prittie talking to you from the Khumbu region in Nepal. This is the first cybercast of our 2006 Mount Everest Base Camp Trek. Traveling with us are Harris from Greenwood, MS; Bill from Plano, TX; Martyn from Boston, MA; Frederick from Potomac, MD; Randy from Woodinville, WA; Firat from Ankara, Turkey; Sandy from Austin, Texas; Halina from New York, NY; Larry from Sandy, UT; Janice from Potomac, MD; Dennis from Oakland, CA; Gerald from Brooklyn, NY; Nicholas from Brookline, MA; and Darrell from Alpharetta, GA.
We’re having a great trip so far early in the trip, we packed our gear and toured Kathmandu, visiting the ancient Buddhist and Hindu holy sites there, enjoyed a huge welcome dinner with everyone from the trek and climb. Just having a great time.
On our first trek day which was actually yesterday our time, we began early in the morning and had a smooth flight to Lukla, really clear spectacular views of the high Himalaya, so we’re all pretty psyched about that. We had our second breakfast at our friend Kami’s lodge and then enjoyed an absolutely perfect hiking day yesterday. No breeze, sunny skies, beautiful views, quality conditions and this beautiful mountain landscape all around you, I mean what more could you ask for, it was great.
Anyway, other than temporarily losing Bill on the trail for a while, this is interesting: some of our Texans seem to have gone AWOL, so we will need to be watching them a little more closely. (Just kidding) As a final note Harris would like to wish his wife a Happy Birthday. We are really looking forward to being able to share our trip with all of you out there checking in, friends, family and interested people on the computer for our cybercast, so we’ll keep you posted. We also invite you to follow our Everest expedition to see how they’re doing and we appreciate everybody’s good thoughts to keep everybody safe and happy over here in the highest mountains on Earth.
March 28, 2006
The team called in last night and they all arrived in Kathmandu with all of their bags. They report that it is calm and quiet in Kathmandu, and everyone is having a great time so far. Look for regular dispatches to begin as soon as they arrive in the Khumbu Valley.