On Sunday morning Donnie and I will be heading to Ratna Bus Park and taking the bus to Jiri or Shivalaya, and from there walking all the way to Everest Base Camp, Gokyo and then flying out of Lukla. In a previous post I mentioned that in my opinion this is the best single trek you can do in Nepal. Although this will be my third trip into the region, I have not done the part prior to Lukla since 2002 and I'm very interested to see how it's different. The last time I was in this region the insurgency had really just started to heat back up after the royal massacre the summer before. I'm interested to see what's happened now that the insurgency is over.
Another opportunity will be to get up and over the Cho La pass. My last trip had me going up and over this pass, but as fate would have it, we were unable to get across the Ngozumpa Glacier. Even after heading south it turned out due to the excessive amount of glacial melt that the bridges to the village of Nha were up forcing us to take the southern route through Phortse and then over the high trail to Pengboche. This time we will be heading up to Everest Base Camp and Kala Patar first then heading south and heading over the Cho La pass from the east, a route that by all accounts is the better crossing anyway.
We will on the return be flying out of Lukla again, which is always an adventure. as cited numerous times on this blog, that steep graded runway ending essentially with a very steep drop is an interesting airport to fly out of. Really it's more frightening flying into that airport, so I guess we're dodging the really sketchy part. Still the morning flights coincide with the thermal ups which can cause you stomach to hang around in the same vicinity of your throat for the duration of the flight spent in the Khumbu valley.
So again for what I'm guessing will be roughly two and a half weeks this blog will be quiet. I'm sure on my return I'll have plenty of stories to share and more than a few posts to write.