All the updates related to the trip is complete now. The photos are posted at:
I would like to thank my family and friends for their support in this adventure. Following individuals have offered lot of guidance for this trip:
Abhijit Karmarkar: whose tips on EBC and checklist were very useful. I just blinded followed his guidelines, ofcourse except for acclimatization schedule :). (next time)
Anup Mathkar: Very informative meeting during our hike to Sinhagad, he clarified all my last min queries.
Gautam Patil: I carried most of the stuff listed in Gautam's checklist(its not available currently). He also had some good suggestions on my ascent plan.
Days 4 - 6 (Lobuche to Lukla)
March 26th-28th, 2007
After first 3 days of constant ascent to Labuche (4930m) , I was planning on a 4th day of EBC and Kala pattar visit with a light day pack. But eventually I ran out of luck and Altitude caught up with me, I had a very bad 3 rd night with constant bought's of short breathing, by morning it was clear proceeding any further up is out of reach. Due to lack of time, I decided to turn back and the last 3 days were spent taking a different route , appreciating beauty as much as I can with AMS.
(finally a glimpse of Mt Everest from Kunde on last day)
(Beautiful village : Namche Bazaar)
Sometime I do think about how couple of days would have made all the difference, but I don't have any regrets as it was all or nothing kind of attempt so I take as it comes. I will add more updates on my day 2 and day 3 experience with all photos when I reach Pune.
Day 3 (Pheriche to Lobuche):
March 25th, 2008
Today was a new territory, beyond 14500ft was the first time I climbed higher and was quite cautious about that. After a good breakfast of Porridge and honey bread, we started out from Pheriche, feeling just OK. I had some distrubed sleep and had some problem breathing in the night, so definately a sign of lack of acclimatization.
Some of the guides strongly recommended a break at Pheriche, seeing my ascent schedule. I was totally aware of added benefit of a break, But I did not have a extra days buffered.
Also during dinner met with some Scottish hikers who in spite of a good acclimatization schedule had trouble at Gorak Shep. That was cause of concern for me, so I decided to hike to Lobuche
and see how it feels, and then continue to Gorak Shep which is 230 m higher.
(hike by the river basin: enroute to Lobuche)
We started at 7:30 am and hike was mostly by the river through the basin, criss crossing the river multiple times. It was a nice gradual hike until we reached Dukla, were we had some hot chocolate and got ready ready for a long steep climb. In all these climbs my Altimeter
watch High-gear Loft was a big help.
(Hike upto Lobuche Pass: sherpa carrying 60lbs+ load)
Once we crossed the Lobuche Pass we hiked through desert like barren land to Lobuche. We decided to take a lunch break and then continue to Gorak shep. Considering my mild headache, I decided would take it easy and sleepover at Lobuche instead and do a day hike to Kala Pathar and EBC on 4th day. (without the back pack)
(In the backdrop of Mt Pumori and others)
I just hope for another good day with a light duffel bag and gels, and hopefully will be able to see Everest tommorow.
(Sunset over Mt Nuptse 7862M)
Day 2 (Namche to Pheriche ):
March 24rd, 2008
Wow what a interesting day it was, long but very rewarding. my plan was to Hike from Namche to Pheriche, according to elevation differentials it is just a 800M climb, but I did'nt get any elevation profile of the entire Trail, that made this day quite misleading.
The destination is at 4260M(13990Ft) which is round about my known territory, so felt doable. After a heavy breakfast at Sona lodge, Namche Bazaar, myself and Lamber(porter) started out for a long day. When we started it was Overcast and entire Namche was snow covered , it was mesmerizing to just walk past the snow covered trails.
(Enroute to Namche to TengBoche)
By the time the day broke we reached Phunki, we hiked down and crossed Dodi kosi, before beginning another long climb of 500M to Tengboche. At the top we were welcomed by beautiful village of Tengboche, righly placed in the base of a bowl, surrounded by Huge mountains.
(beautiful village of Tengboche)
We continued on to Debouche for a lunch break. After a sumptuous meal we carried on towards Pangboche, a quick call to my folks about my well being and we rolled again continued towards Pheriche. Most of Trail was besides Dodi kosi, we hardly saw any Trekkers beyond 1pm. mostly
we met with porters and yak-men.
