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Dienstag, 4. Januar 2011

Himalaya reloaded - SOLITAIRE trail of Everest and Gokyo

LONG TREK IN DECEMBER 2010 – 18 days – 
by myself, 19 kg backpack - aprox. 150 km

01. Kathmandu (1.300) – Lukla (2.840) - flight of 45 min., 
      from 1.300 to 2.840 m alt.
      Trek from Lukla to Tok Tok (2.710), 3 hours of descent 
      (mostly), from 2.840 to 2.710 m alt.
      Crossing through the following Sherpa villages: …..
       Trekking, 5 hours, some descents, mostly very steep 
        ascent, from 2.710 m to 3.440 m high.
        Crossing through the following Sherpa villages: …..
03. Namche Bazar – Syangboche (3.720) – Khunde 
      (3.8400) – Khumjung (3.780) – Namche Bazar
      Trekking, 7 hours, ascent and descent, acclimatization 
       day. My insomnia started last night and I suffered 
       about it for 14 nights. Terrible times.
04. Namche Bazar – Thamo (3.493) – Thame (3.800)
      Trekking, 7 hours, ascent and descent, acclimatization 
05. Namche Bazar – Tengboche (3.860) - cold over night
      Trekking, 7 hours, no break, one of the most difficult 
       days: long, dusty and steep trail.
06. Tengboche – Dingboche (4.410) - much too cold, 
      -10 degrees C inside.
07. Dingboche – Chhukhung (4.730) – to Island Peak 
      Base Camp-back to Dingboche.
08. Dingboche – Thukla (4.620) – Thokla Pass (4.830) – 
       Lobuche (4.910).
       Another difficult day, very steep and rocky from 
       Thukla to Thokla Pass - mirific place.
       The day I had the feeling I lost the right direction, 
       as I met nobody after the Pass.
09. Lobuche – Lobuche Pass (5.110) – over Kumbu 
      Glacier to Ghorak Shep (5.140) – to Everest Base 
      Camp (5.364) – Ghorak Shep – Lobuche.
      About 6 hours, very slowly, thin air, I was sick.
       Sicker, since today I started to bleed every time I 
       blow my nose, this is meaning every 10-15 minutes, 
       day and night.
10. Lobuche – Lobuche Pass – over Kumbu Glacier 
      to Ghorak Shep – Kala Patthar Peak (5.643 m alt.) – 
      Ghorak Shep – Lobuche
      - 7 hours, slowly. Ghorak Shep – Kala Patthar Peak
      took 2 hours ascent and 30'descent, almost wiped out 
      by the wild wind!
      In Lobuche there were -15 degrees C inside
      This cold steels a lot of energy ....

11. Lobuche – Periche (4.240) – Periche Pass (4.270) – 
      Orsho (4.190) - Upper Pengboche (3.930) - Phorse 
      (3.810) – again, one of the most difficult and long 
      days, 8 hours trekking.
12. Phorse – crossing Dudh Koshi River – Tenga (3.950) 
      – Dhole (4.110)
      Shorter day, only 4 hours trekking, but very-very steep.
13. Dhole – Gokyo (4.790) - much too cold, much too 
      sick, strong cough, I cannot breathe.
      Terrible long and difficult day, long ascent, partially 
      steep, the last 3 hours very cold, crippy and no people. 
      Almost terrifying, I reached Gokyo and collapsed in 
      tears for 10 minutes. I was too sick, fever, strong 
      cough, could not breathe.
14. Gokyo – Gokyo Ri Peak (5.550) - just incredible 
      to be on trail today!! Strong cough, pretty bad.
15. Gokyo – Dhole (4.110-) Phortse Tanga (3.680)
      - 4 icy water crossing, I fall twice.
16. Phortse Tanga – Khumjung – Namche Bazar – again a 
      terrible difficult and long day, starting with a wild 
      steep climb for 2 hours before sun rise, having 
      breakfast in Mong. Very few people met. 
      Hurrrraaaa, I could sleep again, it was the most beautiful sleep I remember!!
17. Namche Bazar – Lukla – terrible long and difficult day, 
       especially the last hours. 8 hours, I reached Lukla on 
       darkness. Do not plan your descent to Lukla for only 
       one day, people, it is crazy and senseless!!
18. Flying back to Kathmandu. Sick, but happy. 
      Happy, but tired. I lost about 5 kg. 
      I dream about sleeping, then eating. 
      And yes, the first 2 days in Kathmandu I ate nothing at 
      all, it was a strange experience after all ..... then I ate 
      only stupid stuff as beer and tortillas and some 
      biscuits and chocolate. 
      Nose bleeding stopped after 3 days after my returning 
      to low altitude.
for the story in pictures click here

