Sunday, December 7, 2008

Day 7 - Yeti Country

Wednesday 15th October

Woke early this morning, glad to report no nightmares about yeti's.
Also pleased to report that I am feeling refreshed, no sore muscles after yesterday's climb. Up goes the tent zipper, and here is my morning cup of tea and bowl of hot water, the start of another day. Time for my bird bath, to pack my kit bag and day pack and off to breakfast before another day's climb. We camp at 4,000 metres tonight. Stay tuned.

Wednesday afternoon.

Spectacular! I just know that I am going to run out of superlatives on this trip. This morning we climbed up out of the valley. The sides of the mountains were an array of autumn colours. There were fir trees, red birch with their red papery bark hanging amongst the "oldman's beard" that clung to their branches. We crossed a number of small log bridges over streams and small waterfalls. As we climbed higher the -2 C temperature climbed up to a warm 24C. We were all soon peeling off our layers and stuffing them into our daypacks. It was like being in a middle world. Below us we could see the river winding through the valley and snowy peaks towered above us. At one time we could see the peaks of 5 mountains with a number of them over 8,000 metres. A bit of trivia (according to Mani) of the top 13 highest mountains in the world 9 of them are in Nepal.

There was one point where we had a really tough uphill climb. Everyone was focused on putting one foot in front of the other, a little daunted by the task of the path that reached ever up ward. Mani called for a water and rest stop in a small clearing. We all flopped onto the nearest rock, pulled out our water bottles and looked at what was behind us!! Wedged between the sides of the valley was the most amazing view of Khumbila and a number of other peaks whose names I have forgotten. (picture above). We were all gob smacked by the view. Mani, was still below us watching our reaction, was feeling very pleased with himself that he had been able to deliver such and awesome experience.

We arrived at our camp site in time for lunch. Our tents were all set up in a clearing in front of the Yeti Inn. The afternoon was spent catching up on our washing while we still had some sunlight to dry things, writing up diaries etc.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Day 6 - Up we go! Namche Bazaar to Portse Tenga

Tuesday 14th October

I have drawn the lucky straw this evening and have a tent to myself. Better now that later when it is colder I think!. Our camp this evening is down in a valley next to the river. To night I will be rocked to sleep by the roar of the rapids. Today was a big day! We climbed up to nearly 4,000 metres by lunch time (from 3440 metres). The pathway was very narrow, dusty and in places very rocky. So you really had to watch your step. There were times when you just focused on putting one foot in front of the other.

Our Sherpa's monitored our progress and were constantly encouraging us to drink,(to assist us with acclimatising to the altitude). We had regular rest stops, which gave us the opportunity to take in the awesome scenery. The day was clear and sunny so we could see the tops of a number of mountains, including Everest!
There were a couple of times today where I did feel a little light headed, however this evening I feel fine. Just very tired!! I won't need much rocking tonight.
This afternoon after we had settled into our tents we all met in the mess tent for afternoon tea and biscuits. Mani joined us and entertained us with some Yeti tales. He is a non believer, but with a bit of encouragement he did tell us a few of the local tales. Tomorrow we are going to be passing a hut which the locals believe is the sight of where a man was killed by a Yeti. Oh! spooky stories and I am alone in my tent tonight. No worries. I am so tired I am sure it isn't going to be a problem.

Day 5 - Day of Rest - Before we get into the serious trekking

Monday 13 October.

The Bliss of sleeping in a comfy bed!! Our happy Sherpas, knocked on the door at 7.00pm with steaming cup of coffee, closely followed by our bowl of hot water for washing. Then it was down for a hearty breakfast of porridge, omelette's and pancakes, washed down with hot milk coffee!!
Luckily our chief Sherpa (Mani) had a morning walk up to a lookout above the village planned. I can't believe how much I am eating!!
After our morning walk, we took advantage of the sun and spread our "frilly bits" (or not so frilly bits) out in the sun to dry.
After lunch our delightful host Mrs Sonam Sherpa guided us through The Sherwi Khangba Centre , a museum and cultural centre established by herself and her husband. The cultural centre displayed an interesting collection of newspaper cuttings, historical photos and stories of the Sherpa's and the local area. Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa is an accomplished photographer and many of his photos of the area were displayed as well. Some of these pictures can be seen on
Visiting the museum, reading the stories, and seeing all the pictures of Sherpa's that had died while climbing the mountains, brought home one thing to me. We hear a lot about the climbers from all over the world that have climbed, conquered or perished in the Himalayans. However we don't heard about all the Sherpa's who have been there supporting these climbers, and their equal achievements. It was very sobering to see the wall of pictures of Sherpa's (some very young) who had perished while supporting climbing groups.
After the tour of the museum a few of us decided to venture down to the village. It was fun wandering around the narrow winding streets, looking at all the colourful stalls selling a variety of souvenirs, trekking gear and supplies. We all purchased last minute items such as suncream, chocolates, and warm hats as these items would be much harder to find over the next few days.
After dinner, Mani gave us the usual "after dinner information session" of what we were to expect the following day, and it was off to bed ready for a 6.00pm start.