Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A journey to the top of the world

It was completely dark and I was walking very slowly. I looked at my watch and the temperature reading showed -6 C. I could not see the peak yet. I heard TS shouting from behind. He wanted water. Madhu helped him to get some water from the bag we were carrying together. TS was completely tired and did not even try walking a few steps to get that bottle from Madhu. In a few minutes, we were on the climb again. I was walking dead slow behind Madhu and far away down from me, TS. TS shouted again. This time also he wanted water. We had to stop and get him some water again. This happened for five times.  Madhu and I started worrying about TS. The summit was still 60 minutes ahead of us and a steep climb. It was a very scary walk in the dark with our head torches on. Probably the wind chill was much colder than the temperature. Temperature reading showed me -10 C. I noticed TS resting on a boulder and thinking that he will take time to reach the summit, I continued to climb. Madhu was going fine slowly and steadily. We both were too tired by the time we reached the top. The actual summit was still around 200m from where we were. We both exchanged some words on TS and decided he will be fine by the time the first light comes and he would reach the peak slowly. We both continued to climb and started crossing those big boulders at the peak. We reached the peak at around 6 am and the weather was not welcoming at all. We expected a clear blue sky, instead, it started snowing and the black clouds started appearing in the valleys. It had reached -12 C and we were shivering out of cold. We were not only disappointed with the weather; we were also worried about TS.  Within a few minutes, we noticed that TS had started climbing and was far away from us. We thought of waiting for him at the peak and also anticipating that the weather makes our climb worthy enough. It was around 6.20 am, we started noticing blue patches in the sky. We thought we were lucky, but, not completely. But we were happy that we could see the top of the world for a few seconds. We were certainly not on top of the world, but we were seeing the top of the world. The majesty - Mt Everest.  We witnessed it through our eyes from an altitude of 5545m from the top of the Kalapattar. Should I say that we were almost on top of the world?

After our four months of planning and preparation, having missed all others who had agreed to join us, only Madhu, TS and I were strong enough to stick to the plan and start our journey to the mountains. So on Sep 25th, we boarded the flight from Bangalore to Delhi and from Delhi to Kathmandu. We reached the capital city of Nepal and stayed at the hotel called Garuda in the Thamel area. One of my friend had referred me to them. Garuda was a very good place and the people were very hospitable. They had even arranged for our flight tickets to Lukla and back without taking any advance money from us. 25th being a Saturday, all the government offices were closed in Kathmandu and we had to wait for one more day to get the Trekking permit – TIMS Card. TIMS is the Trekkers Information Management System which tracks the details of all the trekkers who visit Nepal. It is mandatory to take the TIMS card before going on any trekking in Nepal. We had to pay 20$ each to get the permit and we were all set to leave to Lukla and start our journey in the mountains from Sep 27th. We had some minor shopping to do and we completed them on 26th and were all set to travel on 27th morning.

Lukla (2860m)

Mind you, if you think that flying in and out from Lukla is easy. It is as difficult as the 15 days of trekking on the mountains. To fly to Lukla, one has to take the 15 seater small plane that flies cutely in the air before dropping us off on the world’s smallest runway (500m) at the so called Tenzing-Hillary airport at Lukla. Our flight was booked for Tara Air at 9.40am. We reached the Kathmandu domestic airport by 8.15 am. Kathmandu domestic airport is no better than our Kalasipalyam bus stand in Bangalore. It was overly crowded and most of the luggage we were seeing was the backpacks of trekkers. The place was full of trekkers. Flights were taking off every 5 minutes and all the trekkers were ready for the thrilling ride to Lukla. We boarded the flight at around 9.50 and surprised to see an air hostess in the flight. A 15 seater flight had a beautiful air hostess to serve us. We were first served with cotton and chocolates to prevent ourselves from the loud noise and the vomiting. Two pilots in the cockpit were looking bright enough to all of us and we were waiting for the final signal to fly. As we flew, we were all scared of what might happen during the 30 minute journey. We had even read about the earlier disasters caused in such flights in the same route. We were crossing our fingers for the good journey and looking out through the window to see the beautiful snow capped mountains. All of us were taking pictures and were busy watching the valleys from the top. And as we reached the end of 25th minute, we saw something through the front glass that was like a vertical line on top of the mountain. It was the runway. Runway was on a slope and that made us shit scared. In a few seconds, our flight landed and the pilot took the right turn to park us in the 4 flight parking lot. As we got down, our life came back to normal with an excitement of our journey in those mountains for the next 15 days.

Lukla is a small settlement and a cluster of guest houses. If we did not wanted to take the flight to lukla or when there are no flights to Lukla due to bad weather, one has to take the bus from Kathmandu and reach a place from where one has to trek for 3-4 days to reach Lukla. Flying in and out of Lukla is completely dependent on the good weather. If the sky is not blue, you will turn blue to fly. Once we reached Lukla, our plan was to hire ‘one’ porter and share some of our luggage with him. At the airport, porters approached us like the way auto drivers and taxi drivers approach you near the bus stand or the railway station in Bengaluru. But, as advised by one of my friend, we went into a hotel (we wanted to get into some ‘kaka’ kind of a hotel and eat the local food) and checked with them for a reliable porter. They offered us black tea (we never knew black tea will be the only easiest tea to get throughout our trip) and a lot of porters and people assembled to check with us for hiring one. Our budget for the porter was 450 Rs but as we learned from the locals, there were lot of changes the minimum rates for hiring a porter. They had even set up a union that takes care of all the porters and the minimum set by the union was 750 Rs per day per porter. Not just 750 Rs, they will also demand us to commit for a tip amount before they agree to go with us. I thought, the whole place is commercialized as crazy. After hearing all these developments, we decided to go on our own and save enough money for ourselves. We had our breakfast in the same hotel and started moving towards the trail. After walking a distance of 500m, we noticed one person following us. When we checked with him, he said he will agree for 600 Rs per day. He did not raise the topic of the tips and we readily agreed to him. So Mingmar Sherpa joined us as our porter for the next 15 days. He looked strong and well built like all other Sherpas except that he was just 22 years old. Unfortunately, he did not have a big rucksack and hence we could not share with him too much of weight. Probably, all our rucksacks weighed the same. But we were happy because we had one local person with us who would be helpful during the trek and ease our interactions.

Day one: Lukla to Toktok (2760m)
Going forth, if I say we, it is four of us, including Ming.

