Trek Day 3- Exploring Khumjung and Khunde

Climb up to Everest View Hotel

Today is a ‘rest day’, we are staying in Namche for another night to help with our acclimatization. So far everyone is feeling great with no headaches or altitude sickness. So on our ‘rest day’ we hiked up another 1300 feet to The Hotel Everest View situated at 12,400 feet in the Sagarmatha National Park and is the highest located hotel in the world and commands a spectacular view of Mt Everest and many other awe-inspiring peaks including the most beautiful mountain on this planet Ama Dablam. Most of the hotel’s clientele arrive by helicopter from Kathmandu for 2or 3 days to enjoy the view of Mt Everest. We hiked straight up along the edge of a mountain with a steep drop off into the valley below. The views looking back to Namche were spectacular the higher up we climbed. You cannot see the hotel until you are almost there. Hidden on a ridge overlooking Mt Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku and Tawoche, the hotel blends gracefully with its surrounding. We sat on the deck of the hotel and ate chips and drank ginger tea while we enjoyed the spectacular view of the mountains. Continue reading

Trek Day 2 – Monjo to Namche Bazaar

April 18th…Avalanche at Everest Base Camp was the news of the morning. At 6:30am an avalanche swept down between Base Camp and Camp 1 killing 16 Sherpas in its path. The worst tragedy in Everest’s history. We had to continue our hike but we did not know if Kevin, Brad and Ake would be able to climb Mt Everest. This day is one of the most challenging on the entire trek, as we gain more than 2600 feet in altitude to reach Namche Bazaar. We headed out on the trail at 8 am, a beautiful sunny morning, shirts were worn, no jackets needed yet. As we were leaving the Guest House about to climb the stone steps a pack of donkeys were descending the steps with full loads, we waited for them to pass before we went up the steps. Shortly we reached the Sagarmatha (Nepalese name for Everest) National Park entrance and check-in for our trek. We crossed the Dudh Koshi River 3 times this morning and the last one was way up high over the River. The path was very busy today with Sherpas, porters, yaks, donkeys and Trekkers causing traffic jams and yak jams on the bridges and trail. We arrived at Namche about 11:30am. Namche Bazaar, at 11,286 feet altitude, is nestled along the crescent shaped slopes of the Khumbu Valley, it is both charming and exhausting all at the same time. The narrow alleyways are lined with gear shops and tea houses and we were staying at the Hotel Namche which happens to be on one of the upper tiers. Namche is the largest town in the Khumbu Valley with a population of 1500 which swells dramatically in the spring and fall trekking seasons. We had another good meal in the tea house and then went to rest. Continue reading

Trek Day 1-Lukla to Monju

April 17th. Our Epic Trek begins, flying from Kathmandu to Lukla, where most people start their trek to Everest Base Camp and to the summit. At the Kathmandu Airport we boarded a small plane with single rows of seats on either side, and we were told to sit on the left side for the best views of Mt Everest and the Himalayan range. The Tenzing-Hillary Airport also known as Lukla Airport – the most extreme and dangerous airport in Nepal , is the world’s scariest airport. And we were going to land there in about 35 minutes. The runway is 1506 x 66 feet with a 12% gradient. The elevation of the airport is 9,200 feet. At its southern end is a 2,000 foot drop into a valley and the northern end a stone wall and hairpin turn. Luckily for us the weather was perfect and our pilot landed the plane without incident. We could feel the difference in the air as soon as we stepped off the plane and walked up to a small tea house for breakfast. All our bags, and there was a lot of them, were collected from the plane and distributed among the porters who were carrying them to our next stop. A few expedition bags for Kevin and Brad went straight up to Base Camp. The trek starts right in Lukla following the stone pathway between the buildings. There are no vehicles in the Khumbu Region, only yaks, donkeys, cows and a few horses for transportation. From Lukla we descended 1,500 feet to the Dudh Kosi (River of Milk). We passed through several small villages before stopping for lunch at Thado Koshi with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, as we sat outside eating our meal of Dal Bhat veg curry and ginger tea. Continue reading

Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu is the capitol and largest urban agglomerate of Nepal. Kathmandu metropolis alone has 5.2 million inhabitants. The streets were crowded with bikers, autos, buses and pedestrians hurrying to-n-fro in all directions. The city stands at an elevation of approximately 4,600 ft. in the bowl shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. Kathmandu is the gateway to the tourism in Nepal, and it’s economy is focused on tourism, sometimes called the ” third religion” of Nepal. The city has a rich history spanning nearly 2000 years. Religious and cultural festivities form a major part of the lives of the people residing in Kathmandu, most of the people follow Hinduism and many Buddhism. Continue reading

Trip to Nepal

Sunday, April 13th, the day has arrived when we leave for Nepal to hike to Everest Base Camp while Kevin continues his journey to summit Mt Everest. Bob and I leave Santee around 9am and drive the rental car into Del Mar to pick up Kevin and his four bags of gear. We had to rent an SUV to fit all the bags and the three of us in for the drive to LAX. We said farewell to Ericka, Harper, Linda and Panda and took off for LA arriving in plenty of time to catch our 4:20pm flight to Kuala Lumpur, 10 1/2 hours with a stop off in Tokyo. We met Brad Horn and his friend, Brad Holcroft from Brisbane, in Kuala Lumpur and we all got on the plane to Kathmandu, arriving at 11:30am on Tuesday, April 15th, having missed Monday all together. The highlight of our flight to Kathmandu was the great view of Mt Everest rising above the clouds. What an amazing mountain and to think that climbers are actually able to to reach the summit, standing on top of the world! Continue reading