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  Fredrik Ericsson : Kangchenjunga Ski Expedition Update


Jörgen crossing a river

Base Camp at last!

Finally we have reached the Kangchenjunga Base Camp and it was not a walk in the park to get there. We were hoping for eight days of nice walking in the hills and mountains of eastern Nepal. Now 14 days later I know that the Kangchenjunga base camp trek is a bit more complicated than that.

First we were strolling in the sun along rice fields and banana plantations. Then came the Jungle with the leeches. The days got longer and the rainfalls got more frequent. As we moved up to higher altitude the weather and the terrain got nicer. Once in a while I even got a glimpse of a snow capped mountain. Our mood got better but that didn’t stop Jörgen from catching a cold. He got a sore throat and a bad cough that kept him a wake most of the night. To get rid of the cough Jörgen decided to stay a few days in the camp in Tseram (3700m) while the rest of the crew continued. During the trek we had about 20 porters that helped us carry our gear and food. When we came up to the Yalung Glacier that leads up to Kangchenjunga, about half of them didn’t want to continue. With only half the men it took us two days to travel the distance of a normal day. If that wasn’t enough, then came the snow. In one day we got 20 cm snow and that made the rest of the porters give up on us as well. Even though it gave us some problems I totally understand them. Walking on this glacier is no fun at all and 20 cm of snow doesn’t make it more exciting. It’s a mix of sand, rocks and ice and always up or down. Not a single flat spot. The gear the porters show up in is better suited for a sunny day on the beach than on a snowy glacier. I’m impressed that they made it as far as they did. Fortunate for us we were not far from base camp. Jörgen got well and caught up with us and together with our cooking crew: Buddhi, Kansha and Mon we could move up to Kangchenjunga Base Camp.

It feels great to be here at the foot of Kangchenjunga and the view of the beautiful mountains makes the long trek all worthwhile. After 14 days in the jungle and on the moraine Jörgen and I are getting very excited to take out the skis and head up to the snow.

Earlier: The Adventure has begun. Jörgen and I are now on the trek towards Kangchenjunga base camp. Four days have passed and four days to go to reach camp. It’s just over a week since we arrived in Nepal. We spent three days in Kathmandu sorting out climbing permit at the ministry of tourism, meetings with journalists and a chat with Elisabeth Hawley, the master of Himalayan climbing statistics. We also bought some gear and food that we will need on the expedition.

Kathmandu is a big and lively city with millions of people. There is a massive amount of cars and motorcycles and the traffic is the most chaotic I’ve ever experienced. It’s interesting to visit Kathmandu but it’s a bit too stressful for a guy like me that is used to the peace and quiet life of northern Sweden.

We continued with a one hour flight to Bhadrapur and a jeep ride via Ilam to Gopetar. After getting delayed one day due to a missing bag on the flight to Bhadrapurwe left Gopetar last Friday and started the trek towards Kanghenjunga, We are now halfway on the eight days trek and it’s not the regular trek that we are used to. We’ve been walking up and down the   hills, going through rise- and cornfields, crossing rives on wooden suspension bridges and through the jungle. Jörgen and I have agreed that we are not made for the jungle. It’s warm and moisty, the rocks are slippery and leeches are attacking us from all directions.

During the trek we have met a lot of nice people that have been telling us stories about life in Nepal and we have been trying to describe to them what life is like in Europe. We are now looking forward to leave the jungle and move up to higher altitude and hopefully we will reach base camp in a few days. More news when we arrive.

Beginning of the trekk

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