Usually, lonely planet and other people advise trekkers to trek up to Phakding on the first day. But someone at Lukla, advised us to trek up to Toktok which is 30 minutes ahead of Phakding. We decided to do the same and our legs started warming up while walking. Most of the first day was a decent into the valley where we would meet the Dudh Kosi River gorgeously flowing and welcoming all the trekkers into the wonderland. On the way I saw many beautiful flowers and orchids those were very new to me. I thought it will be a great work for my camera for 15 days. As we descended steeply into the valley we started encountering the yaks hauling gear for trekking groups and a lot of trekkers who were like us on one mission.  We crossed many Sherpa villages on our way and tea houses for trekkers to rest. Weather was perfect for us to trek and as we moved we started counting the number of waterfalls, bridges and the yak groups. We were in the extreme beauty of Mother Nature. We were neither slow nor fast in our walk. We took around 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach Phakding which is a small settlement of more than a dozen of lodges spanning the Dudh Kosi at 2610m. Since we had decided not to stay in Phakding, we continued our first day trek further to walk on a long bridge across the Dudh Kosi. As soon as we crossed the bridge, we were walking along the river towards north and the trail was getting us to ascend. We had to ascend about 100m from Phakding to Toktok. When we were about to reach the village, I encountered with a lady who was returning from her trek. I was excited to ask how it was and I could notice a sense of fear in her face. When I checked with her, she said the rescue chopper was flying out of Lobuche four times. And she asked us to be very careful during the trail. She was also surprised to see us walking at that hour without stopping at Phakding. I told her we would be staying in the next village and she was fine with that. I said to myself, this news gave a good enough start for our journey.  As we continued to climb for the next few minutes, we crossed a small bridge and noticed the group of Sherpa homes and ended our walk in the twilight as we reached the Ama Dablam lodge, Toktok at 4.45pm.

The lodge was quite compact and we got ourselves a room and rested for a while. We were feeling good as everything went well. The worry that we had was the weather in Kathmandu to fly to Lukla and luckily it broke out fine for us. With the sense of achievement of a good start, we had our lemon tea at the restaurant and started playing cards in our room. We played cards till 7 pm and we were called for the dinner. Three of us had ordered the Dal Bhat – a typical Nepali meal. We read the sign which made our mouth wide open - “battery charge per hour 100 Rs”. It was very cold and we were just talking for sometime before we slept. Before I slept, I just ran the whole day through my mind and tried listing down what all I wondered that day!

Day two: Toktok to Namche Bazaar (3440m)

I woke up at 6 am and went out to see the morning light. I noticed the first light on the peak in front of me and the beautiful snow cap was inviting me to sit on top of it. I clicked a few pictures of the morning and got ready to start our second day. We had chapathi with jam for our breakfast with a cup of black tea. We started to climb our day at 8 am and to our surprise, we encountered with a beautiful multi-level waterfall within the first 30 minutes of our start. It was so beautiful that we could not stop capturing it in our lens. As we climbed up, we go to witness more number of snow capped peaks. We soon go the first glimpse of the Thamserku peak (6608m). We used to ask Ming for the names of all the peaks and he was kind enough to tell them. We reached the first village Benkar which was a small setting with a lot of potato fields and apple trees. After Benkar, we crossed the steel suspension bridge to the north which connects the trail to the Namche Bazaar. There was an old broken wooden bridge which looked scary while we cross the good one. As we walked, the trail became steeper and it was very clear that we had a tough climb ahead as we had to reach the altitude of 3440m from 2700m. We reached the next village Monjo and we were waiting to see the Sagarmatha National Park entrance. Just above Monjo is the entrance checkpoint for the Sagarmatha National Park where we had to show our TIMS card and register it with them. Also we had to pay the conservation fee. For Indians, luckily, the conservation fee was 100 Rs (Nepali) and for other foreigners it was 1000 Rs. After paying the fee, we entered the national park area and we were welcomed by the splendid rhododendron and fir forests in to the beautiful valleys. We crossed bridges, climbed steeps, went through all those Tibetan mantras carved on the granites, and we did all that the nature asked us to do before our stomachs called us to refuel it. We had only one option for lunch and that was to have our lunch at the place Jorsale (2830m). Else we would need to wait till we reach Namche as there were no other villages between Jorsale and Namche. Without any second thought, we had our lunch at Jorsale at 11.15 am and continued our steep climb to Namche. It was very steep all through the way and we were getting tired every 10 minutes of the walk. We took a lot of breaks and TS was looking too tired to climb. He was walking very slowly and we used to ask Ming to come with him. Madhu and I were walking steadily and we were appearing just as good for that climb. Mountains were appearing very huge and we tiny fellows were just climbing like ants. It was a teeth gritting feel when we saw the suspension bridge floating at a vertigo causing height above the Dudh Kosi. It was a great feeling after crossing the bridge and having seen the depth standing over the same.  It was almost 3 hours of steep climb from Jorsale to Namche. Our legs were too tired to move fast and that was when we reached a place from where the trail appeared flat. We had reached the tea house at the entrance of Namche. Once we crossed that, there was one more checking point where we had to show our TIMS card again.

Namche is the largest and attractive settlement of the Khumbu area full of lodges for trekkers. It looks like an amphitheatre when seen from the top and hooked to the ridge of the Kongde peak (6187m). As we stepped into this mountain village at 3 pm, we found ourselves a good lodge – Himalayan Lodge and parked ourselves into a triple room. The restaurant at the lodge was looking very attractive and had the pictures framed of most of the mountaineers who climbed Everest. We had our dinner at 7 pm and played cards for some time before we slept. The temperature was dropping as we gained the altitude. It was very cold in the night. The pictures of the high suspension bridge, the rhododendron forests were coming into my eyes before I slept and the feel of the steep climb was still lingering in my legs!

Day three: Acclimatization day

We wanted to stay one more day in Namche to acclimatize ourselves to the altitude and hence we planned to walk around Namche. First place we visited after the breakfast was the Sagarmatha National Park Head Quarters. We had to climb 100m to reach the place and at 9.20am we encountered with our first look of the Mt Everest. From the HQ, we could see the Mt Everest waiting for us to reach its base and touch it once. It was a great feel to see the majesty. The panoramic views from the HQ were just spectacular. We met with an Indian Shanta Subbarao, who spoke to us in Kannada. Apparently she was a doctor in UK but routed from Bengaluru. We felt good speaking to her. There was a museum at the HQ and we went into the same and took an hour to come out of it. I wanted to visit the school built by Edmund Hillary so we started to walk up to Khumjung (3780 m). It was certainly not an easy walk. Rather it was a steep climb for some time and again a descent to the village. We took 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Khumjung and visited the school. On the way we also passed through the Shyangboche airport (3790m). Even now, at times flight land in this airport. This airport has no runway; it is just a muddy flat place for a chopper to land.

