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Way back in time before the onset of adulthood I enjoyed countless days heading into the hills of Yorkshire with nothing more than a squashed sandwich & youthful sense for adventure! Despite long past youthful and work commitments keeping me in the city, the sense of adventure and love for the outdoors never left me. After digging my boots out and returning to the hills I attended a number of courses to improve my hill knowledge and skill base, during one of these courses it was suggested I join the Mountain Leader Training scheme and was delighted go on to gain the MOUNTAIN LEADER Award in April 2012. As well as spending time on the hills and mountains of the UK I have also enjoyed trips to the Nepalese Himalaya, Swiss & French Alps, Mallorca’s Tramuntana, Andorran & French Pyrenees, Morocco’s High Atlas, Tanzania’s Mt Meru & Kilimanjaro, Argentinian & Chilean Patagonia and winter expeditions to Norway’s Hardangervidda. Since gaining the ML I have also gained the SINGLE PITCH AWARD, INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD and the WINTER MOUNTAIN LEADER AWARD. I am now enjoying working in a freelance role whilst trying to get out climbing as much as possible.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

October/November - Nepal

 Over 3 weeks at the end of October & start of November I joined a group from Rob Johnson's Expedition Guide trek from Lukla to Kala Patthar & Everest Base Camp in the Nepalese Himalaya.

 After flying from the UK we stayed overnight in Katmandu, before making the short journey back to the airport for the legendary flight to Lukla (http://www.wearyourboots.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/lukla-worlds-most-dangerous-airport.html).

 Arriving at Lukla we steadied our nerves and before beginning our trek. Lukla is perched on the hillside at 2840m asl (above sea level) and fortunately our first days short trek would see us drop to 2610m which would help prevent us getting Altitude Sickness.
Leaving Lukla
The first valleys of our trek

   We would be spending our days trekking 4 to 5 hours/day and our evenings would be spent in 'tea huts' of varying comfort and facilities. We would also have our evening meals and breakfasts in the tea huts, these were of Nepalese dishes such as Dal Bhat & Tibetan breads varying to chips & cheese and pancakes (Dal Bhat is a dish consisting of a lentil broth, rice & slightly curried vegetables. No two Dal Bhats were the same, I know as I ate it most days!).
  Each day we would not ascend more than approximately 300m to avoid the effects of the dreaded Altitude Sickness, if we did have to make an ascent of more than 300m then we took a rest day at a tea hut.

One of the bridges spanning the many river crossings.
Namche Bazar cut into the mountain side
Sherpa Tashi, Si (Roomie), Brett & Mark spin the prayer wheels in Khunde.

  Day 9 of our trip saw us reach Gorak Shep 5140m which is the last 'settlement' before Everest Base Camp, here it was decided we would trek to the summit of Kala Patthar before returning overnight to Gorak Shep and make the short 2hour trek to Everest Base Camp the following day.
Perched on the summit of Kala Pathar
Everest Base Camp.
Everest Base Camp
 The trek from Lukla to Everest Base Camp had taken us a total of 10 days including rest days, the trek back to Lukla would take us just 4 days including a rest day.
 The trek took us through many small settlements, some consisting of just a couple of tea houses whilst others had shops and a couple of bars and others were built around temples. I found the people of Nepal really friendly, especially the Sherpa people from where the famous shepa's are descended.

 It was my first trip to Nepal and the Himalaya and I loved it from start to finish, even the unfortunate stomach problems and heavy cold didn't take away from the experience and I would love to return at some point.

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