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Nepal

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EBC Day 16 – Renjo La Pass

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Renjo La Pass


Since today was going to be a big day, I decided to spend a bit more time 'fueling up' with three cups of coffee (NPR300, RM12) and macaroni and cheese (NPR450, RM16), whilst enjoying the views of Gokyo Tsho that lay just outside the lodge. I left slightly later than the other hikers as I did not want to hike with anyone along the way. This was because I was in search of the feeling of complete isolation (or rather as close as I could get it), as the thought of no one being around you for many kilometres, although initially disconcerting, can ultimately be very emancipating. Read more

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EBC Day 15 – Lakes of Gokyo

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Thonak Tsho


I had another lucid dream that night. For some reason I was in Singapore this time around, and was standing on a beach with a rented bicycle by my side. I was looking out over the ocean and was watching some world-class waves being churned up by hurricane-strength winds. Suddenly, a huge tidal wave swept through the coast and washed away everything in its path except for me. The dream had probably been inspired by the ridiculous howling winds that had swept down the valley that night and had buffeted the small town of Gokyo.

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EBC Day 14 – Gokyo & Gokyo Ri

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The Ngozumpa Glacier


I slept for ages that night, going to sleep around 18:00 just after dinner and waking up around 06:00 the next morning. I am accustomed to getting about six hours of sleep every night, so such a long duration is very unusual and was an indication that the Cho La pass must have taken a toll on me. The 'Khumbu cough' had also finally caught up to me, leaving my throat not just dry but also a little phlegmy. Read more

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EBC Day 13 – Cho La Pass

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Leaving Dzongla


*When someone tells you that the Cho La pass is closed because of snow, be sure to take what they say with a pinch of salt. Porters and guides have been known to tell hikers this to try to dissuade them from crossing the pass*

It was still chilly that morning but the perfectly clear skies were an indication of good weather. I added an extra layer to keep me warm but began to perspire as soon as I started walking, so was forced to quickly take it off. Sweating in cold weather can be quite dangerous as sweat that is not wicked away can freeze and will end up lowering one's body temperature. Read more
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EBC Day 12 – Kalapattar

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Kalapattar


The day before had been the first day of the entire trip where I would actually have considered myself to have been exhausted. Perhaps that is why my dreams at that point were so vivid.. or maybe it was just the altitude? The dream that I had that night was strange and very muddled, yet was somehow very clear. Some researchers think that the decreased oxygen levels at altitude somehow affect the recollection of dreams, Read more

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EBC Day 11 – Everest Base Camp

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Altitude Sickness


That morning, a sad farewell took place in Lobouche (elevation : 4940m) amongst a group of hikers from New Zealand. One of the party members apparently had been suffering from a bad headache and had just begun mumbling unintelligibly. It was (wisely) decided that he would need to make a quick descent back down to lower altitudes, whilst the rest of the party continued up to Gorak Chep (elevation : 5164m). I say wise because the altered mental status (a.k.a AMS) indicated an onset of HACE. Read more

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EBC Day 10 – Dingbouche to Lobouche

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Onwards to Dughla


I left Dingboche (elevation : 4530m - I stayed in 'lower' Dingboche though at an elevation closer to 4300m) that morning completely enraptured after having watched the glorious sunrise crawl slowly down the face of Ama Dablam (elevation : 6856m). The early part of the trek to Lobuche was pretty straightforward, with barely any elevation gain until reaching Dughla for lunch, which bode well for a few of the members of Sophie's group - one not feeling too well with a bad cough and a headache, and another with a swollen ankle.

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EBC Day 09 – Acclimatisation at Dingboche

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Dingboche Acclimatisation


The plan was to spend a day acclimatising once again here in Dingboche (Sophie's group was doing the same, before heading up to Lobuche via Dughla the next day). Since I had decided to carry on with them for the next day or two and since my original plans (which were to trek up to Chukhung from Dingboche, climb up Chukhung Ri and then cross the high-altitude pass of Kongma La to Lobouche the next day) were now revised, I decided to head up the path that lead to Chukhung (elevation : 4730m) for a bit before coming back down to Dingboche for the night. Read more
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EBC Day 08 – Tengbouche to Dingbouche

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Tengbouche Monastery


I woke up early to join a group of other hikers that were heading to the Tengbouche Monastery for the morning puja, an act of devotion that involves acts such as bowing, making offerings, and chanting. As we approached the monastery, a monk leaned out one of the second-storey windows and blew on a huge conch shell called a 'sankha' - a trumpet that is customary to be blown before the morning puja. Read more
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EBC Day 07 – Namche Bazaar to Tengbouche

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On to Tengbouche


Even though it was bright and sunny that morning, the temperatures outside hovered just above freezing - a sure sign that winter was just around the corner. Despite the cold, I quickly packed up my gear, eager to get back out on the trail and on to Tengbouche. After making my way up the narrow shop-lined alleyways to the northern side of Namche Bazaar (elevation : 3440m), I turned right along the trail that began to lead eastwards out of the town. As the buildings started to disappear and Namche Bazaar faded away into the distance, the mountains gradually began to open up to proudly showcase their majestic splendour. Read more
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