14 October 2013 -
Rest day at Namche (3740m.), Mt. Kailash Lodge 14 October, 2013 Namche, centre
of Sherpa land for traders (also from Tibet), sellers, trekkers and climbers.
We arrived yesterday with rain and mist. It’s still raining now on Monday
But that brings you to new adventures. I found myself back last night at a
snooker table in Café Danphe Bar – Rock, Blues & Beer. Dan and other fellows
of the trek invited me to play and with the push of music of Rolling Stones
and a can of Tuborg, whilst I had my first attempt of playing snooker. My name
is Mark from Holland (NL, together with my brother Leonard who brings me to
base camp) and I’m here for that free standing mountain Ama Dablam, the
Matterhorn of Nepal (famous Swiss Mountain, Google on both and see the
similarities). With me for this summit are also Saz (UK), Tim (Aus), Jim (UK),
Maggie (Aus, UK). With different backgrounds we’re already sharing our
adventures of climbing and what we expect of Ama Dablam, ’Lady with Necklace’.
Together with members that have an eye on Island Peak or on Everest Base camp
we are 16 in total, from a variety of countries including the above as well as
India, Thailand and United States. That gives us stories to tell in the
sitting end dining room of our Lodge overlooked by a poster of the Potala
Palace in Lhasa, like in most Tibetan houses in and outside Tibet.
The weather forecast has our special attention of course. It tells us that
there will be rain tomorrow, but not so much as today. On Wednesday, when we
all walk together from Pangboche to base camp Ama Dablam the rain should be
finished. But as it is said, expectations of weather are right or wrong 50
percent of the time. So you can choose what you want to believe.
13 October 2013 -
Phakding to Namche Bazaar - 13 October, 2013 Early breakfast and 8 am start
under overcast skies. What began as a warm but cloudy day turned into a light
rain by late morning increasing to steady downpour by noon. Some were better
prepared for the unrelenting rain which made rocks slippery and sent rivulets
of muddy water down the trail. We didn’t understand why Dan showed us his
umbrella when talking about the equipment to take with us. But after this day
we all know why and will look for our own one in Namche.
12 October 2013 -
Leaving Kathmandu, 12 October, 2013 Everyone up for a 6:30 am breakfast, and
7a.m. departure for the airport.
Traffic very light – it’s the Nepalese holiday, called Dashain, where everyone
goes home for many days ,perhaps months of celebration; so the airport was a
picture of chaos. According to Island Peak team member Sangeeta Sindhi, in
Nepal it is called Dashain, but In India it is termed as Dusserah where Good
overcomes the evil . The story goes back to the King of Ayodhya, Dasarath who
had 3 wives and four sons, namely Ram, Bharat , Shatrughan and Laxman.
Kaushalaya was the first wife of the king whose son Ram was the heir to the
throne. His favorite queen Kakeyi wanted her son Bharat to ascend the throne.
One day , to please his queen the king promised that her son Bharat would
ascend the throne. He banished his eldest son Ram to the jungle for 14 years.
His wife Sita and younger brother Laxman accompanied him. During Ram’s stay in
the jungles, the king of Ceylon Raavan abducted his wife Sita and kept her
confined to his palace in Srilanka. His two brothers helped the king to keep
Sita in the palace .To win back his queen, Ram fought many battles and killed
the ten headed king Raavan, by piercing a poised arrow into his navel.
Dusserah is celebrated by burning an effigy of Raavan and his two brothers all
over India. It is to celebrate the good that has overcome the evil each year.
Back to the trek: airplanes are so small (only 8 seat each) that the team had
to take 2 planes. The first took off about noon with an American pilot who
assured us the weather in Lukla was perfect for flying and landing.
(often it’s not) Beautiful views of Everest from the left side of the plane.
Landing in Lukla 35 minutes later felt a bit like threading the eye of a
needle. It’s built on the side of the mountain so the hillside seemed
alarmingly close when landing - quite exciting. After a 90 minute wait for the
rest of the team – and the luggage - to arrive we had a leisurely lunch.
After sorting thru the luggage before it got loaded on the yaks - everyone
took off only to be stopped ½ hour later at a checkpoint. Another wait (these
checkposts occur at regular intervals we found) everyone took off once again
along a beautiful rocky and rugged trail interspersed with tiny villages which
took us down from Lukla, dropping 200 metres / 600 feet. By now it was
mid-afternoon and the completion times due to the differet pace levels varied
by a few hours. Couldn’t be done without the wonderful help and support of the
Sherpas. Wonderful hot dinner and an early night for all.
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