Leader and updates: Stu Peacock – Departed 11th October 2014
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10th November: We have now arrived at Lukla and have enjoyed treating ourselves at the bakery to chocolate muffins and Apple Strudel! The weather remains good and we hope to catch the Lukla flight tomorrow to fly back to Kathmandu.
4th November: Stu has just called with an update from their summit bid. They have returned to Base Camp safe and well but did not get to the summit. Alex is tired but happy and has claimed a personal best by getting to 6955 meters so a fantastic effort!
It was very cold which made it a long and very tiring day so the team are pleased to be back and relaxing now with a chicken dinner coming soon to celebrate our efforts.
We are having a rest day tomorrow and then trekking back to Lukla around the 8th, hopefully enjoying Kathmandu’s comforts around the 10th.
1st November: A quick call from Stu to check the forecast and let us know all is well:
We are at Base Camp at the moment. It is windy today but the forecast indicates it should get less so in a few days. We aim to head up to Camp 1 tomorrow then Camp 2 on Monday with a view to making our summit bid on Tuesday if all goes well. We intend to then clear down to Base Camp the day after.
31st October: Stu called in today with an update. Yesterday we came down from Camp 1 to Base Camp, leaving a stash of gear in the tent at Camp 1. In the evening another team reported that a freak gust of extremely strong wind had blown away tents at Camp 1! Phurba went up to investigate but despite it having broken free, and blown some distance- our tent was still intact with all the gear inside and is now firmly secured once more.
Today we are enjoying a rest day at Base Camp and looking at the forecast for the coming days. The 4th is looking most favourable at the moment, but we will keep checking the forecast. We have a tent stashed at Camp 2 so are have everything in place to make the summit push when conditions allow.
29th October: A brief call from Stu this morning on the Sat phone, with poor reception: We had a hard day yesterday in windy and cold conditions but made it up to Camp 1 at 6180m.
Today we will do a carry up to Camp 2 at 6476m and spend a second night at Camp 1, before heading down to Base Camp tomorrow. We will be keeping an eye on the weather forecasts with a view to picking the best time for our summit bid later this week or early next week.
27th October: The team have now arrived at Baruntse Base Camp and we’re enjoying fantastic weather and stunning scenery with the many comforts supplied by our Base Camp team.
We are enjoying a rest day today after the trek in and we had our Puja then joined another friendly Swiss team for a meal and their Puja. Unfortunately David was suffering from the altitude so he has now left the expedition and is back in Kathmandu.
Plans are proceeding well for our Summit attempt around the 4th November now as the Summit Ridge is due to have rope fixing completed tomorrow. We will then gain Camp 1 tomorrow then head up and touch Camp 2 before descending to Base Camp for a rest.
24th October: Stu has just called in with an update. He was pleased to report Alex and Phurba successfully summited Mera Peak early this morning enjoying amazing scenery and views all the way to Everest and Kangchenjunga.
David reached around 6000m so still an amazing achievement before returning down with Stu for a rest. They are having a break now and will start on the fantastic trek to Baruntse Base Camp tomorrow. Weather has been amazing and no snow so far.
21st October: We are now at Khare at 4850m. It is snowing lightly at the moment, but overall the weather has been good, usually with clear skies at night and in the mornings, then cloud building up from about 2pm onwards. The team are all well and in good spirits.
Tomorrow we head up to the Mera La and looking at the forecast, we aim to make our summit bid for Mera Peak on the 24th October, all being well.
19th October: We are at Khote now, last few days have been trekking over from Chalem Kharka and yesterday was the highest point where we slept at 4250m.
It was pretty stormy last night with thunder and lightning but calmed down in the afternoon and we could see lightning in other valleys.
The team are down at 3600m now with 3 days to go before Base Camp enjoying good weather and everyone is enjoying the trek. From Pangom we were the only westerners out this way so we appreciated the remoteness that came from being the only group in the area.
15th October: We’ve just arrived in Pangkonngma and have had much better weather today, sunny and blue skies. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch stop, sunbathing whilst our cook prepared lunch. The team are looking forward to camping tonight at 2846m. Thursday will be the longest trekking day, 8 hours with a large drop in height followed by a steep ascent, before we arrive in Nashing Dingma.
14th October: We arrived in Lukla this morning and had lunch. We left just in time to be caught in a rain storm and 4 hours later we arrived in Poyan to shelter from the storm with thunder and lightning shaking the Tea House. It was very exciting, everyone is fine and we are being very well looked after by our staff and cook.
14th October: Here we are at the airport. Flights have started departing this morning despite the huge thunderstorm in the early hours this morning. Fingers crossed the 8am flight will depart.
13th October: Well, the food has been purchased and the ministry briefing is complete. Tonight’s entrainment was an evening of Nepali culture with food a plenty and music and dance. With more outfit changes than a Cher concert the dances are designed to give a flavour of the traditions from different areas of Nepal. Bukun, the chap playing the Sarangi (fiddle) in the picture remembered me from last year (especially as we gave him and his grandson a lift to their home town, when we headed out to Manaslu), so the pressure was on to purchase one of his popular cd’s that he was touting during the interval. So as this was my second attendance to one of Bukun’s performances I agreed on the proviso that he signed the cd cover to his number one fan Stu from Bukun. Job done. both parties happy. I now look forward to playing it incessantly in the office upon my return.
We have an early start tomorrow, breakfast at 5:45hrs and then heading over to the airport at 6:20 hrs hopefully for a flight at 8:00hrs.
We have everything crossed for good weather and hopefully the next update will be from Lukla.
12th October: All is well in sunny Kathmandu. A pleasant flight over from the UK with a quick change in Delhi. All the baggage has arrived so we’re off to a good start. Our agent greeted us with the traditional marigold garland and a welcome bottle of water. We have done our kit check this afternoon, (see pic,) showered and then out for a bite to eat in the hustle and bustle of Thamel. Tomorrow Alex will have his panoramic flight around Everest in the morning then we’ll do our shopping for supplies.
We’re being taken out tomorrow night for a Nepalese cultural evening, tasting traditional foods and watching some traditional dancing. I am hoping to return the honor by teaching them the agga-do dance. Wish me luck… All being well we will fly to Lukla on Tuesday.
11th Oct: The team depart for their overnight flights to Kathmandu and will arrive in Kathmandu early to enjoy the sights and sounds before the trip starts.