Last week I wrapped up a successful high altitude trek and climb in Nepal. I did this to help raise money for Education Elevated, a charity that is building a school and library in rural Nepal.
Kids first, then mountains: We visited two Hillary Schools on the trek, one in Khumjung and the other in Junbesi. We started in Jiri and it took us four days to trek to the first school in Junbese. It then took us another four days to reach Khumjung. I scoped out the IT training. ;)
As always the kids are super cute.
After the schools, it was time to gain altitude. (Ok both schools are over 3000m/10000’.) After we visited the Hillary School in Khumjung, we started to gain altitude and the scenery was stunning. We climbed the Gokyo Valley side, not the Everest side that I did in 2008. Even our sherpa’s geeked out and took tons of photos.
We trekked through several small villages over three days. Our sherpa were lazy. :)
After three days we reached the town of Gokyo (15,000’), right on the third glacial lake.
The next morning we climbed Gokyo Ri (5400m/17500’) and the views were amazing, the best I have ever had in Nepal. If you are planning a trip to Nepal, make Gokyo your base and Everest Base Camp your secondary target.
The cool thing about being on top of Gokyo Ri is that you have a 360 paranoiac view of the Everest portion of the Himalayan Range. Here is a video I shot trying to show it off.
We started the climb at 5:15am, I argued with Ngima Sherpa and Kathleen about that, but lost. We got up in about 1.5 hours, just in time for the sunrise. While that is cool, the sun rises directly over Mt. Everest, so the photos (and video above) are not perfect. Sorry, if you want to see a better show of Everest, you will just have to climb Gokyo Ri as well. ;)
After a short rest, we trekked to a village below the Cho la pass (5400m/17500’). The pass was very, very hard, straight up in the snow for over an hour, a lot of the time you are on your hands and knees.
Look at me climb (Yes the is Bollo Sherpa behind me, he did it in sneakers):
Our shepra’s are too cool for school on top of the pass. (But they did take the Cliff bars I gave them.)
The view from the pass is pretty stunning:
Once you are up over the pass you think the hard part is over, right? Ha! Now you have to walk in-between two Himalayan peaks (taller than anything other than about 15 mountains in the world) in the snow over a crevasse ridden field. (Thank god for my crevasse rescue training in Alaska! I had to teach Kathleen how to probe for crevasses!)
After a few hours in the snowfield, we finally reached our destination. After about 7 hours of climbing and trekking, it was about 1pm (we started super early to avoid the wind and sun making the crevasses unstable.) After lunch, we pushed on 3 more hours to Loboche village at about 5000m/16000’.
The next day we pushed on to Everest Base Camp and then headed down the mountain.
A few days later we were back in Kathmandu dreaming about our next Nepalese trek!