(Above tree line: enroute to Pheriche)
Day 2 was quite tiring, the net elevation was more than 1200M, I did feel it was lot a day. Well its all done now.
Day 1 (Lukla to Namche Bazaar):
March 23rd, 2008
I am at Namche bazaar, Reached lukla at 8am and after some hiccups, started hike with the porter at 10:25 AM. As the plane landed on a small strip smaller than a football ground, I realized one of my dreams was coming to reality. Nice easy hike to Phakding with breath taking views of mountain and Dodi kosi river carving the valley.. several foot bridge crossing the river at high altitude gives superb views.
(Dodi kosi meandering through the valley)
Good to have some company even though we cant talk much but some company is good. After lunch at Phakding we started a long climb to Namche, the last 400 mts were relentless but fun. Felt fine so far at3440..(11200 ft) just the beginning of high altitude.
(Small little village: Namche Bazaar)
Planning to start early at 6am towards Pheriche as planned, hoping to have a fun day tomorrow as well. Looking fwd to it.
Here every thing comes a a cost , cant complain as poor Sherpa want to earn their best during the season. Next I will be able to email only day after tomorrow
cheers and regards
Kathmandu March 22 2008 6:00 PM
I am all set to start the trek tomorrow,had a pleasant flight Pune via Delhi to Kathmandu. It was great meeting my cousins and their daughter Shreya en route. As planned, I have booked my tickets to Lukla.
(Thamel: A hub for trekkers and hikers)
As soon as I finished my work at the airport,couple of guides and taxi drivers jumped to grab a pie of the trekking business. Found a semi free ride to he hotel. On the way a guide joined me as well, he told me about all the different services a guide could provide.Having a very low EQ doesn't help, and having read the low wages of porters in this area,I got brought in by the idea of having a guide. One thing he said really touched my heart he said, "you come here to enjoy the experience in the process you can help someone earn livelihood,that made sense to me.
More over I will have some company on this solo hike and would be safe in this political turmoil that this region is going through. So decided to hire a porter for the first 2 days sharing your loads equally. my plans of the trek remains unchanged though..Interesting thing to note is that the region is filled with all western hiking/climbing brands and also the "made in Nepal" version :)
I am done with all the last min packing, waiting for a dinner with a beer or wine and a good sound sleep..
Hopefully should have time to write from Namche.
Next to Luka,
Pune 20th Mar 2008
Past couple days has been pretty hectic at work and me catching dust allergy made it tougher, luckily timely advice from my MIL put me on recovery and feeling great as of now. Started early from work and got done with packing. The BackPack seems light as of now(<25lbs), href="http://www.yak-attack.co.uk/">Yak Attack, added to my wishlist , great way to explore Annapurna circuit.
Prevention of AMS
Some useful sites with information on Altitude acclimatization, Prevention and Cure of AMS
(Courtesy amit mathkar)
Diamox and Dexamethasone are my companions for this trip.
The Golden Rules
If you feel unwell at altitude it is altitude illness until proven otherwise.
Never ascend with symptoms of AMS.
If you are getting worse (or have HACE or HAPE), go down at once.
March 17th 2008
EBC week is fast approaching, friday I am heading towards Delhi enroute to Kathmandu. My training has been pretty decent, got some good long runs and a wonderful hike of Sinhagad Fort in Pune with all the gear. A separate post of the hike is much desired.
At the same time there is news of Everest closure from Nepal side(south) May 10th in the wake of Tibet protests, and also to allow chinese climbers to carry Olympic torch without disruption. So as of now hikers are allowed till base camp. keeping a keen eye on the progress in Nepal. if Tibet protests extend to Nepal area, then *may have* to cancel the trip as well. Mountain will last longer than us.
Keeping fingers crossed at the same time hoping the best for Tibet and climbers(some of them have spent their lives in preparation of Everest climb. getting canceled at the whim of Chinese government is very unfortunate).
will try to blog with progress during the hike.(Thx rush)