MOUNT EVEREST TREK

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Trek to Everest Base Camp - not techn’ diff’, but its height offers challenges to do with air, wind, and cold – and indeed sun and heat (temp range 80dC / 144dF):

Preparing for Everest 2 Trek to Everest Base Camp - not techn ’ diff’, but its height offers challenges to do with air, wind, and cold – and indeed sun and heat (temp range 80dC / 144dF)

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4 Thamel area of old Kathmandu – fascinating and filthy

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15 Lukla had already been closed to all air traffic for 6 days so we had to land at Surkhe , a valley below the trail.

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18 DAY 1: EASY WAQLK UP TO Phakding , with the inevitable undulating traail

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21 My porter and guide, Nima . Aged 20. not typically Sherpa but born and living in Lukhla .

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24 First night’s stop-over at Phukding

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This year and last year. 29

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30 DAY 2: PHUKDING TO NAMCHE BAZAAR – QUITE A PULL

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32 Stickers! – before heading off down the valley to school

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33 Looking down into the valley - - - - - -

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34 - - - past ubiquitous Buddist shrines - - - -

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35 - - descending to the river to cross it by swing-bridge - - -

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37 Watch those yak horns! Jumping over the bridge is not an option.

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39 Get the point?

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48 Tough Sherpas , carrying sometimes at least 100kgs of dead weight, the force taken from their necks!

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50 Usually the first view of Everest – last year anyway, in a group of around 50

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51 This year, we imagined it was there.

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54 Last year’s dream

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55 But at least the exit was dramatically different

At least the flown-in nurse was beautiful - - - recovering fast!:

At least the flown-in nurse was beautiful - - - recovering fast! 56

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58 Everest Lhotse Ama Dablam

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59 On the way up to the Everest View Hotel, we stop in to visit the excellent little museum. Everest view down the valley.

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63 Careful planning in the good months for the bitterly cold months, so little time for recreation.

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67 We were fortunate to see a male bird – as well as a Himalayan mountain tahr – another advantage of being a small, quiet group.

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69 Equipment in 1952 worn by Tenzing Sherpa

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72 Everest View Hotel (3.800m)

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75 Everest 8.858m Lhotse Ama Dablam 6.812m

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82 Tengboche Monestry

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89 My favourite tea house on the way up, and down. Very simple again, but this time clean, with hot wet towels before the meal!

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90 The Yak is critical to survival – meat, milk, clothing, transport, warmth in winter by living in the downstairs floor , and- - - the dropping s to be burnt in winter for warmth and cooking.

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91 Fire-fuel collected each day – yak droppings

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92 Modern cooking methods a well – solar reflector; also now small hydro-electric systems and solar panels

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94 Dingboche main street

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95 Moving out of the vegetation zone into alpine tundra

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99 Marketing perception

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100 Market reality

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101 DAY 6: DINGBOCHE TO LOBUCHE

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103 Climbers’ shrines – mostly in their 30’s and often on decent.

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105 Glacier

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106 Lobuche (4.930m) – barometric pressure and hence oxygen down to 56%

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107 Enjoying the sun; often clear at high altitude due to low moisture in the air

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108 Glacier moraine – rubble and ice

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111 Gorak Shep – the last accommodation – 5.170m Kular Pattar 5.550m

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112 Nuptse 7.861m Lhotse 8.516m Everest 8.858m u Changtse

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Base camp .5350m/17.550f -8c -18f:

Base camp .5350m/17.550f -8c -18f 132 Base Camp in summer – level and little snow

Camp 1 looking towards Lhotse Ice Face:

Camp 1 looking towards Lhotse Ice Face Or what it can look like when covered in snow – the better option 133

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134 11 th hour of 11 th day of 11 th month of 11 th year

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137 For those with higher sights!

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138 Everest Tabouche Lhotse Nuptcse Lhotse Ama Dablam

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139 Lhotse Everest

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140 From above Everest, looking South

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141 We get down in 2 days, to try to beat the weather closing in at Lukla , and catch an earlier flight back home.

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142 - - -but fail! Six days of traffic had started to bank up at Lukla

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144 Advantage again of being 1-man party – manage to arrange to connect to a high-altitude chopper-rescue bringing down a South African woman and Spanish climber – both in serious trouble - - - - by climbing too fast! First and only exit for 2 days from Lukla ! A rapid descent from Lukla to a field below it where the chopper was refueling by jerry-can.

