• Women skiers, this is the place for you -- an online community without the male-orientation you'll find in conventional ski magazines and internet ski forums. At TheSkiDiva.com, you can connect with other women to talk about skiing in a way that you can relate to, about things that you find of interest. Be sure to join our community to participate (women only, please!). Registration is fast and simple. Just be sure to add webmaster@theskidiva.com to your address book so your registration activation emails won't be routed as spam. And please give careful consideration to your user name -- it will not be changed once your registration is confirmed.

Trekking in Nepal - High Passes of Everest

#1
This fall I had the opportunity to join up on a trip to go trekking in Nepal. My sister did the planning - she had picked a tour company and trek and I just said "yes" and sent her money. We trekked with Exodus Travels on the "High Passes to Everest Base Camp" trek. We had several days in Kathmandu to do our own thing, and spent 18 days walking through the Everest region.

Rather than going to base camp as an in-and-out affair (the standard base camp route), this trek is a loop that crosses 3 passes, with options to ascend 5 peaks and go to Everest Base Camp. I was lucky in terms of not getting too sick or having too much trouble with altitude, and I was able to complete everything except one peak, where I went halfway up and then bailed. This route spends 10 nights above 4500 m, and 9 days hiking above 5000 m, so it was not a relaxing vacation!

Random thoughts:
- The area around base camp and the route to it is BUSY. It wasn't climbing season for Everest, so it was just trekkers creating the traffic, but there are trekkers and porters and yak trains and helicopters everywhere. It was like a highway of people on the trail.
- The areas just either side of the standard base camp route are quieter. Far from deserted, but much more pleasant.
- The company we travelled with (Exodus) has a great reputation. They've provided solar cookers to the teahouses they use to help reduce juniper and yak dung use, so that was pretty awesome to see.
- Hiking in a group of 14 makes everything take longer - breaks, hiking, lunch, etc. After a few days on the trail (spent ascending...), you get used to it and appreciate the time it gives you to breathe.
- Doing anything at altitude is hard. I found the hardest thing was getting into my liner & sleeping bag. It was cold, I wanted to get my jacket off and then just get in, but I had to either take a break partway through or be panting like a dog by the time I was in.
- The scenery is unbelievably breathtaking. I mean, I knew it would be good, but it was way beyond my expectations.
- The concept of everything getting carried in for days on yak/human is hard to wrap your head around. You start to get used to it, and then you see a dude carrying 4 sheets of plywood or roofing tin on a 5-day walk up the mountain. Jeez.
- Everyone is incredibly friendly, with a warmth that was inspiring. I'm sure I wouldn't be half that happy if there were hundreds of tourists invading my mountains every day!
- Flying into Lukla is crazy. Not because of the planes and the airport, but because flight scheduling out of Kathmandu seems to not exist. We sat in the airport for about 6 hours trying to get to Lukla, and I'm quite certain that we only did because we had a super experienced leader who knew everyone, and we totally stole someone else's flight.
- Our guides were amazing.

I'm pretty sure everyone just wants to see pictures, so here are a few. A more complete set lives here:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10101234345524675.1073741842.120401238&type=1&l=53487a427c

Just taking a break on the way up Nangkartshang Peak:
Nepal 182.JPG

Looking out at Mt. Everest & Everest Base Camp & the Khumbu Glacier from Kala Patthar:
Nepal 301.JPG

The view from the top of Gokyo Ri on a snowy morning was breathtaking:
Nepal 410.JPG

Looking back while heading up towards the Renjo La:
Nepal 434.JPG

Back in Kathmandu, at Boudhanath:
DSC_0662.JPG
 

SkiBam

Angel Diva
#2
Sounds (and looks) WONDERFUL. I did a 12-day trek from Pokhara to Annapurna Base Camp in 2011 - not nearly as strenuous as yours (I think the highest we were was about 4,100 metres) but it was totally amazing.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Trip of a life time. Beautiful.

Take the time and look at the facebook pics. Love the video....not my way to fly, but you have to do, what you have to do!!
 
Last edited:

ski diva

Administrator
Staff member
#7
Breathtaking photos! What an amazing experience! Thanks for sharing it with us.
 
Last edited:
#12
Love the video....not my way to fly, but you have to do, what you have to do!!
If you thought that the runway suddenly tilted downhill once we started moving, you are correct. It has a 12% grade to help with acceleration/deceleration. I'm not sure which was weirder...accelerating downhill at a cliff dropoff, or decelerating towards the stone wall at the end of the runway when we landed!
 

merrydog

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#13
My cousin and I did a trek in Nepal, along with a couple of her girlfriends back in 2001. This was in October, right after 9/11 so things were desperately quiet and the group was just the four of us. We did a moderate trek, so no high mountain passes but lots of beautiful countryside and lovely people. There was still plenty of ups, downs and rough trail conditions.

The most amazing thing for me about the sherpas was not only did they carry 95% of the gear, they were doing that and negotiating the trails in flip-flops! The other memorable thing from this trek was the night sky as there was very little light once the sun went down.

Your trek looks incredible.

Here's one of our pictures from the trail... nepal.jpg
 

bounceswoosh

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#14
- Doing anything at altitude is hard. I found the hardest thing was getting into my liner & sleeping bag. It was cold, I wanted to get my jacket off and then just get in, but I had to either take a break partway through or be panting like a dog by the time I was in.
Oof. This really brings home the whole altitude / out of breath thing!
 
#15
Well, this is all amazing! Hard to imagine the base camp as teeming with people, yaks, and helicopters. If one's only exposure to Everest is documentaries of mountaineering expeditions, it is startling!
 

Marta_P

Certified Ski Diva
#16
oh wow, what beautiful photos! And good for you for being in shape to actually go and do this last minute, I think I'd have to train for 5-years, lol.
 
#17
And good for you for being in shape to actually go and do this last minute, I think I'd have to train for 5-years, lol.
Oh, it wasn't last minute. We were supposed to go in 2015 but got cancelled due to the earthquake (and I was on crutches at the time). We booked about 9 months in advance.
 

Members Online