Read here about the 1st day of the trek

I don't know how other people are, but for me, doing this trek alone, getting quite sick on the trail, carrying my own backpack, going forward and never giving up, keeping my daily diary and costs overview, taking care of myself and my stuff, following the right path, taking decisions, knowing when to say "stop" or "start", packing my backpack every morning, fighting not only with the cold and thin air, but also with my sickness - it was a big, very big challenge I assumed before. I assumed it as I already had an idea about the trekking conditions in Himalaya. 
It is worthy to hire the services of a porter, through a local travel agency. If you are several persons, hire even a local guide, use the services of a good travel agency, the costs are really worth and you can enjoy your holiday 100%, you do not have the stress of choosing the right path, the right start hour, calculating the duration of a trekking day, finding the right accommodation and negotiating the room price. The only stress you have, is to walk, make pictures, filming, eating, drinking, resting and enjoying everything, because this is the reason you came to Himalaya after all, right?
I didn't hired a porter from three different points of view, which I cannot put in a particularly order:
- I didn't had the money;
- I would probably could not accept the idea that another human being  is carrying my own luggage on such of .... not easy trail, even if I pay him and even he wants to do this for money;
- I didn't feel in the mood to have company all the time and to hire somebody and treating him only just someone who has to carry my stuff, is not my style. You should socialize, talk and share almost everything with your companion. I wasn't in the mood to do this, as it were been an absolutely stranger for me.
In these conditions, the 18 days were a special experience for me, a very different experience as the one I had two years ago doing Annapurna Circuite and having a local guide. Annapurna is very different from all points of view, is much easier and relaxed. Everest Area offers a total different landscape, a different local language, other lodges and facilities. Both areas offer you great emotions and December/January are actually very good periods for trekking, as the sky is always cristal clear and you can admire all the details. If you come here during the summer, you can have such a cloudy sky, that you have no chance to see the Ama Dablam or Everest of Pumo Ri or what ever - I was told from people who were here in June, for instant.
Do not forget to appreciate everything the human being did on high altitude, do not forget to give priority on the trail to the carrying animals caravans, as they assure your meals and beverages, when you find a very simple lodge, do not forget to appreciate the fact it was built in that wild place, for you, the tourist, as for instant the big and heavy doors are carrying by human beings, on their back (see on my pictures) ..... the entire infrastructure on the trails of Himalaya supposed a difficult to imagine human effort. Do not expect to be served like in a hotel or 3* or 5*, you should be able to bring your empty cup or plate to the kitchen, when it looks like. Do not treat the owner or the employees of your lodge as being your personal servants, as I saw some tourist are doing, considering that they pay for their missing education and common sense. Do not waste the water, if any. Do not expect toilet paper or serviette on the table. Be happy if you get some fire in the dinning room, early in the morning. Take some extra amount with you and budget your daily costs including some tips for the places you are eating, drinking or spend your nights, to let 2-3 dollars more should be a thing everyone can do, really. As I did Annapurna, due to some false information, I had almost no extra amount to let behind me and I have to tell you that is was a bad feeling during the last two years, believe it or not. Now, I let always some money and I carried toys and bonbons for the children of my host and I have had a nice feeling all the time.
When off season, accommodation price can be negotiated, but never the meals and beverages prices.
Let me know about your decision and experience!  
2011 is the year of tourismus in Nepal!
 Total costs (without international flight): 1.100 EURO
Flight with AirArabia from Istanbul to Kathmandu via Sharjah and return: 400 EUR
Value of the entire experience: no value you could translate in numbers!!!

Read here about the 1st day of the trek

1 Kommentar:

I'm WATCHing YOU!! :-)