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145 Coincidentally, the helicopter had been bought from SA

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The end:

The end Annexure to follow: climbing into higher altitudes 149

Everest: named after the British Surveyor General who first plotted it in 1840’s Chomolungma: Tibetan name meaning Mother Goddess of the Universe Sargarmatha is the Nepalese name:

Everest: named after the British Surveyor General who first plotted it in 1840’s Chomolungma : Tibetan name meaning Mother Goddess of the Universe Sargarmatha is the Nepalese name 150 A trek to Everest Base Camp is not at all difficult. There is no technical challenge. But it is a long and undulating trail cris -crossing deep valleys. It gets up to the edge of extreme altitude (5.300m) where the oxygen level is 50% of that at sea level.

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151 Normally, it is an 8-10 day hike from Lukla (2.800m) to Base Camp (5.400) i.e. ascent of 2.600m Descending generally takes 3-4 days

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Altitude is not to be taken lightly and there is a danger in assuming that a trek like this is without altitude challenges. You do get to altitudes that are challenging and potentially dangerous if not managed carefully. Consider briefly the altitude problem. 152

Acute m. Sickness. Why? Who? :

Acute m. Sickness. Why? Who? 153 Commonest illness at altitude is acute mountain sickness , otherwise called “altitude sickness or mountain sickness”. Why? – causes not fully understood but probably pressure inside skull causes swelling, headache, nausea, haemorrhaging Who gets it? – impossible to tell until you get there

Bottle of air (lungs) at 3.600 meters:

Bottle of air (lungs) at 3.600 meters Same bottle take down to sea level 154

The faster you ascend, the more likely you are to get sick. A slow ascent (300 vertical meters per day) allows the body to adjust and build up more oxygen in the blood.:

The faster you ascend, the more likely you are to get sick. A slow ascent (300 vertical meters per day) allows the body to adjust and build up more oxygen in the blood. 155

High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (“HACE”):

High Altitude Cerebral Oedema (“HACE”) 156 Cause unknown Probably brain demands more oxygen, excessive blood causes head aches and leakages and hence damage

High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (“HAPE”):

High Altitude Pulmonary Oedema (“HAPE”) 157 Dangerous build-up of fluid in the lungs that prevents the air spaces from opening up and filling with fresh air with each breath. Sufferer becomes progressively more short of oxygen, which in turn worsens the build-up of fluid in the lungs. In this way, HAPE can be fatal within hours.

Things that trigger altitude sicknesses: A fast rate of ascent Vigorous/stressful exercise chest infections or symptoms of the common cold before ascent :

158 Things that trigger altitude sicknesses: A fast rate of ascent Vigorous/stressful exercise chest infections or symptoms of the common cold before ascent

* ASCEND SLOWLY WITH LEAST EXERTION (300M PER DAY) * START OFF WITH NO CHEST AILMENTS, ADEQUATE SLEEP, MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY HEALTHY (EVEN IF AS BIT UNFIT) * ACCLIMATISE: CLIMB HIGH, SLEEP LOW = GET THE OXYGEN COUNT IN YOUR BLOOD UP * AVOID DEHYDRATION: FORCE YOURSELF TO DRINK GOOD WATER * WARMTH, FOOD, SHELTER, SLEEP * MANAGE THE SYMPTOMS:

159 * ASCEND SLOWLY WITH LEAST EXERTION (300M PER DAY) * START OFF WITH NO CHEST AILMENTS, ADEQUATE SLEEP, MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY HEALTHY (EVEN IF AS BIT UNFIT) * ACCLIMATISE: CLIMB HIGH, SLEEP LOW = GET THE OXYGEN COUNT IN YOUR BLOOD UP * AVOID DEHYDRATION: FORCE YOURSELF TO DRINK GOOD WATER * WARMTH, FOOD, SHELTER, SLEEP * MANAGE THE SYMPTOMS

Temp drop with altitude - 6-9 d C per 1.000m:

Temperature drops by approximately 6.5C (15F) degrees for every 1000m (3.300feet), however the amount of moisture in the air can change it. In dry air (well below freezing so no moisture content in the air) it is 9.8C (24F) /1000m SEA LEVEL 0 meters / feet 29 deg C 84F KATHMANDU 2.175 7.135 21C 70 BASE CAMP 5.350 17.552 ( 5) 23 SUMMIT 8.850 29.035 ( 35) (31) 160 Temp drop with altitude - 6-9 d C per 1.000m

The consequences of not managing the cold are Hypothermia including irrational thinking and decreasing body performance and also - - - - -:

161 The consequences of not managing the cold are Hypothermia including irrational thinking and decreasing body performance and also - - - - -

- - - - frost-bite:

- - - - frost-bite 162

What to do if you get sick? Descend as fast as possible:

What to do if you get sick? Descend as fast as possible 163

MANAGING ALTITUDE :

MANAGING ALTITUDE 164 Anyone with good health and reasonable fitness can do it. Do some planning, and don’t rush it. And enjoy the views and quiet.