We took one hour to return back to Namche and while returning we met a person called Ronny who had come from Israel to explore Nepal Himalayas for 2 months. We had to also visit the bank to exchange whatever Indian rupees we had with us to Nepali rupees. We were very worried about the money with us because of all the recent price changes everywhere. And hence we wanted to be sure that we have enough cash with us. This was one more reason, we used to keep track of our accounts everyday and ensure everything works as per our budget. Madhu was quite confident that we had enough cash but I was doubtful and wanted to be safe. We visited the bank before we went to the lodge and exchanged the money. After reaching lodge, we had our lunch and then went into our room. We played cards and chatted through the evening before we had our dinner and hit the bed. The only thought that was coming to my mind on this day was, will we be able to manage our cash? As our Ming was telling with a great difficulty that – “ up… up.. mehenga…mehenga…”

Day four: Namche to Dole (4090m)

Namche to Dole will be a long day is what we had read and heard from a few people. We started at 7.20am; although the trail was easy to start with we reached a point in an hour of our start where we saw the sign board which shows the direction to reach Gokyo. This junction is near the village Sanasa from where we took the trail that connects to Dole. It was a steep climb for the next 45 minutes until we reached a place Mong La (3975m). Since we were not very hungry, we continued from there without having lunch. While we were walking on this path, we could see the Tengboche village on the other side just below the ridge of the Ama Dablam. We could also see one more small flat topped settlement called Phortse (3810m).  After an hour of walk, we saw the trail getting a sudden decline into the valley. It was a very steep descent into the valley. We stopped at the entry of the Phortse Thenga village (3680m) where we found a kaka hotel to eat some good food. The cook in this small hotel was kind enough to cook freshly for us and it was a delicious lunch. While we waited for him to cook, I tried to take a nap sleeping on the lush green grass towards the eastern side of the hotel. I was lying on the ground and was watching the magnificent mountains in front of me and got into a thoughtful mode of how small I am. I looked around the place I was sleeping, there were tiny little beautiful flowers, lush green grass, ants and a bee flying around. I also heard the River flowing with life and asked myself - How big are we all in front of these mountains and valleys? I just told myself that I am just a tiny nobody in front of the Mother Nature.

After our good economical lunch, we headed towards Dole. It was a beautiful trail and to begin with we had to climb the steep and after about 45 minutes of climb it was an easy walk amidst the beautiful trees. I noticed the trees were peeling off their skin for a fresh outlook and they were looking colorful in the bright sunlight. It was an easy and short walk from Phortse Thenga to Dole and we crossed some beautiful trails with the views of Khumbila and Taboche peaks. There were some yak grazing farms on the way which looked utterly beautiful and a black yak on the green lawn in the back drop of a hut was a feast to my eyes. More than anything we were walking in the mist which is always special for me. As our trail continued further from the yak farm, within a few minutes it took a left turn to end our walk at the Dole village. Dole is a beautiful settlement of half a dozen lodges for trekkers. People stay here only during the trekking season and get back to their actual villages during offseason. At 3.30 we checked into the lodge which is at the entrance of the village and ended our long walk. Hot chocolate served us better to come out of the tiredness but the drop in the temperature made us keep ourselves warm sitting inside the room. Our cards session continued and TS’s ‘Jai sagarmatha’ slogans were helping him win at times if not all the time. We talked some good philosophy but followed by a boring dinner. We had given up on the food we used to eat every day. We did not get adjusted to the Dal Bhat and the fried rice got boring after a few days. Hence we were dying out of crave for the good food. Madhu and I used to force ourselves to eat something to gain CH levels and TS was not caring for it. He was hardly eating any food. That was when we started worrying about him.  The yak farm with the black yak setting was in my mind when I slept and from this day onwards, we got introduced to the interrupted sleep. May be, it was because of the high altitude. But none of us had developed any symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness.

Day five: Dole to Machhermo (4410)

After having a sad and expensive breakfast (Chapathi made of Maida floor with Jam), we started our 5th day of our journey at 7.20am towards Machhermo. To limit our rate of rapid ascent and to avoid from the altitude sickness, it was a short trek to Machhermo. To begin with it was a very steep climb out of the forest towards the barren hillside. As we continue our ascent, the trail becomes flat at some point and will make us walk on a trail that has the most beautiful views. After two-three hours of continuous climb, we reached a place where we saw the colorful flags. That’s when we realized that we reached Machhermo. From the place where they had tied the flags, the valleys looked very beautiful and all the peaks were looking gorgeous. The panorama also gives us a glimpse of the Cho oyu peak (8210m) – the sixth highest in the world.

Machhermo is a very small settlement of lodges situated at the base of the valley below the terminal mass of rocks of the Ngozumpa Glacier. As we walked into the village, it was 10.30am and we saw the clouds covering all the peaks around us and it was the time for us to relax. We ordered our tea and the brightness evolved in us and in Machhermo. It became sunny and very clear. We met with a team whom we had talked to at Dole. Apparently they were from India and they were visiting just the Gokyo and not the Mt Everest Base Camp. We felt good to speak to Indians and we exchanged best wishes with them. After that we had our lunch and rested on the bed.

In the evening, Ming told us about the achievement of one porter who accompanied a Japanese guy. His name was Lakhpa Sherpa and apparently he climbed the top of Mt Everest in May 2010 creating a world record of wearing a Nepalese wedding suite to the summit. We met with him and congratulated him for his achievement. We even took a picture with him for our records. He was well built and very strong. He said he can walk from Namche to Everest Base Camp in one day and Namche to Gokyo in one day. He had done that already. And he told us about one of his brother-in-law who created a gunnies world record of climbing the Mt Everest summit in 8 hours from the base camp. We had no words and did not know how to even react to it but we kept our mouth wide open. Well, we were happy atleast we met and heard these stories. With these exciting stories, we had our dinner and returned to our cards session and then to the bed. I did not get good sleep throughout the night and all I was thinking was about the gunnies world record of 8 hours to summit. I asked myself – can I do the Cho La pass safely?

Day six: Machhermo to Gokyo (4750m)

Machhermo to Gokyo was a gradual ascent of 350 m. we started our day at 7.15am with a steep climb up the slope which lead us to the place where we got the stunning views of the Kantega and the Cho Oyu peaks. And then we also noticed the Ngozumpa glacier which is one of the biggest glaciers in Himalayas. While we were climbing up gradually, we came across an old village which was hit by an avalanche in 1995 killing an entire trekking group. I had read this in the lonely planet and as I walked, I kept thinking about how it would’ve happened and how would it be to feel it.

The trail then descends us further and then again a steep climb until we reach the rocky path. We had to cross all the boulders, climb up and climb down to join the trail that connects us to the valley under the Ngozumpa glacier. Thirty minutes of walk from this place, we reached the first lake of Gokyo – the Longponga Tsho (4650m). It was so beautiful that we spent quite some time enjoying the views. We took a lot of pictures and spent some fun time. The water was clean, fresh and chilly. Courageously, I dipped my hand in it followed by a burning sensation for 20 minutes. From here, the trail was almost flat and we walked alongside the lake in the same valley.  After about 20 minutes of gradual climb, we reached the second lake – Taboche Tsho (4710m). 
Second lake was bigger than the first lake and had the beauty that reflects many peaks into it. We continued our trail on the gradual climb and we finally reached the third lake which connects the Gokyo village and the Gokyo Ri peak to it. It is known as Dudh Pokhari. We rested for sometime just looking at the lake and the clear green water. We also took the first look of the Gokyo Ri peak which we were supposed to climb the next day. Gokyo is a very small settlement at the bank of the third lake. Any hotel would give us the beautiful view of the lake. The temperature had come down significantly and we were feeling very cold and had to wear our thermals after getting into the lodge – Gokyo Guest House at 11 am. We had met with Swiss couple who became pretty close to us throughout the trek and we shared some good thoughts during the lunch and dinner. Ronny whom we met at Namche and Mong La had also reached Gokyo and it was good to get to know him as well. Like this we made more and more friends all through the trek.

