April 13th - A Blessing

Friday the thirteenth was very lucky for us.  We woke up in Pangboche and after breakfast we walked to the home of Lama Geshi.  He is the holiest man in the Khumbu region and we went seeking his blessing to climb Mt Everest (Sargarmartha = Mother Goddess).  Lama Geshi is a very old man who has seen huge changes in this region during his lifetime.  He is also someone who laughs a lot and who doesn't like to be around someone like that? 

April 12th in Tengboche

 

After two days of rest in Namche, our group was feeling much better and we set off on our two day trek to Dingboche—the longest walk of our approach. After 8 hours of strenuous walking, we arrived at the village of Tengboche home to one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the Khumbu region: Tengboche Monastery. It is a beautiful place and a great place to rest for the night. The whole crew is feeling well and doing good: even after today’s big walk. Tomorrow, we’re looking forward to another big day as we travel to Dingboche.

April 11th - Khunde & Khumjung

Today is a rest day in Namche, but we like to get a little more altitude under our belts so we planned a day hike up to two nearby villages: Khunde and Khumjung.  Unfortunately both Charlotte and Paul were a little under the weather, so they decided to put the "rest" in rest day.  Amit and Hugo hiked up to Khunde and had coffee at the lodge of an old friend - Ang Nima.  It was great to see him and his wife.

April 10th Up to Namche

Today we hiked from Monjo to Namche.  The trail is turns steeply upwards as it nears Namche and its the first real test for everyone.  We all made it to Namche, but a special mention should go to Charlotte.  She woke up feeling sick and did the hike today with brief pauses to throw up!  Unable to keep anything down she also did it without food or water. 

April 9th: Safe landing!

The finger-crossing must have worked! We left the bustling city of Kathmandu and flew into Lukla where we will start trekking to basecamp. The landing strip in Lukla is among the highest in the world and can be an exciting experience: our plane literally had to land up-hill. Fortunately our flight was uneventful with a good landing. After regrouping, we trekked to Monjo with everybody taking their actual first steps towards basecamp. We will rest tonight in Monjo and continue on tomorrow to Namche. The whole team seems to be doing well.

April 8th - Time to Pack, Again

Today is our last day in Kathmandu.  Early tomorrow we will fly to Lukla and begin our trek to basecamp.  We are all very busy today packing our bags again and buying the last minute things that we think we can't live without.  Our climbing gear, food and clothes are packed into their own bags that will be loaded on to yaks and sent straight to basecamp (where our Sherpa staff are waiting).  The yaks don't have to acclimatize, so they will be there in three days.  We'll take 8-10.

Amit Kotecha

Amit is the other climber in our team and this is also his second attempt to climb Everest.  In 2010 he reached Camp 2 before illness also forced a premature end to his climb.  Amit is climbing to raise money and awareness for Cancer UK.  Here is a link to his charitable website and you can read all about this great cause: http://www.justgiving.com/amits-everest-challenge

April 7th - Everyone's Here

This morning Charlotte and Paul arrived in Kathmandu.  They are our two basecamp trekkers and old university friends of Hugo's.  They live in Bath, UK with their two lovely daughters Georgia and Annie (who are being looked after by relatives.)
We celebrated everyone's arrival by having dinner together at one of the best restaurants in Kathmandu - the Indian restaurant inside the Annapurna Hotel.  It was a very good meal and a fun way to start our adventures together (our thoughts were also with our other member Nawal who is already spending his second night in Namche.)

The Icefall - Good News!!

As you begin the climb out of basecamp you immediately have to tackle one of the most dangerous parts of the entire route - the Khumbu Icefall.  the Khumbu glacier moves slowly down the western cwm, but suddenly it plunges over an enormous cliff, this causes the ice to rupture, splinter and form a jumble of tottering, towering seracs and deep dark crevasses.  Everyone hates going through the icefall because it is unpredictable and people are killed or injured there every year.

Nawal

Here's a little background on Nawal, one of the climbers.
If you ask Nawal where he grew up he will tell you "all over India". His dad was in the Indian Army and they moved around alot.  After school Nawal went to England and joined the Merchant Navy.  He spent many years after that on merchant ships travelling around the world.  As you can imagin, Nawal has a lot of stories and is very easy to talk to!

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