Tag Archives: Mt. Everest

Day 10: Pheriche to Namche Bazaar

11/16/2015
Pheriche 4371m/14340 ft.
Namche Bazaar 3446m/11270 ft.
19km, 11.8 miles, 7-8 hours hike time

Unfortunately I was awake and coughing for a lot of the night in Pheriche and I was horrified to hear that I kept our neighbors awake too. They offered me cough suppressant the next morning. I felt terrible doing this but I declined since Ryan had told me it was best to just let all these mountain maladies work through your system. It’s faster, he said, when you don’t take a lot of meds that suppress but prolong the symptoms.

We’d decided to head to Namche Bazaar in one day so we could have an extra day there to relax. The trail is mostly downhill, but there’s a lot of distance to cover. We’d done this stretch in two days on the way up to help deal with acclimatizing.

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Day 9: Kala Patthar (we made it!)

11/15/2015
Gorak Shep 5164m/16942 ft.
Summit of Kala Patthar 5643m/18514 ft.

Kala Patthar is brown, snow covered Pumori behind, Gorak Shep bottom right corner Image: Nepal-dia

From Everest BaseCamp you can’t actually see Mt. Everest, it’s blocked by smaller, closer peaks. The only place for a rookie like me to get a good look at the peak – besides a distant view from Namche Bazaar – is by climbing a ridge above Gorak Shep called Kala Patthar. This is really the goal of this trek but since nobody has heard of Kala Patthar it’s just easier to say you’re going to EBC.

Kala Patthar is just a small peak, too small to qualify as a mountain, and it’s part of a ridge up to the mountain Pumori. The “summit” is 18,500 feet but we started from 16,900 feet at Gorak Shep, so it’s a steep 1,500-foot climb that takes 90-120 minutes. Many people leave pre-dawn to catch the sunrise over Everest but, after a long day yesterday we decided to sleep in. We left at 6am.

Last night was quietly joyful as we reveled in our success and also worried a bit about our friend who was on oxygen. You definitely notice the altitude here through the cold, dry air and a slight headache. It was no surprise that the bedroom here was the coldest yet. I so wished I could just curl up by the wood stove in the dining room. Even though I was in the habit getting into my sleeping bag before changing into the long johns I slept in I was still shivering. I used my clothes and jackets as a makeshift blanket on top of my bag.

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Initial concerns: Heart and bone

I mentioned previously that I was going to be transparent about my concerns as I prepared for this trek. My major obstacle is an anxiety disorder, but I’ll address that in another post. Today, an update on the two other issues I mentioned: low back injury and cardiac PVCs.

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Nepal: The Why, What, and How of Donating

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In early November I’ll be flying out to Nepal to participate in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, trekking to Everest Base Camp! But the exciting part is that we’ll also be helping a local community, and are raising funds for supplies for the children in a local village.

Karen’s donation page for tax deductible donations through Trekking for Kids (please let me know if your organization has a matching program.)

Trekking for Kids

  • We’ve joined a team from non-profit organization Trekking for Kids, a group founded to give people opportunities to travel to exotic locations, challenge themselves to new heights and help the local community. Our team will be rebuilding a school. (A video of TFK’s 2010 Base Camp Trek and prior project can be viewed on my fundraising page.)
  • Trekking for Kids is committed to using donation money to help the countries they visit. 100% of your donation will go toward our project.  TFK gets income to fund their operations through corporate fundraising.
  • Trekking for Kids is dedicated to treating local guides and porters responsibly. As you may know, Western tourism is a mainstay of Nepal’s economy, but as mountain tourism has grown the local people – who are doing the really tough work – haven’t always reaped the benefits financially. Guiding tourists is difficult and can be dangerous, but when workers are well paid it can be life-changing.

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Nepal? How did this happen?

Apparently I’m going to Nepal and trekking up to Everest Base Camp. Read that with an inflection of disbelief and you’ll hear just how it sounds in my brain as the thought flickers by throughout the day. I am not someone who climbs mountains. I avoid camping. And though I may have my Colorado citizenship revoked for revealing this, I’ve hiked exactly one 14-er (14,000 ft. mountain, of which Colorado has more than any other state) in my life.

But several months ago a casual friend included my husband and I on an e-mail blast invitation to his next trip to Nepal. He’s a national-level photographer, and as circumstances worked it, my husband had a break at work just when the trip was scheduled.

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