We played cards for some time, discussed about the next day’s plan to climb up the Gokyo Ri. We had decided to start at 3 am and reach the peak before the first light. Before going to bed, the only picture that was coming to my mind was the emerald green lake and the thought of getting up at 3 am and going into thin air to reach the peak! Sigh!

Day seven: Gokyo – Gokyo Ri (5365m) – Tagnag (4700m)

Even though we had thought that day seven will not be too lengthy for us, we decided to make a minor change in the schedule. Earlier plan was to just climb up the Gokyo Ri, return back to Gokyo and rest. But because it was a short 3 hour walk from Gokyo to Tagnag and because Tagnag is at almost the same altitude as Gokyo, we decided to trek upto Tagnag on this day. So as per plan, we were to leave at 3 am to Gokyo Ri.

We were waiting in our dreams to climb up the Ri and Ming knocked our room door at 3.40am. Even he had slept off and we never heard the alarm. So we were all set to leave by 4 am and we were delayed by one hour from our plan. We came out of the lodge and saw the lake and the mountains beautifully shining in blue in the moon light and the stars were sparkling over them to make it a wonderland. We had to cross a small stream to reach the base of the peak from where it was a steep climb of 570m. Peak looked steeper than it actually was and we started climbing slowly with our head torches on. Anatoli Boukreev’s statement was on my mind – “pace yourself! It’s not who gets up first, it’s who gets up!” 

We paced ourselves very slow and climbing up in the thin air was not all that easy. We used to get tired very soon and used to drink water at regular intervals. All the peaks around us looked unbelievably beautiful. It was as if I was walking in my dreams in the wonderland. TS was slower than we were and was far away from us. All through the climb, it was Simon and Garfunkel who played the sound of silence in my ears. Madhu and I walked for almost an hour without any breaks and that’s when we saw the first light coming out behind the huge mountains. We were a little disappointed as we were not at the peak to capture the golden light. Nevertheless, we captured the first light from where we were and I could see the gigantic Mt Everest peaking over the Lhotse and signing us to get up fast. As I looked at the Mt Everest, I do not know what happened to me, my pace increased unbelievably and I started moving faster than I was. Madhu and I reached the peak by 6.10am and we were shivering at the peak. The temperature was certainly in subzero and we were all packed in layers to escape from it. It was a perfect blue without even a dot in the sky and we were over joyful looking at the panorama. We recorded the beauty around us in some stills and clips and waiting for TS to arrive. TS reached the peak at 7am and he was too tired to pose at the lens as soon as he reached. So he rested for sometime while Madhu and I ate the Karadantu (Fried gum of dry fruits) that we had taken.  It gave us instant energy and we just sat there and enjoyed the beauty. TS was ready for some clicks and we all posed at our lenses. All the three lakes were looking spectacular from the peak and also we could see the glacier we were supposed to walk the same day. It was truly the biggest glacier in that region. Having witnessed the Mt Everest through our eyes completely, we were all set to climb down. Climbing down was a bit easy and we were walking under the sunlight so it wasn’t that cold as it was earlier that morning. We took around 1 hour and 20 minutes to climb down and reached our lodge.

We rested for 30 minutes, had our breakfast and we were all set to leave for our next camp. Even the Swiss couple Mr and Ms Johnson had the same plan for the day and we were all set to roar on the Glacier. We left Gokyo at 11 am and started following the trail towards Tagnag. To start with the trail was easy and a gradual slope. But as we moved further, we had to crossover some boulders and climb up steep to reach the ridge that joins us to the Ngozumpa glacier. As we reached the ridge, we witnessed the magnificent glacier and a kind of fear started within me to cross over the same. We descended ourselves into the glacier and started walking over the same. The glacier path was full of loose soil and loose rocks over the frozen ice. We could see the ice melting at some places that created a kind of wicked noise while walking. Because of the loose rocks, it was difficult to manage the walk with the stick in hand. My stick got stuck in the rocks and I lost balance for a few seconds. Within the time I forced myself to balance; I fell down on the rocks completely. Fortunately, I fell down on the path and had I fell towards the either side of the path; it would’ve been the end of my trek life.  This was the reason TS was always begging for us to be together while climbing and not to go independently on one’s own pace. I realized some wisdom in saying it after that incident. Recovering from my fall, I started walking slowly and carefully. By then Madhu and Ming were waiting for us to join them. As we reached them, we heard a loud noise. Ming shouted – “Danger, danger..”. We noticed the glacier started collapsing 100m from us. With fear taking over our slow pace, we started running until we reached a firm place to stand. We were lucky that we crossed the glacier without any problems and we were on the trail which was safer within 30 minutes. After 2 hours and 30 minutes of stressful walk, we reached Tagnag; a very small settlement of 2-3 lodges and got ourselves a room at the Tashi-Friendship lodge. It was a very long and tiring day for us and we just rested throughout the evening.

Before our minds got into a relaxing mode, we realized that the next day will be much worse. It was a big day for us and even for Ming as we were supposed to cross the mighty Cho La pass. Again, the plan was to leave at 3 am and cross the pass when the sky is clear before the first light. Reluctantly, without any options, we agreed to the plan. Having early dinner by 6.30 we were off to the sleep. Before I slept, in my mind, it was the picture of the glacier that we walked; the glacier collapse and the tough climb for the next day.

Day eight: Tagnag – Cho La (5400) - Dzhongla (4830m)

As usual, Ming did not wake us up at 3 am and we again started our day at 4am with our head torches on. The trail turned towards the east that would later connect the khumbu glacier. It was a gradual slope to begin with and while walking we noticed the stream water that had solidified at many places. It was very cold and I am most certain that the temperature would be around -10 C. After an hour of tiring climb, we reached a place that connected to the ridge of the glacier top; from where we had to descend again to join the trail. While we were on the way, we were welcomed by so many colorful Himalayan Monals. As we reached the ridge, we could see the Cho La at the base of the huge and beautiful Cholatse peak. It was far away from us. It was atleast an hour trek to reach the base of the Cho La. After many steep ascends and descends over the loose rocks, we reached the base of the Cho La. As we reached the base, we were overtaken by some porters who were carrying heavy loads of weight on their back and climbing up the pass. TS was surprised over the trail. There was no trail actually. It was full of boulders and the steep of 600m that looked almost like a wall to us. We were shocked looking at how porters took off over the steep in front of us. We just could not believe that it was our trail and we had to climb up that 600m wall like structure with lot of hard snow on it. Did we have any choice? We started from the base and started stepping over the hard ice. As we climbed with our own slow pace, we were shivering out of cold and our legs were frozen inside our shoes. It was a slippery path up and we took a lot of breaks as we climbed. TS was again very slow compared to us both and he took his own time to reach. Madhu and I with the regular pace and with less breaks, slowly gained our altitude and after 90 minutes, we saw the flags tied at the top of the pass. We got our life back just by looking at it and we were excited to reach the top of the pass. With the sense of achievement, we took a lot of pictures and waited for TS to join us.

