Hey there Yakkety Yaks and Abdominal Snowmen
So this is part 2 of our Everest Base Camp blog. Part 1 is here.
Well, we’ve been back in Kathmandu for 2 days now and our feet and knees are STILL sore…not to mention our bums from several bouts of diarrhea….
I actually think I set a record by not showering for 24 days AND with only one change of underwear and even that was only since I shat myself with a lovely bout of the squits….
…Now… was that “wipe with the right hand and eat with the left”???… fuck… I can never remember…
In fact when I took my icebreaker thermal off in Kathmandu after 28 days of not changing or showering, it literally had a silver layer of my skin that had shed and stuck to the inside of the shirt.
Actually in our group of up to 8 people almost all of us got sick at one stage or another and you can imagine what huge amount of fun it is to have quivering legs after 8 hours of climbing hills and then using a squat toilet (which is actually just a gap in 2 bits of wood over a 3m hole in the ground)
Man, you really end up with thighs of steel just so you don’t fall in!!! And I would have to say the most amazing hills aren’t just in the mountains…. we were more impressed with the mountains of shit that we saw in the drop toilets!!!!! You’d definitely need an ice axe and crampons to climb out if you ever fell in…
Still…. despite, the diarrhea, and blisters and sore muscles and busted haemorrhoids and frozen gonads…. I think we had great time… well maybe after the sore joints settle down a bit I’ll confirm it…
…phew….you’ll have to excuse us but walking and conversations about bowel habits have preoccupied us for the last 4 weeks….
Anyways, after trekking in the foothills, at day 7 we reached Lukla, which is where most people fly into and from there, the altitude and the landscape really started changing.
The mountains were all snow covered and most days we had at least 5 hours of perfect weather so they were absolutely beautiful and towered over us on every day of trekking…
I don’t think words can actually explain just how awesome it is to be walking amongst them and at times having them so close that you lose perspective of how large they actually are… absolutely stunning…
But it wasn’t just the mountains that were amazing… there’s really the whole mountaineering culture up here, and we were amazed that sometimes we would be sitting around a yak dung fire eating noodles with travellers and sherpas who had summited everest several times…
In actual fact, we found that the only necessary requirements that you need for trekking in the Everest area is to be able to name at least 5 dead mountaineers, discuss at least 2 books based on the 1996 disaster where Rob Hall and Scott Fisher died, name all 14 of the 8000m+ peaks and their heights, and of course be able to describe your bowel motions at length in several different languages….
And just to immerse ourselves a little more into the mountaineering culture, near a shithole village called Lobuje, we also eventually ran into Tashi Tenzing, the grandson of Norgay Tenzing who was leading a Swiss documentary expedition to Everest…
Avril of course stole the show when she asked them for their autograph and photos and the documentary team got heaps of pictures of her getting the signatures…. now all we need is for the team to fail miserably and die on the summit so we can ransom the photos to their wives….
After another 7 days of hard trekking, we eventually hit Everest Base Camp on day 18 and I have to tell you about it because it was the day that was so hard that it broke us…
I was recovering from diarrhea, so me and Avril were at least an hour behind the rest of the group and after walking for 3 hours, we finally reached Gorek Shep the final teahouse before basecamp. Now I don’t know what stupidity overtook me but instead of chilling out and resting my sick body, we decided we would brave to trek to base camp which was a 6 hour return trip rising from 5100m to 5300m….
Holy Cow… basically, the trek was a scramble along a scree covered glacier, and the morning we left was minus 15C going to minus 30C not including any wind chill, so we struggled and limped along until we could see the tents in the distance…
However, even then, we had to keep trekking along the side of glacier for a couple of hours since the distances there are really misleading…
And really, Everest Base Camp is just a group of tents at the base of the Khumbu icefall so it is actually a bit disappointing as a visual treat despite this year having at least 10 expeditions aiming at summating by early May…
Anyways, getting there was absolutely exhausting and the reward is usually to drink tea with the expeditions preparing to summit Everest, but the day we went, the weather was shitty and there seemed to be a blizzard storm brewing, so we just took some photos and started heading back…
But half way back on our walk the friggin blizzard hit us. As we were rushing a bit, the altitude had us hyperventilating and we were being hit by horizontal snow that was so cold, our fingers and toes became painfully numb, and I found it hard to breathe as my chest was actually burning due to the harsh breathing of the freezing dry air….
Not only that, but we couldn’t talk properly since our lips and cheeks felt like they were frozen… and I can honestly say, that I don’t think I have ever been so exhausted or so cold or so close to feeling like giving up!!!!!!
I can truly understand how people can just curl up and die after returning from the summit… I even had to convince myself that the lumps in my throat were probably my testicles or at least a goitre from all the iodine water we had been drinking….
I actually tapped my top lip and it was hard like it was frozen! And when we got back to Gorek Shep I was filled with such a rage that I pulled out the video camera just to film myself just spewing anger at the camera. It’s almost like I needed a rage to get my adrenalin pumping enough to get home. And if I didn’t have it I think I would have just given up. It was truly just a fight or flight response. And coming back to camp I just had to release it all!
And then the next day we did another bigarsed walk up to the summit of Kala Patar at 5,545m for the famous shots of Everest.
Anyway, we survived the experience and went on to see Everest from the Gokyo Valley as well which was another 5 days onwards and then we eventually headed down to civilisation again.
All up we had a fantastic time and as difficult as it was, the experience alone was truly a once in a lifetime thing… mainly because I cannot imagine freezing my nads off like that again…
And we met some wonderful locals and the group that we formed were fantastic people who helped the 2 of us through even when we got sick.
We even managed to track down a deserted monastery where a spooky old woman showed us the scalp of a supposed yeti that is worshipped by the locals here…. yep Nepal is definitely full of freaky shit!!!
Anyway, we were supposed to have another 2 weeks bumming around Nepal, but these bloody Moaists turds have called a strike for 6 days when we were meant to fly out… and the last time they did this, they apparently turned off the electricity to the country and torched a family to death who broke the strike by being on a bus, so we aren’t going to tempt fate since we have been lucky so far…. we are OUT of here!!!!
We’re going to try and piss off to Thailand and hit the beaches or even Bali, or even head home early…yuck…
Thanks for all the emails, which again are great to get when we are on the road…
Anyways lots of smooches, mooches and yeti love
Princess yak herder and Captain yeti scalper
PS OK if you don’t believe how tough the trek was, then click here and check out our Nepal Pics which are now up. The first pic is a before and after pic of me from the night before we left Australia and the morning that we returned.
PPS here are our stats
Total Land Kms Covered- 300km times heaps more due to the switchbacks
Maximum Altitude Gained- Kala Patar Summit 5,545m
Total Ascents- 19000m
Total Descents- 18000m
Coldest Temp-minus 15C
Average Trekking Time- 4- 8 hours daily
Kms trekked in the day- 4-15kms
Total Showers-Ced-1, Avril-4
Underwear Used- Ced-2, Avril-3
Number of stomach bugs- Ced-2, Avril-2