Good Evening or Namaste from Namche!!!
We are on day 3 of our trek and at 11,300 feet :) Yesterday was a great day!! We had a beautiful 5 hour hike into Namche, crossed several suspension bridges, got our first view of EVEREST, and I got a shower :) ! Pretty great day if you ask me. The hike up was mostly uphill and going through lots of little villages; it also had a lot of stairs. Thank goodness for Lyon Step training!! I am currently carrying everything I need for the trek into Base Camp, thus my pack is about 45 lbs, so I am happy I trained with weight :) We have been having some YUMMY meals and had noodle soup for lunch and homemade french fries!! Probably sounds like a strange food combo, but all that salt hits just the spot after a long day on the trail. For dinner we had French Onion Soup, Chicken Nepal Style Kebab, and a big piece of chocolate cake :) We are burning up some calories and definitely eating to make up for it-guilty free of course!
The valley here is prestine and stunning. The local Nepalese people are incredibly hospitable and kind and beautiful. The pride of ownership in all of these little villages has really left a strong impression on me and it is remarkable to see the level of work that goes into building homes and infrastructure here! For example, we saw a guy, a little one at that, carrying three plywood doors down and up the trail!! There are sources of inspiration all around us, from the local people, to the amazing beauty, to the team itself and our guides. Just when you think you might be tired or your pack is a little heavy, you see this tiny sherpa carrying 2-3 duffle bags of gear, or doors, or irrigation- 8 foot long pipes!! It is truly impressive to see their stregnth and humility.
The sounds of Nepal are also beautiful from the bells on the yaks and mules to the children playing and laughing in the villages to the sherpas singing up the trail. Then you have the sound of the wind and the birds and on occasion beautiful silence. I love it here and know this will not be my only trip to Nepal, I will be back again, there are so many mountains here- I LOVE IT!!!
On Friday we arrived in Lukla on a flight which I came to find out is one of the most dangerous in the world due to the airport landing strip that when you land you do so up hill and if things go south you hit a wall and on take off you go downhill and if things go south you just keep going :( BUT we landed safe and sound and then trekked 2-3 hours to our first camp...which was a very simple little lodge with bathrooms which was nice. Mylene and Tristan were so happy to have landed safely. Today is Sunday and we hiked to Khunde and Khumjung and had a delicious lunch at Ang Nima's house- garlic soup, fried rice, and Chang (rice beer). Along the hike we got to see magnificant sights of Ama Dablam, Everest, Lhotse, Peak 38, Sherpa Peak, and some others. In one 360 view we were surrounded by some of the world's most extreme adventures and nature's most beautiful gifts-I felt so small. Seeing Everest again I thought- she is beautiful, I hope she is kind to us, and she seems so majestic and a bit untouchable. I look forward to setting foot on her around April 8 .
At Ang Nima's house we also received Synge Necklaces which are blessed by the Llama and are not meant to be taken off unitl they fall off, like prayer flags. Then we were also presented with Kata scarfs-white scarfs that lends a positive note to the start of any enterprise or relationship and indicates the good intentions of the person offering it. It was very special and starting to make this upcoming adventure seem more and more real.
We also passed many prayer wheels in which it is custom to spin with your right hand for good luck and blessings. We also saw the Hillary School and a new monument to be dedicated to Sir Edmund Hillary. We also got to see a pretty awesome plane landing! Upon return from our acclimitization hike Melanie, Mylene, Steve, my dad, and I headed to the German Bakery in town for their famous apple struddle, apple pie, and we also got some cheese sticks and butterfly cookies :) !! We also got some yummy coffee and just relaxed. Then we headed to town to buy some local gifts like yak bells, prayer flags, prayer beads, wool hats, and wool socks.
The weather has been wonderful and sunny and overall the team is doing good! Tristan has had some altitude sickness, so we are hoping she feels better so she can make it with us to Base Camp. A couple of people of our team have had some not so pleasant yak encounters, but they are ok....the yaks are cute, but can be dangerous...we can look but can't touch. We saw a rambuctious one charging down the hill today and we got out of its way!!!
Tomorrow we have a long day of hiking ahead of us to another village...we will probably be on the trail for 7 hours or so. Trek to Tengboche, visit the monastery and the new Buddha information facility while there. Continue on to Pangboche to spend the night at Ang Pasang's house.