TS reached the top of the pass and posed at our lenses. We congratulated each other having climbed the pass and we could see the trail which was purely white for the day ahead. We descended from the peak immediately for 100m and then the trail was flat for the next one hour. We were just walking on the snow with the beautiful views of Cholatse and other surrounding peaks. TS wanted to play on the snow and that was what he used to tell us when we started off our journey. But surprisingly, all of us were serious and were focused on crossing the pass soon rather than playing in the snow. Sigh! It was scary enough for us to just walk over it. After walking for another 90 minutes on the snow, we encountered huge boulders again. We crossed them and we reached a place where it was the vertigo-inducing views of Ama Dablam and other peaks. Without any thought, we just took a break of 30 minutes and enjoyed watching it. After 30 minutes of walk from that point, we saw the village Dzhongla far away from us. We were at the top of the eastern edge of the Cho La. From there it was almost 150 minutes walk to Dzhongla crossing over huge boulders and descending down almost 700m. It was a big sigh of relief on our faces and a sense of achievement that we did the Cho La pass. There were not many who did this and many people who had come to Gokyo including one of our German friend who had come alone, did not want to take this risk of doing the Cho La pass. We were just lucky to come out safe and our dumb confidence did not pay us a heavy price. After reaching the lodge at 1am, we just relaxed and were back to our normal routine of playing cards and could not stop talking about the pass all through the night! Before I slept, it was the Cho La and the breathtaking views we witnessed while climbing down the pass. All throughout the day, it was Simon and Garfunkel’s sound of silence and El Condor Pasa (if I could), Louis Armstrong’s Wonderful world that played through my ears.

Day nine: Dzhongla to Lobuche (4910m)

After the two long days, we wanted a relaxed day and hence we just planned to reach Lobuche on this day. It was a short day of trek of 3 hours without much of steep climbs. We started the day at 8am and were lazily walking over the gradual slopes. Our lives were back to normal after the two big days and we had relieved from the major trek of our journey. Cho La pass was the major milestone of our trek.

The trail was easy and took us through the breathtaking views of Ama Dablam peak for the first one hour. Once the trail turned left to the north, we witnessed the beauty of Pumori (7165m) and Lhotse peaks. We just could not stop taking pictures on this trail. We were walking very slow and were not worried about what time we would reach Lobuche. As we walked on the edge of the slopes, to our opposite direction, we saw the main EBC route which connects Dingboche and Lobuche. Both the routes meet at a huge flat surface where the stream flows. Once we reached the main route, the khumbu highway as some people called it, we started to see a lot many trekkers. Greeting everyone who came across while we walk, we reached Lobuche by 11.30pm. Lobuche is a small settlement of a dozen lodges which serves for the lot of trekkers who visit the Mt Everest Base camp. The fact that we had climbed up the Gokyo Ri and the Cho La Pass, the altitude at Lobuche did not matter to us much. But for others, it was risky and challenging. We took a room at the Above the Clouds lodge and had our lunch before we rested. We played our regular game of cards and chatted a lot. By this day, we were all strong enough to resist the cold as well. Madhu entertained us with his Srinivaspur stories and TS continued to entertain us with his Sagarmatha blessings for winning one cards game a day!

Since it was a relaxing day for us and a short day of trek, we were back in good shape. We had our dinner at 7 pm and were ready to sleep soon. It was very cold as it got dark in the night and we slept back to get the interrupted sleep and bad dreams. It was the breath taking views of Pumori that was coming to my mind before I slept!

Day ten: Lobuche - Gorak Shep (5140m) – Everest Base Camp (5364m)

We started early in the morning at 7 am as we had planned for a long day again. The trail from Lobuche was not as steep to begin with until we reached the huge rock where the trail becomes steeper. After climbing the steep, we started seeing many memorials that were built for those who had the heroic death on the mountains. After climbing that steep, it was a gradual slope that we climbed and it continued for the next one hour till we reached the stream where the trail becomes steeper. After a couple of ascends and descends, we encountered with the first look of the Khumbu Glacier and towards the end of it, we saw the Khumbu Ice fall which was a dream for all of us to see. While we walked over the ridge of the Khumbu Glacier, we were accompanied by the magnificent Lhotse and Nuptse peaks. After continuing further for the next 30 minutes, we saw the guesthouses of Gorak Shep. Gorak Shep is a very small settlement of 3-4 lodges for trekkers. And it is situated at the ridge of the khumbu glacier and an old dried lake bed that looks like a sand bowl. Towards the north of Gorak Shep, we could see the trail that climbs up to the highest peak of our journey – Kalapattar.

As we reached Gorak Shep at 10am, we got ourselves a room in the Kalapattar guest house and had our lunch before we started off for a long journey towards the Mt Everest base camp. Journey the Mt Everest Base Camp was a dream for all of us and that was the whole purpose of our trip to the Nepal Himalayas. As we started our walk, the trail was flat that took the same direction as the khumbu glacier and gradually connected us to the ridge of the glacier itself. While we were on the way, we were super excited to see the sign board of “Way to Mt Everest Base Camp”. Once we were on the ridge of the glacier, it took us a lot of time to cross some steep ascents and descents before we descended into the Glacier. As the Khumbu Icefall started getting near to us, we could feel the air becoming thin. When we were about to reach the base camp, we could also witness the closest look of the Mt Everest. It instantly lifted up my spirits. After all, that was the whole reason for us to go there. And after reaching the base camp, we could not see the Mt Everest anymore as it hid behind the huge Lhotse and Nuptse peaks. But the gorgeous moving ice of the Mt Everest – the Khumbu Icefall looked dramatically beautiful. Seeing the icefall, made us over joyful and made our trip double worth of what we expected. I am beyond words to describe the same. From the place where they called the base camp, we could see couple of tents that were set for a solo summit expedition of one American. We just wished him well from where we were and started taking some videos and pictures. To our surprise, Ronny was walking back from the tents towards us and we were pleased to meet him. He had become a good friend of us and we always used to admire him for his confidence and adventurous attitude. He became one amongst us. We took a couple of pictures with him and he explained us the full story of the American who was supposed to reach the South Col on that day. We wished him good luck and started walking back to Gorak Shep. While we were walking back, we enjoyed talking to Ronny and when we reached the sign board of “Way to Mt Everest Base Camp”, we could not stop talking photographs like crazy. By 3pm we were back at our guest house and rested on our beds. With this one more major milestone of our trip was accomplished.

