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Back from Everest!

May 30, 2008 · filed under: Trips by Geoff

Greg and Dad are back from their trek to Everest base camp. Everything went really well, they had beautiful weather, and pictures will be posted soon. A quote from the travelers:

We arrived at Everest Base Camp on Tuesday, May 20 after a particularly grueling trek from Lobuche. The last stretches of the trail were along the Khumbu Glacier ridge. It was very rocky and up and down. What a thrill to have made it there, though. All four of us, and safely. Conditions were great, but the air is very thin around 18,000 ft – only 50% of the oxygen at sea level. The dryness causes problems with upper respiratory and throat. But we have dealt with it remarkably. We were fortunate to encounter the organizer of the first successful ascent of Mt Everest by a Phillipino team in 2007, who gave us some great advice about how to deal with the altitude. He said sleep with the windows open, because you can use up the oxygen in the room overnight. Also keep a covering over your nose and mouth to prevent the cold air from passing directly over the sensitive membranes. And to take one Diamox for altitude each evening when you are at altitude.

That day we returned to Gorak Shep for lodging, and an attempt the next day for the summit of Kala Pattar. I sent you a link to the geocache site there. We were hoping for good, clear weather so we could see the mountain vistas of Everest, Ama Dablam, Thumaserku etc. We rose at 5 AM to clear skies. We were on our way. By 7:37 we were on the summit at 18.484 according to our GPS. The views were absolutely spectacular.

Unbelievable for 360 degrees. Everest was in clear view, and in the company of so many other majestic mountains. It literally takes your breath away. I gave Greg a big hug, because I was so pleased to be there with him. We got some absolutely stunning pictures. We are so very, very
fortunate to have good weather when we needed it. We learned that it was raining heavily in Lukla and Kathmandu the day we were on the summit. We got the photos for the cache, which is listed as a 4.5 terrain and 1.0 difficulty. Shoot, it took us 14 days to get this one!!

We then started our long trek back to Lukla. On the first night following our successful ascent, I woke with a burning throat, which turned on the nasal flow and resulted in some chest congestion. But we are all great. Everyone remained in reasonably good/excellent health.

We spent last night in Lukla waiting for the small airplane to launch off the very short mountain runway this morning. Hoping for clear weather so the planes could get in. We woke to a beautiful morning, and boarded the little plane back to Kathmandu about 7.