Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ready for Everest

Well kind of. I decided to fly into Lukla because I didn't want to spend three plus weeks away from Kathmandu.  I'm not looking forward at all to the flight, but then I'm never really looking forward to travel in Nepal. In fact while I'm no flan of flying into an airport that has a short 1800' runway that is sloped uphill, at least the flight is over in 45 minutes or so. If I take a bus it's about 9 hours to Jiri and the roads this time of year are even sketchier than they are normally due to the number of landslides and such. In short flying may actually be more pleasant. For those who have never seen the craziness that is Lukla airport here is a quick video I found on You Tube. Notice the steep slope, the short run way, and notice at around the 2 minute mark how the one plane pulls out in front of the landing plane...sure that's how they drive here but I would think you wouldn't do that with planes.

So with time freed up from the walk in, I've decided to head up to Gokyo, which I haven't beet to before, and then cross over the Cho La pass and head up to Everest Base camp. Here is a rough sketch of the trip;

Everest Region

The plan is to fly into Lukla tomorrow if weather permits it, and then walk up to Namche Bazaar. Many people stop on the way up there to acclimatize a bit, but to be honest I've never so much as had a head ache below 11 thousand feet that had anything to do with elevation. I'll spend an extra day in Namche to get use to the elevation and then set out toward Gokyo, taking a couple of days to get there. I've heard the views from Gokyo Ri are some of the best in the Himalaya, and the trail ascends right next to glaciers. After an extra day spent at Gokyo to potentially do some exploring and again get use to the elevation I'll set out across the Cho La Pass to Lobuche, and from there up to Gorek Shep where I can do side trips to Kala Patar and Everest base camp. 

On the way down I'll follow the Khumbu valley and return to Namche via Tengboche. Tengboche is one of the coolest places I've ever visited and I'm thrilled to be passing through there again on this trip. I plan on tis trip taking roughly two weeks, and that's if the flights go well in and out, as I know people can stuck for days in Lukla waiting for the weather to clear so they can catch a flight. So while I'm quite looking forward to all of this, the downside is that this blog will be rather quiet during my time away.

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