Ama Dablam & Island Peak
13th October – 11th November 2018
Expedition Leader: Paul Noble
We have arrived at Lukla! Of course the talk is all about flights, it’s possible we’ll leave here tomorrow afternoon but it’s down to the weather gods! Otherwise it’ll be about food and beer until a flight.
Summit Success for Devis & Phurba!
On the 31st the team headed up to Camp 1, Joao had a poor nights sleep the night before and wasn’t feeling on top form. Paul was still recovering from his illness. Devis and Ken were feeling fine, however when the team passed Yak camp on the way to Camp 1 Ken started to feel flu like symptoms and was finding it hard going. The team all eventually made it to Camp 1; Joao and Ken had a sleepless night there and by morning had made the decision to head back down to base camp.
Devis wasn’t exactly full of beans but had rightly decided he wasn’t ever coming back for another go, it was now or never! He set of for camp 2 with Phurba.
The 3 sickies regrouped at Yak camp on descent , where Ken and Joao declared this was the worst they’d ever felt. Paul reminded them we had whiskey at the tent, surprisingly this had little effect but with perfect timing our wonderful hard working base team turned up with hot drinks and also helped carry down Joao/Kens gear. The guys were disappointed as a few days previous when they were here they were flying! However a painful few hours later and they were relieved to be back at base camp.
Currently Devis & Phurba are coming down from camp 1. We are expecting them in a few hours.
If Devis is up for it, we’ll start our descent tomorrow.
We’ve now been at base camp for a couple days. It’s been busy!
The team are in good health although Paul got a bit of fever on arrival at base camp. Camp at night time is noisy a mix of Paul’s cough and Dr D’s snoring!
Yesterday the boys had a walk up to yak camp and dropped some gear there. Obviously they are well acclimatised and it didn’t take too long, actually without Paul it appears to have turned into a bit of race!
Today was Puja day! Our Climbers and gear are now blessed!! This is an important part of our time on the hill. It also included a touch of rum and whiskey!
After this there was an opportunity for some more rope training before lunch. Our cook makes the best chips ……..ever!
Plan now is to move to camp 1 tomorrow (Monday). If weather gods play along we’ll continue up the hill.
Island Peak Conquered!
Hello from Dingboche!
A long day today. We set off at 2am and all of us walked onto the summit of Island Peak at 7.20am; we then descended via high camp and base camp all the way down to Dingboche a total of 15 hours.
It was perfect weather for a summit day, unlike yesterday many groups turning back in the cold windy conditions. We’re currently back in Moonlight Lodge. I’ll write some more about summit day tomorrow and post some pictures. Great day with a top team!
All the team are going well. The walk to Chukkhung was stunning and after a bit of lunch we had a walk up the local hill to reach an altitude of 5400 metres.
Our trek towards Island Base camp continues. We are now in the higher khumbu, the scenery is fantastic and despite the altitude the team are trekking well.
There was a certain amount of faffing this morning led by Paul, it wasn’t long before everyone joined in. Too much gear, dark rooms and altitude don’t always go well together.
Surprisingly we made it to Moonlight lodge early afternoon. Not because it’s dangerous but Paul has several Sherpa friends along this part of the trail. On meeting them, after the usual pleasantries and drinking tea there is an inevitability that ‘Chang’ will appear. Sherpa Nuru’s particular blend was declared ‘strong’ by the other Sherpas. Personally I think NASA should use it to fuel rockets to Mars. It was a very light headed walk to our final destination. I blamed the altitude.
Tonight’s lodge is a great place, warm with excellent food. Tomorrow sees us head to the mountain village of Chukkhung.
The team are in Namche for the second night and when the team eventually got out of bed we managed a walk to the famous Everest View Hotel then onward to the Sherpa village of Khumjung.
Of course we had a great view of Ama Dablam and our intended route. Seeing Everest with a plume of cloud blowing over the top was a bonus. It was great to sit down and take in one of the best views in the world. It wasn’t to long before we were back in Namche and with showers and cleaning done it was off to sample some more cafes and shopping.
The weather pattern currently is sunny in the morning but cloudy and windy in the afternoon. Hopefully the winds will ease as we get towards our first objective Island Peak over the coming days.
The team are currently staying in Namche but leave tomorrow.
The team have rolled into Namche! Today’s walk was welcome, we had a lot of food to walk off!
The walk from Phakding is a stunning walk but as the only path to the Sagamartha National Park it is probably the equivalent to the M6.
Added to the usual trekking groups there was a lot of animal trains, many delivering festival loads to local villages. The team are getting quite good at making their way through traffic and we moved at a nice steady pace. Despite our Sherpas best intentions we had no intentions of eating anything until we reached Namche. Post lunch, Devis has now started an afternoon Science club. Today’s lecture was on particle physics, to be honest if I hadn’t fallen asleep it’s possible I could have given you some interesting facts. I blame the altitude. This was followed by a debate on drug use in sport, I think I had too many painkillers because I fell asleep again. However this was followed by the need for coffee and as I excel in ‘cafes in Namche’ we promptly headed to the bakery. Tomorrow we’ll head out for a walk, hopefully to see our main objective Ama Dablam. The team are fit, well and excited to be here.
The team arrived safely into Kathamndu. There was a delay flying to Lukla due to the weather, but the team have now made the journey. This flight never disappoints and it was a mixture of amazement and smiles as we left the airport. Next it was a quick sort out of the gear before lunch.
Despite the trail down to Phakding effectively being a main road it felt quiet with a few trekkers, porters and various convoys of beasts going about their business.
Due to an administration error 4.2 tons of food was delivered for dinner. We bravely set around eating the set banquet for 60 people and would have finished if Joao wasn’t a lightweight. Ken had pudding, which frankly was sickening.
If our stomachs hold up, our intention is to walk to Namche tomorrow, capital of the Kumbu. We might skip dinner. Paul