The only thing major that was pending was the climb to the highest point of the trek – Kalapattar. As usual, we planned to start at 3 am again hoping to get the sunrise over the peak captured. And we had our dinner early and slept without playing cards. It was a very cold night and certainly because we were at 5140m. None of us had any signs of altitude sickness except that TS was not eating properly. He was on low energy for many days. But he had no other options too. Unlike me and Madhu, we used to force ourselves to eat something and fill ourselves with enough carbohydrates. It was the picture of the Khumbu Icefall and the song Wonderful world humming in my ears throughout the day and as I slept, I directly went into the Khumbu Icefall!

Day eleven: Gorak Shep – Kalapattar (5545m) – Dingboche (4410m)

Unlike the earlier two failures of waking up at 3 am, this day was quite different. We were up by 2.30 am; rather, we never slept. But we were waiting for Ming to call us out to start. We never heard him till 3.30 and Madhu wanted us to get ready and go. We got up and got ready and went out by 3.45 am. It was completely cloudy outside. Thinking that it will get clear by the time we reached the peak, we started searching for Ming. Madhu woke him up and Ming was feeling sorry for not waking up on time. We left the base at 4.15 am and started walking in the sand bowl before we reached the base of the Kalapattar. As we reached, we saw many people with their torches already ahead of us.  

As I explained in my first paragraph, TS was tired and used to ask water every 5 minutes. Madhu and I reached the top at 6 am and the temperature was -12 C. In spite of waiting for almost an hour at the peak, we could not get the clear view of the Mt Everest but for a few seconds that it turned blue. Nevertheless, we were happy that we go to see the peak so closely and also for reaching the highest point in our lives so far. I had heard a huge noise while climbing up the peak towards the east on the Lhotse and just before we started climbing down I heard it again. The second time was on the peak next to Pumori and it was an avalanche. We eye witnessed the avalanche for the first time. It looked as scary as ever. Throughout the morning, it was snowing and we were all ready to climb down being unable to resist the cold. After climbing down a few hundreds of meters, our life came to normal. It was the biggest achievement for us to finish all that we planned and having met with all the major milestones. We returned to our lodge by 8.15am and had our breakfast soon. We packed up and were ready to get down till Dingboche.

After climbing for all these days, our shoes were all set to roll down as much as they can to the lower altitudes. On the way we met our Friend again who went back to Phortse and took the main route to Kalapattar without risking over the Cho La pass. Surprisingly, we also could meet Dr Shantha (from UK but originally from Bangalore; whom we met had met at Namche) who was slowly climbing up the steep near Lobuche. We reached Lobuche in 90 minutes and had a cup of lemon tea. We left from Lobuche and descended for the next 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach a place called Dughla to have our lunch. After having the lunch, we again had to descend further for the next 2 hours to reach Dingboche. It was a beautiful walk and just the slope down the valley in the mist. I enjoyed walking in the mist and all along the way, Simon and Garfunkel entertained me and at times Leonard Cohen entertained as well. Yak groups grazing in the lush green field were the highlight during the descent from Dughla to Dingboche. As we reached the edge of the valley, we stood in front of the stunning huge settlement of Dingboche. It is the junction to serve the trekkers who go towards the Island peak and towards the Mt Everest base camp and hence it has got more number of lodges compared to other places. As we climbed down to this beautiful settlement, we got into our lodge – Dingboche guesthouse and rested. It was a long day for us and the last long day of our journey. Rest all, we hoped would be relaxed. We played cards, chatted nicely and spoke at length on our stories (we anyway had 11 day stories already). We were given two rooms as they were small. TS and Ming settled in one while Madhu and I shared one room. From the next day onwards, TS had to face a lot of questions and that was fun (not to be shared much! Hope everyone understands).

Day twelve: Dingboche to Tengboche (3870m)

 Like all the days, Ming started the day asking us – “escuseme… good sleep?” before we had our breakfast. We were all looking in good shape as we were reaching the lower altitudes. We lazily started our day at 10am and started descending towards Tengboche. The only reason we had to pull ourselves to reach Tengboche faster was to visit the Buddhist monastery there which opens at 4pm closes at 5pm every day. As we started descending, we were back to the lush green paradise and started seeing the colorful trees which were absent in the higher altitudes. Oxygen level was full and we started breathing normal. Since I had a lot of time to take photographs, I started clicking more and more and tried capturing some of the amazing Himalayan flora and fauna. So did Madhu with his lens. TS started singing songs and all of us were on our own; in our own space of wonderment. Ming, since he could not walk slowly, always used to go fast and rest waiting for us. It was an absolute wonderment for me in the nature; walking in the mist; listening to the chirps and the river flow; seeing beautiful birds, butterflies and wild flowers; far away snowcapped mountains and the much more that what I cannot write and express. Constant hum of those songs in me, made me much more joyful and perhaps it was after a long time I was out of home far away for so many days in nature; just to wonder! Nothing else!
We had our lunch in a restaurant before Deboche from where the steep climb starts. As we climbed the last 30 minutes of the steep, we felt as if we are climbing up the clouds. It was very cloudy and drizzling throughout. Tengboche was not far away from us and we soon reached the beautiful small settlement with an attractive Buddhist monastery welcoming all the trekkers. It was almost 4.15pm by the time we got in to the room and we had to get out and visit the monastery before 5pm. We went inside the monastery and saw some of the lamas creating a Mandala with many colors. We took some pictures of the same and came out of the monastery by 5 pm. It was a very cold evening and we got back to our room and started playing cards. We had our dinner at 7pm and our usual routine of chatting and playing continued. Madhu’s Hosanagara and Srinivaspur stories, TS’s Tegu mess stories were the topics of discussion (TS’s other stories were wonderful too; which we are not supposed to disclose). Oh! Did I not say Madhu told a lot about his wife, how they got married as well (hope she doesn’t ask me on the details of the same).

Before I slept, it was the little wonders of flora I saw throughout the way in my mind! And those strong Sherpas; without them, the life is at risk in the mountains. Oh! Now that I spoke about Sherpas, while we were descending from Tengboche, we met with a group of four Sherpas who were carrying huge load on their back. They all looked very young and we gave them chocolates and Karadantu that we had. TS asked them about the weight each of them was carrying. One guy said, around 50-60kgs. We were shocked and did not know whether to appreciate them for their strength or to pity them working like this. And as TS rightly put it, there are two kinds of yaks; One is the normal 4 legged and the other is the two legged Sherpas. I felt they are very innocent without much of wants and desires. They lead a very simple life that is out of our imagination.

