The Trek to Basecamp
We were up really early to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla – the airport is mad. Despite the apparent total chaos of bags and people everywhere we all managed to get, with our kit, to Lukla.
The runway at Lukla is something else – have a look on you tube at it… It’s on the side of a mountain and only about 500m long. You approach the landing in the small clapped out plane and you feel as if you’re heading straight into the mountain. The plane touches down and is slammed into reverse thrust – there’s so little time to stop.
We were lucky to be able to fly without any delays. Often you can wait hours if not days to fly in or out of Lukla because planes can only fly if there’s no cloud (the pilots must be able to see the runway).
Lukla itself boasts a Starbucks and ‘a real Irish pub’, both are tea houses with excellently painted signs outside! Not exactly what you expect to see when you are high on a mountain and apparently ‘remote’, but still, pretty funny.
From Lukla we walked to Tok Tok (2650m). There was a lot of downhill so an easy first day.
Our first night camping at Tok Tok was pleasant, I like camping (good job really!). I slept well and was ready for the huge walk to Namche Bazaar (3450m) the following day. Namche is a large sherpa town and has shops/bakeries/internet cafes and a bar with a pool table – Wooo Hooo rock and roll! It’s a really cool place to spend time. We spent two nights there so had a day to rest and take advantage of using the internet and eating cake. I wasn’t too well on the first night, I suspect is was dodgy water or something I ate… so instead of being able to take maximum advantage of the bakery and internet cafe I spent the rest day asleep in my tent. Happy to report that the following day I was feeling a lot better, back to normal – ie, eating like a horse!
We left Namche and headed to Pangboche and Pheriche (4250m). That was a long day. Not masses of altitude gain overall but the whole walk was up and down ….. and a long distance. Starting to feel the altitude up here.
Tomorrow we will continue to Gorak Shep (5150m) and the next day we’ll get to base camp (5400m)!
The Climbing Team
There are four of us including Dan (the leader) climbing Everest.
There’s an English guy called Stew, this is his website if you want to have a look – www.intrepid-edge.com
And two Americans called Mitch and Paula, here’s their site – www.climbingandrunning.com
You can also look at very regular dispatches from the team at www.summitclimbnews.com