Nepal – November 2019

Ever since our unforgettable trek in Nepal in 2009, Pete has been itching to return, but other events have prevented it. This year he was determined to make it happen. Kathy decided after Peru earlier this year that she had done her last trek, so Pete signed up to a group trek organised by World Expeditions. Kathy’s brother Stephan, plus a friend of his and the friend’s son, also came along, and they joined twelve others, from Australia, South Africa, Canada, the UK and Hong Kong. Ages ranged from 24 to 68 and experience levels ranged from very little to having summited Kilimanjaro!

The group chose the Gokyo Lakes/Renjo La Trek in the Khumbu (Everest) region of Nepal, rather than the more popular route to Everest Base Camp. They wanted to see the most magnificent mountains in the world, but not share the experience with hundreds of others, and also wanted to get a feel for what traditional life in Nepal is (or was) like. There are no roads here, so the journey began with a 14-seater flight into Lukla, generally regarded as the world’s most dangerous airstrip! They put their faith in the pilots, and were not disappointed. The landing, on a steeply upward sloping strip with a stone wall at the end, was particularly exciting.

The two week trek took them along the conventional Base Camp route to Namche Bazaar, but soon after that they branched out to the north and followed the Dudh Kosi River, leaving most of the other trekkers to continue up a different river. The views of Ama Dablam from here were an unforgettable highlight. They ascended over several days to Gokyo, at 4790 meters, where they stayed two nights in a lodge with frozen plumbing but fortunately a warm dining room, thanks to pot belly stoves burning yak dung. The next day was the longest, the eight-hour-plus trudge over the Renjo La (Pass) at 5360 metres (a new altitude record for Pete). The reward was a stunning view back down to Gokyo and its Lake, with the 36 kilometre Ngozumba Glacier behind, and, towering above, a line of Himalayan giants, including Everest, Lhotse and Makalu.

Descending from the Pass, they were in a landscape from another time, with rough stone huts and yak corrals the only sign of habitation, and very few other trekkers.

World Expeditions provided a great team of guides, cooks and porters and everyone enjoyed the permanent camps with roomy tents, comfortable mattresses, western toilets and heated dining rooms. The lodges used in some locations also provided good accommodation, with colourfully decorated and toasty warm common rooms for relaxing, dining and chatting. All of the party of 16 completed the trek, in some cases despite health setbacks, but without the need to turn back or be evacuated, which was a better record than other groups they encountered.

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Posted on Monday December 16th, 2019, tagged with travel | 5 comments