Day thirteen: Tengboche to Namche Bazaar

Well, after our 13 days of the circuit trek, we were to join our old route on this day. We started Tengboche at 9 am after a delicious chocolate pan cake and hot lemon tea. Most of the trail was a steep descent up to Sanasa. We took almost 2 hours to descend slowly while we spent some good amount of time in clicking. All of us, again, on our own pace, in our own world, without talking to each other, enjoyed the walk. We reached the village Sanasa from where we had to climb the steep up to Kyangjuma where we had planned to have our lunch. We climbed up the steep (the fact that we had climbed so much, these climbs were just an easy go) and reached the hotel. We had become fans of the Rara Noodles soup (just like maggi) and we were ordering the same everywhere for lunch and dinner. 
TS never showed any interest in eating anything in the higher altitudes. After eating our favorite noodle soup, we were set to walk up to Namche on the edge along with the Dudh Kosi River. It was an easy walk and we reached a place where there was an old man who was collecting donations for maintaining the path neatly. We had told him when we were climbing up on our 4th day that we will pay some money on our way back. But unfortunately, that old man was not there and we felt sad of not contributing to his funds. In the next 10 minutes, to our surprise, Ronny reached upto us and we were all delighted to meet with him again. We exchanged all the stories with him and reached Namche in the next 30 minutes. He again disappeared from there to some lodge and we thought we should try some other lodge and got into the Shangrila Lodge (I call it jingilala lodge). It was a long day for us and as soon as we reached we rested for a while before we ordered our dinner (you know what it was!). TS was freaking out to eat Chicken curry with Rice for the dinner. 1st time in those 15 days he ever said he wants to eat something. TS enjoyed his dinner and we ate our favorite. We played cards and shouted out our stories with enough laughter and went back to our beds. It was the silent sound of Dudh Kosi humming in my ears before I slept!

Day fourteen: Namche to Phakding

Namche to Phakding was a steep descent and we were very slow and lazily walking.  We were also looking a bit sad going back leaving these dreamy mountains. But we were happy that we were safe and it was time to get back home. We were even craving for the home food. We crossed all the steel suspension bridges and descended down almost 400 m into the valley. There were check points at three places same as it was during our 2 nd day. We had to show our TIMS cards and close the entries on their records. We had our lunch at Chumou (you know what it was) and started descending further. We did some wildlife sighting as well; luckily we sighted the wild goats (Jarals in local language) across the river near Benkar village. 
The trail took us back through all those beautiful waterfalls; we crossed Toktok (our 1st days halt) and as we crossed the lengthy bridge, we reached Phakding. All through the way it was cloudy and drizzling. We were also surprised that we never came across any trekkers coming from Lukla. We came to know that because of the bad weather, there were no flights from Kathmandu to Lukla since 2 days. We took about 5 hours to reach Phakding. After reaching the Green Village Restaurant, we rested in our room. TS again ordered for Chicken curry with rice and enjoyed it.
Having one more day left in our journey, and the bad weather setting in, we were getting worried about our return flight. We had no buffer time; we had booked our flight to Bangalore on 13th and the flight from Lukla was on 12th. We were crossing our fingers and hoping for a clear weather for our smooth journey. With the same thoughts, we slept for the day.

Day fifteen - Last day: Phakding to Lukla

Trail from Phakding to Lukla was a very steep climb. And we bid farewell to the Dudh Kosi and started our day. There were no improvements in the weather; rather; it started raining as we left from Phakding. We had our rain gears on and started climbing the steep. There were no trekkers from Lukla seen because of no flights. And we were getting very worried about our return travel. It was cloudy and raining throughout the day. We had started early in the morning at 7 am as we were supposed to get our tickets confirmed with the Tara Air before afternoon. We reached Lukla in the clouds at 11.30 am and checked into the Tara lodge. Fortunately, it was the same group of people who manage Tara Air and we got our air tickets confirmed for the next day.

Lukla was crowded with trekkers who were supposed to return to Kathmandu. There were even expensive arrangements of choppers to fly us to Kathmandu. People who could afford 550$ per head, started flying and others stayed back hoping for the weather to get cleared. Many people told us that the weather will be fine for 12th and there will be no problem for us to travel. We were really hoping for the same. Many porters were jobless and were playing TT and carom board waiting for the flights from Kathmandu. Everything was controlled by weather on mountains. Life was on hold for many.

We had to close our transactions with Ming and we gave him some tips as well. We also gave him all the Karadantu packets that were left and some used clothes for him to wear. He was happy and we were happy for him. After all, he wanted to study in Kathmandu and we paid him whatever we could. He was very innocent and a strong boy!

I had nice biryani at the hotel for our dinner and so did TS. He seemed to be back to normal and was doing just fine in the lower altitudes. The locals wanted us to taste the Sherpa wine (local drink) and so TS and I took a sip of the steaming hot wine served with some veg pakodas.

One big relief for us was that we managed our funds diligently throughout the trip and we had saved a lot for ourselves to do some shopping at Kathmandu. On an average we had spent 4000 Nepali rupees per day for all three of us (including porter charge of 600 Rs). Things have changed a lot on the mountains. We played for some time and we were all discussing only about the weather.

Lukla to Kathmandu

We never slept throughout the night. At 12 am, I realized that it was my birthday and had an interrupted sleep till morning. Madhu shouted out that weather was mostly clear but still with clouds. We all went out hurriedly and noticed that weather was getting clear. Signs of blue started appearing and I said to myself “happy birthday”. Madhu and TS kept wishing me happy birthday right from the first day so that I take them for a good treat in Kathmandu. Now that the life was back to normal with the clear blue sky, I was not resisting the fact that we should party hard in Kathmandu. Our flight was confirmed for 7 am and by 6 am we were at the airport. Because we were at Tara lodge, getting the boarding pass was easy given the crowd of trekkers at the airport. At 7am the first flight landed which made all the trekkers and porters cheer for the same.  We reached Kathmandu at 8 am and reached our Garuda hotel by 9 am.

It was just a day full of shopping and excitement.  Thamel was crowded with trekkers; some who were yet to go to the mountains and some with red nose who had completed their mountain journey. To our surprise we met Ronny in the evening and he was ecstatic looking at us. We invited Ronny to join us for dinner; we partied at the hotel Metro and returned to our beds. The next day, we did some more shopping and checked in at the airport at 1 pm. We absolutely loved Thamel and the time we spent for shopping. Our flight was at 2.40 and we had a delay in the flight in Delhi which made us hog at KFC and returned back to home by midnight at 00.00 hrs

The only mistake that we did in all our 15 days journey was; even though we saw some MTR ready to eat food packets at Gorak Shep, we forgot to pick them up and eat. We still regret over our mistake. 

