Hiking from Namche to Everest Base Camp
Namche – Dingboche
– Everest Base Camp
7th May 2008
Rudra Pandey, Nishchal Shrestha, Surendra Nath Adhikari, Aashish Dutta Koirala, Vishnu Kshetri
Date: May 07, 2008
Participants: Rudra, Nishchal, Surendra, Aashish, and Vishnu
Route: Namche to Everest Base Camp
Report By: EBC Team/Pallavi
Photos: Rudra and Nishchal,
Back at Namche, plagued by indigestion, Keshav gives up the journey while Rudra, Vshnu, Surendra, Aashish and Nischal set off for Tengoche.
“………. All of sudden I had painful headache, non-stop diarrhoea, problem with breathing, vomiting ….all of it at once . I felt like I would be dead before dawn. Somehow I passed all night in a marathon from bed to bathroom. All I could remember was my home, family and friends.” - As the accent continues, the air becomes thinner and thinner. Continuous hiking over the past few days has slowly started to take a toll on the hikers. The pauses become longer and with every single step forward the body longs more more of oxygen. As his heart keeps beating faster, Surendra wonders if breathing could ever have been so hard.
“Every single heartbeat is a thudder on the eardrums.The air just doesn’t seem to reach the lungs; vaporizing somewhere inside I don’t know where.I wonder if I will even make it”-Surendra Adhikari Vishnu constantly encourages Surendra but at Tengboche Surendra gives up the trek after suffering from altitude sickness. Surendra is immediately air lifted.With Surendra airlifted and Keshav flown back, the remaining hikers continue to Dingboche. Lack of oxygen has started to take the toll on even the young blood in the team.Some of them can’t help but contemplate giving it all up. Somehow they move on ……………………….
Thukla, the next stop, is located at 4500m. Aashish, Vishnu and Nischal stay back as Rudra decides to move on to Gorshep to reach the Base camp the following morning.
“The thin oxygen was very difficult to cope with. Something came to my rescue………….” – Rudra Pandey
Rudra continues to trek pausing for brief Pranayam sessions once in a while. He is amazed at the way a routine Yoga exercise helps him endure at such high altitude. On his way up to the base camp and far from the corporate environment of Kathamandu and Waltham, Rudra savors his solitude speaking to his inner self – one more to go……. one step ahead……..
Rudra finally makes it to Groshep and the base camp-his only companion being determination. As he hoists the flag and poses for a photograph a sense of achievement fills his veins.There are no words to describe the feeling, its absolutely awesome.All of a sudden the childhood days at his village, days at college, days at Russia, images of family members, colleagues and all others conjures up his mind.
Rudra feels nostalgic as he remembers the days of winter vacations during his school, the days when he ranked first in ISC examinations, his stay at Moscow , his ‘relationship’ he had established at Artek, moving to US…………all of them.
Rudra even recollects posing for a photograph with Appa Sherpa and wonders how it would have been possible for him to scale the Everest so many times that too without oxygen………..Rudra finds himself answering the question that he just asked himself –determination!
Rudra moves on savoring the beauty and majesty of the mountains.
“When I reached Base camp, I had the sense of accomplishment that I can’t describe in words. Not only I reached the camp ahead of everybody else in the team, I was ahead by about 30 hours. For a moment, I felt like I had completed one of the most difficult journeys of my life. Last 24 hours of the journey was really tough for me as I had not given enough days for acclimatization. My body was more accustomed to sea-level oxygen density and a couple of days after I reached Kathmandu, I had flown to Lukla. My head started to spin few minutes after I reached Lukla. I was bit nervous, but I was able to fight. I always enjoy journey thinking of destination. The pleasure of reaching destination always pushes me.” – Rudra Pandey
Back at Lebuche, Aashish, Vishnu and Nischal set off for the base camp.