I am feeling a lot better and energy levels are up :) I am not used to feeling tired, so it is nice to be feeling back to normal. My leg muscles are a bit tight and Pam likes teasing me about my big bulky calves :) They will get me up the mountain though! Now that I am feeling better and starting to get a bit of a schedule down, I will start adding daily yoga stretches into the day. I did last night and it was great! Having my friends and dad here is awesome and has made this such a special experience thus far. I am so grateful for them supporting my cause for women and children in Congo. This climb/trek is for them :)
A special shout out to my McKinney Rogers team! Thank you for all of your support and encouragement and nice messages :) Hoping to get that logo to the top for all of you and make you proud!
Now we are getting ready for dinner....hmmm wonder what yummy food awaits us?
Ciao for now and big hugs to everyone!! Remember if you would like to support our efforts for women in Congo, you can visit us at www.climbtakeaction.com
Here is the latest from the Peak Freaks Blog
April 2, 2011-2100hrs Nepal Time Wired in Namche Bazaar.. Everyone has arrived and are in good form. Wireless internet and 3G is certainly changing the experience this year. I asked Tim if he noticed if people were working their gadgets more than interacting with the team. He agreed and admitted especially him after my harping at him trying to encourage him to get more tech savvy. He commented "there may be a lot more people hanging in their tents playing with their toys instead of being creative in the communal tent this year". At that moment he cut me off saying say he wanted to go socialize. Tim received a comment on his Facebook from someone asking if the new 3G service will cause line-ups and accidents on the Hillary Step with climbers stopping to respond to text messages? Tim's response "I would be more concerned about frostbite and a blown away glove" He assures us that it won't be a concern because the 3G tower was installed at Gorak Shep, 4klm down the valley from camp and it only has 4klm radius coverage which would be right at base camp. At the most it shouldn't work past Camp 1. He adds "once you go around the corner on the route the 3G signal should be gone and that's when we'll revert back to satellite phone and radios." The team is enjoying the quiet space in Namche right now. Because of the current bad weather lower down the valley there haven't been a flights bringing trekkers and climbers in. They were one of (I think two) on April 1st that managed a window to get into Lukla. It's snowing tonight, the freezing level is down to 3200m, they are at 3800. Tomorrow is a visit up to Khunde and Khumjung and lunch at Ang Nima's house. Everything is working to schedule and everyone is doing well. Thanks Craig Law for Tim's tech lesson this evening. Enjoy the photos of your loved ones and friends having a ton of fun. I'd like to introduce the support trek team. Georgina has brought her personal support network with her. SUPPORT TREKKERS INCLUDE: Mylene Pelandre, Melanie O'Toole, her father Hector Miranda, Leslie Paulet, Tristan Ang and Steve Prentice and are joined with Josie Hofer and Leslie Paulet and Craig Law. Elaine Patterson is following her partner Kevin Farebrother and our friends from the past who are also following along are Paul Krsek, Roger Trinchero, Mario Trinchero and friend Carter Brookes who will be experiencing this journey for the first time and Conor Robinson who will be climbing Island Peak. Great bunch! See the team list below for the complete roster: Plus we have a team coming in May 1 to see the team off to the summit. If you are interested or know someone who would enjoy this journey, there is still space and we are looking for a few more takers. Give me a shout firstname.lastname@example.org
April 1, 2011- 21:00hrs Nepal Time Sleepy in Phakding.
Day 1 of 8 on the trail. The team is very tired. They were up around 4:30am this morning, booked on the first flight from Kathmandu to Lukla that didn't happen due to fog on the runway in Lukla. There was a very small window finally in the afternoon for them to sneak in but not till 2:30pm. They intended to trek to Monjo and stay at Chombi's house but it would have been dark before they got there. So instead that are all nestled in at Chering's house in Phakding. "I love this women" She is a good friend and wicked harmonica player. The team plans to get up really early again tomorrow and start the hike to Namche. This is one of the longest days on the trek. It will take them probably 6 hours and the last hour is straight up. They should be in Namche Bazaar around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. This photo was taken and sent with Tim's 3G cell phone. A little grainy because there's no flash but it works :) I have noted that not one of them remember to send a SPOT signal. As they days go by they will get more into the climb and eventually forget all about everyone at home, it's starting already- just kidding :) They were obviously incredibly happy to be on the trail, taking pictures and chatting up a storm. In other words having a great time. Big thanks to Mango and Angel for tech teaching Tim how to use a phone. Larger photo formats will be going up on Tim's Facebook throughout the climb so don't forget to look there for close-ups. FACEBOOK- click here to join. Over and out, Becky April 1, 2011- 09:30hrs Nepal Time Team waiting at Kathmandu airport due fog in Lukla. Stay tuned!