Thursday, November 30, 2017

Everest Base Camp Trek Part 7 ~ Back to Kathmandu for R&R

Part 7 ~ Kathmandu at last.  And a lovely tour of Swayambunath Temple.

Swayambunath Temple. [Photo: Kong Wan]
Somehow, connections of the boss of Namaste Lodge gotten us a second flight out of Lukla despite the huge backlog of passengers from a whole day of delayed flights.  Those of us on the second flight managed to make it back to Kathmandu early.  But the other half of our group who were scheduled for the third flight were delayed and left on cold Lukla for another four hours because of poor weather in both Lukla and Kathmandu.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Everest Base Camp Trek Part 6 ~ Back to Lukla!

Part 6 ~ Our last assault on Lukla was well-coordinated by General Adrian.  The Airforce would take its first flights in and the infantries would trudge in later..

On a mission... [Photo: Kong Wan[

So it was.  The very last day of our trek.  Our hearts were in a dilemma.  As much as we were glad to be back to Lukla soon, we knew that our journey was coming to an end.  None of us wanted it to end.  Despite the hardship, we all had so much adventure in the past twelve days.  Many of us wanted more.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Everest Base Camp Trek Part 5 ~ The return of the Jedi from Gorak Shep all the way to Namche Bazaar.

Part 5 ~ The story of how the Jedis willed themselves onwards in a half-dazed state from Gorak Shep to Pheriche, and how the same knights gallantly drove themslves by sheer determination on foot back to Namche Bazaar.

[Photo: Fann]
This was finally the turn back towards home.  Everyone knew the end was drawing near.  Near, but not that near yet.  Three more days separated us from the comfort of Kathmandu.  In many ways, our objectives had been accomplished.  And the victorious members just only needed to be patient and continue their walk, which by now was already in rhythmic automatic mode.  The Jedis were finally returning home.

Everest Base Camp Trek Part 4 ~ The highest point. Kala Patthar 5545m.. and EBC second-attempt!

Part 4 ~ The one vantage point that can allow one to have a full view of Everest is this mount called Kala Patthar.  

Kala Patthar [Photo: KC Tng]
Sometimes in life, it was like this.  Would one come all the way to London for the very first time and not visit London Bridge or the Big Ben?  In the same vein, although EBC was the pinnacle of the trek,  but to me, and to the girls, we held in our hearts the wish to summit Kala Patthar the highest point, even way before our trip.  To us, it was a MUST climb.  And we'd stop at nothing to achieve that.
Without being disrespectful to all my fellow trekkers, to myself, climbing to the top of Kala Patthar was even more important than arriving at EBC.  The magic figure of 5545m was too strong a draw.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Everest Base Camp Trek 2017 Part 3 ~ Lobuche to Gorak Shep & EBC!

Part 3 ~ The going got tougher, slower and more challenging as the altitude went skywards- Lobuche at 4900,  Gorak Shep 5160m, and the final last push towards EBC at 5350m.

The final push. Photo: Kong Wan

At 5000m, the oxygen level dropped to 53% of sea level.  We only knew this in hindsight.  But with this knowledge, in retrospect, we now could explain everything that happened on this third quarter of our trek.  It was really a last push, a burst of fire towards our destination.  This was what we came here for.  And hopefully nothing would stop us.  Hopefully.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Everest Base Camp Trek 2017 Part 2 -From Namche to Dingboche.

Part 2 ~ After the acclimatisation at Namche, it was time for some thinner air.

We knew that we were going to enter a realm of higher altitude and it was time for some real action.
This was time for our bodies to really start adapting.  Little did we realise that the transition from 3400m to 4400m would be that great.  This second quarter part of our trek was a period of reckoning. And time was not on our side. We needed to keep pushing, keep going. AMS and illnesses started hitting us. But the team spirit was still strong.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Everest Base Camp Trek 2017 ~ an epic adventure

The whole group at Gorak Shep. [Photo: SgTrekker]

Everest Base Camp Trek

 18 November - 2 December 2017

"   ....The only noise audible was my own heavy panting as my lungs laboured to suck in as much oxygen in the rarefied air at 5190m.  My footsteps were tiny shuffles, weighed down by my pair of trekking boots which, merely a couple of days ago felt as light as feathers, but now behaved like tonnes of Himalayan rocks bound to my feet.    
My eyes never lifted off from the ground as rocks after rocks appeared in haphazard fashion, threatening to trip my trailing foot should I be just so careless to lift it a little less high.  A few steps.  And another long pause to catch my breath.  Peering in front, the ridge led straight to Everest Base Camp.  We were not far, but time was running out for us...  "