“The overall length was not the matter it was the altitude. At 4000m it is a totally different experience. No sleep at night, loss of interest on food, bad dreams and headache with dizziness. ……… When I reached to Gorshep at height of 5140m I felt very dizzy. Never in my life had I experienced such a bad feeling. I was not even able to walk……….”-Nischal Shrestha
Even the occasional jokes are limited now. Even the stock of chocolates and titauras has gone dry.“……..the trails and routes are not that difficult, it's just a matter of walking and climbing for about six or seven hours each day for about twelve or so days. The critical factor, however, is the altitude and the thin air. Not only does it have adverse effects on your body, but it also plays tricks with your mind. It is a known fact that if you are not careful, it will kill you.” – Aashish Dutta Koirala
One can only feel the pounding of the heart complimented by the sighs and the whistle made by the breeze as it passes over one’s ears. The wind plays different sounds luring one ahead but at the same time teasing the tiniest alveoli in your lungs leaving them wanting for more-more of oxygen
The guys finally make it to Gorshep where they meet Rudra on his way back.Rudra greets the guys with his experience of the base camp trail.
Aashish, Nichal and Vishnu reach the base camp. A sense of pride and achievement fills their heart. Aashish looks at his broken sunglasses and wonders what to do with them and few minutes later puts them on. Vishnu has got a pleasant smile on his face and wonders if he would ever again change the hiking route (on Sundays)in the middle to follow an easier path. Nischal breathes a sigh of relief and is happy that he has managed to capture such scenes that people at D2 would envy all their life.
On their way back home, atop the rocks and glaciers, the guys manage to savor an Apple pie at Asian trek Bakery.“…..in Diboche on our way back from the Base Camp. While Nishchal and I trying to help some Aanis in the nearby Gumba life a concrete slab, I threw my back and could hardly walk. I managed however, to continously walk all day for the next two days. I never knew I had it in me!! My personal goal was to test my toughness.” –Aashish Dutta Koirala
It’s almost impossible to relive those moments, feel the journey and see things through as you read it. Blogging is not my forte, neither do I have the literary and blogging skills like those possessed by Rudra Pandey, Hitesh Karki, Aashish and several others.This post is only a mediocre attempt to capture and relive the days lived by some fortunate few somewhere back in time.
01 Leaving the Namche
02 Way to Tengoche
03 Rehersal for the Everest Base Camp
04 We need to reach there
05a Beauty and the Beast
05b Even at difficult terrain nature blossoms
06 Tengbuche beside the clouds
07 Through the flower forest
08 Aboe this no trees
09 Just made this year
10 If you pay you can reach the top
11 tengbuche Monestry
12 Dinner at Tengbuche
13 Surendra leaves from here Tengbuche
14 On our way to Dingbuche
15 Dingbuche One night rest
16 Appa Sherpa 17 times to Everest Sumit Age 50 y ear
17 Himalayan Couple
18 EBC we are coming
19 Blending with the climate
20 Name the bird
21 Amadablam at night
22 Perfect Pose
23 Mount Cholakche
24 Good morning Thukla
25 3am photo
26 Amadablam peak
27 Close up view of Amadablam peak
29 The Base Campers at Thukla
30 Chihan Dada
31 The best view of Amadablam
32 the human carriage
33 the only means of transportation
34-the yellow Rhododendron
35 Snow fall at Lebuche
37 Lali Gurans
38 Guess who is in the picture
39 everybody's sweetheart
42 Wooden roof
43 plougghing the otherwise deserted
44 Rare species
45 I aint painted in Berger
46 Musk deer
47 our very own Stuart Little
48 Thats about litres of fuel on a doko
49 Last view of the trees
50 Not a painting
51 Everest Hiding behind
52 Light and shadow
54 Up to Gorkshep
55 Bullet proof Heli
56 taken from the window of the toilet
57 in memory of the climbers
58 Vishnu finally makes it
59 Vishnu's taped his shoes to cover the crack
60 Way to Gorkshep
61 wheres the comfort of home
62 Way to Base Camp
63 Way to...
64 you walk over hoping that the snow doesnt melt
65 Ice Sculpture
66 Ice Slide
69 Base Camp view
70 Rudra leading the team
71 FIrst guy from D2
73 Nishchal Vishnu and Ashish
74 Thats a toilet
76 Every one prayes here to reach-sumit
77 Common boys hoist the flag
78 I trekked I enjoyed I accomplished
79 Mission Accomplished Ashish Nishchal and Vishnu