Tag Archives: travel

Day 13+ Where am I now?

Las Vegas
2001 ft/609m

I’m two years overdue writing this final post. Though I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on this trip it’s taken me this long to get myself to sit down and share it. Here’s why: the experience led to great revelation but not necessarily to great change, and I find that embarrassing. Bear with me for a minute and I’ll explain.

Before this trip I didn’t know anything about Nepal and never desired to visit. But a friend of ours who’d done the trek before extended an invitation and my husband was enthralled by the idea. I was scared, as I usually am by international travel. I always imagine that a coup will break out or traffickers will slip drugs into my bag at the airport and I’ll end up in jail. (I never should have watched Brokedown Palace.) But I agreed to the trip and figured I’d turn it into an opportunity for motivation and growth. I’d been needing to get to the doctor for a checkup, which this trip required, and I wanted to address a longtime issue that’s worsened year by year: anxiety.

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Day 9: Kala Patthar (Gorak Shep) to Pheriche

11/16/2015
Summit of Kala Patthar 5643m/18514 ft.
Pheriche 4371m/14340 ft.
10km, 6.2 miles, 3-4 hours hike time

When our group descended Kala Patthar we found the rest of our team packed up and waiting. Even though we were headed downhill it was getting late and we wante to get to Pheriche for the night. We hurried to grab some tea, replenish our water, and get going.

The summit of Kala Patthar had been windy, cold, and dry and by the time we left I felt my chest constricting and a rattling in my lungs. Departing Gorak Shep took us up a small rise, and as I climbed I kept looking around and lifting my earmuff to listen for a repetitive, soft whistling noise that was bugging me. I thought it was coming from someone’s pack. When I finally took my earmuffs off and heard myself breathing I realized I was making the noise. I laughed. When I go to the doctor’s office with my all too regular bouts of bronchitis, they ask if I’m wheezing. I tell them I don’t think I am because I don’t know what that sounds like. Well, apparently it sounds like this, and I knew it instantly since so many people have described it to me.

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Day 8: Lobuche to Gorak Shep to Base Camp

11/14/2015
Lobuche: 4930m/16175 ft.
Gorak Shep 5164m/16942 ft.
Base Camp 5360m/17650 ft.
6-8km, 4-6 miles, 7 hours hike time

Terrain: A steady sloping up on a rocky trail that alternates between valleys and hillsides.

A fun surprise for us at Lobuche as we reconnected with two team members who’d split off at Namche wanting to move faster and skip Base Camp on their way to climb Lobuche peak. It was fun to catch up and hear that they’d made their goal and were safe and sound.

The teahouse was the most crowded yet, not unlike a Colorado ski lodge during spring break. I noted the ratio of women to men, probably in the range of 4 to 1, and most people looked like serious climbers. I suspect this must be a launch point for expeditions to many of the nearby peaks. Continue reading

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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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Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes (but still going!)

I’m a firm believer that when we’re looking for it and let it happen, something greater than us is ordering our days. So when plans change I try to not immediately react, but to step back and see if there are bigger puzzle pieces being arranged on my behalf.

Several days ago the friend who invited us on this trip had to cancel. I confess I was somewhat relieved, as I explained here about how my overly-vigilant nervous system was freaking me out. But we’d also been talking a lot about the trip and in small ways I’d started to become excited.

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There will be yaks and I cannot wait!

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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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