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Reisverslag tracking through the Himalaya
28 november 2015
tracking through the Himalaya
It has been a long time since I wrote on my weblog. In Myanmar it was very hard to find internet places and also time to write something. Anyway, here I am again (hoping my text doesn’t get deleted while uploading this time).
Last notice was that I went for a big tracking through the Himalaya for a month. That was very special. No way of communication with the world, no coffee, no alcohol. Just mountains, nature and us (5 dutch/belgian people and 17 nepali supporting us).
The first 10 days we hiked up to Makalu basecamp, in a area east of the Kumbu valley (where Mt Everest and other famous mountains are located). Makalu-Baruntse National park is not so crowded, so we were almost the only people walking there. We started hiking up and downhill through the jungle and open fields, passing just a few small villages and settlements, many rice fields and forests, glacier rivers and rocks. Approaching Makalu BC, we got the first snow and cold nights. During the day it was quite ok, but once arriving at the campsites, with only one teahouse build of big stones and all wind passing through, it got cold very soon. This meant that around 19.00h we went to sleep because inside the tents it’s warm.
After Makalu BC there was no buildings any more. Putting up tents on a flat place among the rocks or next to the glacier gives the feeling you’re really far away from home.
Then came the day we had to cross two high mountains cols above 6000meter. Getting up at 3am, crossing the glacier upto a rocky wall. There we climbed up along ‘fixed’ ropes. Though we used harnesses and self belay gear, it didn’t really feel very safe and secured. Once on top of the col (east col) we had to wait in the sun for an hour so the porters and sherpas could get themselves and all the luggage down. Then we went down abseiling, but also then the safety backup didn’t really work like we’re used to in europe. Luckily everything went well. So we could cross a beautiful snowfield at 6000m, surrounded by big mountains and glaciers, walking to the west col where we had to go down again, abseiling 200meter on snow. Also here the sherpas had to put and fix the ropes, which took 1.5 hour, while we were waiting in top of the windy west col. Finally we could go down, which was fun (I never did a 200meter non-stop abseil on snow before). At the bottom we only had to walk to the end of the glacier where we would make camp. We arrived there around 16.00h and waited for the porters and sherpas and our luggage to arrive. This took very long and it was getting dark so we got a bit worried. Finally our cook and 1 porter arrived, so we could put up the dining tent and one sleeping tent. Then our sirdar (main guide) arrived with the bad news that most of the luggage and porters were still on top of west col (they didn’t have experience with abseiling and didn’t have enough harnesses to get them down easily) and the other luggage got stuck in a crevache!!! O.M.G.
Around 20.00h all porters had arrived, without any luggage. So we had to spend the night sleeping all together in the dining tent, without our nice and warm sleeping bags and without real dinner. We had some tea and soup and a few thin sleeping bags from the sherpas which we could share.
Next day we got up after a cold but interesting night. After a cup of tea and a small portion of muesli with dissolved milk, we had to wait for the sherpas to get the luggage out of the crevache and down from the west col. Around noon they came bag with our the luggage, so we could walk to the next camp (Baruntse basecamp). That was only 1,5h walking, but after such a long day and rough night, it felt like a whole day.
The next days we walked towards the big goal of the tracking, Mera peak. Mostly nice weather, delicious food, splendid views and nice company made it much easier. Finally we reached Mera high camp, sleeping next to a rock on the glacier, protected from the wind we had a excellent view of the surrounding mountains.
That night we got up at 2am. At 3.30 we left for the top, walking in the complete dark. After two hours the sun started to appear which gave beautiful colours. Still it was hard to walk up at that altitude, stopping every minute to get some fresh oxygen. Just after sunrise we reached to top. Wow! Watching Kanchenjunga at the complete east of Nepal, Mount Makalu, Lothse, Nuptse, Sagarmatha, Ama Dablam, Cho Oyu, and the mountains to the west of Everest area in one view!!
From that moment on we only had to get down. This took another week as we had some shorter days, enjoying the views and scenery once more. On the last days we had some heavy snowfall, luckily after we passed to dangerous parts of our route. Eventually we arrived in Lukla (the only real town in the whole Western Himalaya, where we would fly back to KTM) 2 days ahead of schedule. As Lukla is not very big or spectacular (apart from the airstrip where every plane tries to take off before the soil stops and a deep valley starts) we luckily could change our flight back. On November 1st, we flew back, survived the flight, and arrived in KTM after a special month out of civilization. The trip I had been looking forward to for so long, was finished and went very well.
Foto's bij verslag (16)
30 november 2015 04:23 | Door: stef
Nice report of a very impressive trip. I admire you did it, but would not like to do it myself. I like nature and hiking, but this is way too much for me. Must have been very extraordinary indeed. Hope to see some more photos when we see each other again. I try to manage how could it musthave been, specially the night without (good) tents and sleeping bags. An experience you will never forget, and not many people accomplish. Probably you will never again be so long, so far from civilisation.
30 november 2015 21:44 | Door: Leo
Opwindend verslag. Uitputting en pracht. Mooie tocht ! Deed me denken aan mijn eigen mooie Nepal tochten
30 jaar geleden met donzen berenjassen en heerlijke citroenthee. Ook de dahlbat maaltijden waren heerlijk. Je sfeerimpressies van Pokhara en KTM zijn ook herkenbaar: lijkt of er niet veel veranderd is. Pie alley nog steeds in bedrijf ? Hartelijke groeten van Fija, Annabel en Leo.