That was our complete travelogue on our journey to the top of the world. It was an inspiring experience to eye witness the Mt Everest. After all, the trekkers in those mountains were there for just one reason – that is, to get the spirit of Mt Everest. I personally had a very good journey of 15 days in those mountains, I explored myself better; I tried to wonder in nature; viewed some of the places that were just a dream; shared good experiences; wondered life and had total good fun with Madhu and TS! I hope and am sure it was the same for both of them. Absolutely loved their company! And Mt Everest has lifted up my spirits. Hopefully! For a better ‘me’



SuZ said...

I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :( I missed it :(

Vaishnavi said...

My goodness, sounds absolitely action-packed! So when are you climbing the Everest?!

Manikandan said...

YAHHHOOOOO!!!! Mission accomplished after days of meticulous planning and preparations 

Thanks for the detailed write up on your travel to the base of the world's highest mountain. This will definitely serve the purpose as a guide and will come handy for someone planning to trek.
Truly NEPAL is a synonym for the word TREK!!

Congratulations to you, TS , Madhu and Ming along with all who supported in chasing your dream and making them come true..WOW!!

“You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things – to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated.”- Sir Edmund Hillary


Raghu said...

Well, to start off with I must admit how sad I feel after missing the trek :(

Well done Trio (Sri, TS & Madhu) for the adventurous and SAFE trek!

Your write up gives a detailed account of your trek which can act as a ready guide for the people who wish to go to EBC in future.

No other words to describe the beauty of Himalayas

Well done and congrats again!

Srik said...

@Suz: We missed you too!

@Vaish: It is like want to do it tomorrow!!! But, let me wait for some more time :D

@Mani: Thanks for your generous comment with Edmund Hillary's quote! Yes! It is true!

@Raghu: I am seeing this comment from you since more than a year. Even though we dont call you, you miss the trek??? :P

Sudhi said...

After reading this blog, one can imagine how much scary it was !

It is really a great achievement.

Hats off to all three of you !

Narasim said...

A Terrific Adventure narrated in a terrific style. Bravo!

The lengthy evocative story left me envious of you Fab Four. All the same I derived immense pleasure vicariously.

What kind of Bangaloreans are you three? You forgot to take MTR ready to eat food. Shame on you.

With a prayer like Sagarmatha ki Jai, it is no wonder that TS won in the card game several times. Are you sure that it was his prayer that helped him or some other means? In high altitude it is difficult to say how a person uses his hand under the table.

It is good to know that even an experienced trekker like you had a fall. Glad that you are stronger than Humpty-Dumpty. Once in a while and only once in a while, it is not a bad idea to listen to wise people like TS on staying together on a climb.

The party that stays together parties together at the summit.

The glacier run! Are we to believe that you four could actually run at that altitude? Any way, I am delighted that you four made it back safely after a life altering adventure.

The commentariat above have expressed my thoughts and feelings adequately thus saving me to spare you further words.

To all four of you: Job Well Done.

Manjunath Byadigere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manjunath Byadigere said...

Nice narration of events Srik...
I'm happy that you are all in one piece. It took me all these days to read this piece,(though it is short with all the information required for the reader) some parts I have read it again and again to try and experience the experiences you have had!. Surely this was a great experience I'm sure. As you have mentioned, these treks/struggles/experiences make us understand about ourselves and our relationships to nature more than anybody else.

T S said...

The number was same We went 3 and came back same 3 without any addition or deletion;) Thank god..!!

I would like to thank Srikanth and Madhu for the wonderful company in the whole trip. It was really great, beautiful, long, tough,challenging and wonderful trek that I had till now.

as Srikanth said about the reason for this trek is to see and feel the beauty and spirit of the Mt.Everest. We all three had a great time without any bad events throughout the trek.

I was so surprised and happy to see many trekkers in the Kumbu high way of Mt Everest. All are younger some are 25, some 30, 35, 45 and 65. We couldn't see single older in their spirits. There were many solo trekkers while many struggling to do in the group. Hats off to them. Nice to see and share the experience of them. I was remembering the lesson I read when I was in second standard and was hoping to see the Mt.Everest.

Oops I did it .!!

Million thanks to Sherpas..!! Who are helping the trekkers to see the Mt.Everest and Other higher peaks in Himalayan range. Hard workers with two option climbing up and climbing down with full baggage of trekkers.:(

Our craze is their livelihood..!!

The whole trek was beautiful with unpredicted dangerous. I Had tough time in two days where I could see all the god's including Sagarmatha ;) when I was climbing to Gokyo Ri and Kalapathar peaks.;) but no compromise in completion of the trek.:)

It was a great trek in the beautiful valley with nonstop rivers and huge mountains with snow caps and highest water falls in the greenery. Scary walks on the glaciers and challenging climb on Chola pass ice walk, Gokyo Ri and Kalapattar summit, Beautiful view of the Kumbu Ice fall, Greatest heights of Amadablam, Cholatse, Nuptse, Pamouri and the great Everest..!!

Walking on the ridge of the beautiful lakes of Gokyo 1,2 and 3rd lake, Challenging climb in the terrible cold and asusual fun in playing cards, silly jokes and great discussion on philosophy in the rest time. Chatting with other trekkers and sharing their experience.

We have learnt fund management because of the costly menu in the whole trek. No wonder why they have kept high prices for everything.

The only transportation mode is two and four legs sherpas or 4 leg and two leg Yaks.!!

Thanks to Ming Ma Sherpa who helped me all the way in the trek.

Its a great feel trekking in and around the Mt Everest region. We could feel the satisfaction that we were at the base of top of the World..!

I hope near future we can feel the satisfaction being at the TOP OF THE WORLD..!!



Unknown said...

Gần đây nhiều chị em phát sốt với món thạch rau câu 3D đẹp với nhiều biến tấu lạ mắt hấp dẫn. Tạo nên món râu câu không còn là món ăn thường ngày nữa mà thành loại rau câu nghệ thuật ai cũng thích thú. Cách làm rau câu 3d không quá khó khăn, chỉ cần cẩn thận và tỉ mỉ. Hôm nay chúng tôi giới thiệu tới các bạn cách làm rau câu nghệ thuật 3d đơn giản nhanh chóng ngay tại nhà. Với phương pháp đơn giản chỉ cần tạo nền rau câu đã đông sẵn và tiến hành dùng dụng cụ để tạo hình. Ngoài món rau câu 3d bạn cũng có thể làm được nhiều loại rau câu với những hương vị khác nhau có thể xem cach lam rau cau tại web site Hương dẫn các bạn những bước cần thiết để làm nên món rau câu như là cách làm rau câu dừa đơn giản thơm ngon tại nhà. Chúng tôi hy vọng với hưỡng dẫn các bạn có thể tự tay làm cho mình và gia đình món rau câu thơm ngon mát lạnh. Ngoài ra món bánh rau câu nghệ thuật 3D bạn có thể thay thế các loại bánh trong bữa tiệt như sinh nhật, thôi nôi...sẽ khiến bữa tiệt của bạn trở nên độc đáo và hấp dân.Chúc các bạn thàn công!