Hugo's blog

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!

April 4th - Kathmandu

Kathmandu is a wonderful, sprawling, bustling city and I always enjoy being here.  One of the things I don't enjoy are the internet cafes.  This is the fourth time I've tried to write this blog entry.  we'll see if it works!

March 30th - Airlines

International airlines have a love-hate relationship with Everest climbers.  They love that we bring lots of baggage, usually oversize and overweight, and they can charge us ridiculous sums of money to transport it.  I've often heard climber discussing the ways that they managed to get their bags to Katmandu without extra charges, things like wearing their mountaineering boots onto the plane!  On the other hand they hate the stuff we bring.  There's the stack of AA batteries in one bag that look suspicious on x-ray.  As do all the pointy things like ice axes, crampons, ice screws and trekki

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