26 May Latest update from Nepal as the gang prepare to head home!
Hi everyone, received a very lengthy update from Joe today via text – he must have Texting RSI now!! Text received follows:
“Several days since last update, no reception so unable to send updates. As I text this I am sitting in Jomsom waiting for a flight to Pokhara, everybody is down off the mountain, safe & well. The last week has been very very exciting. After A2 Base Camp we walked to Manang, the largest town in the valley. Two of the team walked into a local gompa (monestary) and were welcomed into the funeral of a Llama and invited to partake in Yak butter salted tea. From there we had a hair raising trip through rock falls and landslides to Tilicho Base Camp. With rock falls slowing our progress … that got adrenalin going!
We rested for 1 day to acclimatise and then did our highest height gain of 900m to Tilicho High Camp, a hard walk and scramble up to Tilicho Lake. Altitude really taking effect with most people having to stop to catch breath every few meters. We had to climb a pretty exposed ridge but the view of the worlds highest Lake was amazing! We camped at High Camp at a height of 5200m, restless night at altitude. Early 3.30am start to cross the Eastern Pass. This is a moonscape and would be very hard to navigate in bad weather. The weather is very changeable so have got here a day early to allow for bad conditions. One of our porters fell during a river crossing, his OK but wet!
Lots of mounds of Morraine that all look exactly the same. Long hard days walk. The views from the pass are phenominal and we reach a height of 5477m. The weather closed in and we had to cut ice steps and use a fixed rope to negotiate certain parts. All very tired but still 2 hours to camp. We decide that the proper camp at the treeline is too far away so we make impromptu camp in a steep gorge. We all sleep very well!!
Next day we walk down to Jomsom. Everybody moving very swiftly and the mood is bubbly. The walk is stunning and we come across more examples of traditional architecture in the form of huts carved into hillsides high in the valleys. Arrive in windy Jomsom, High winds rattle down the valley from 10am to 10pm every day. Dusty and dry but after all that time in the hills a great place to finish.
We have a celebration with Sukatee (dried Yak meat), Chang (rice beer) and Rakshi (millet spirit), everybody gets very very drunk and we are all shabby in the morning. Following night we say Thankyou to our porters with tips and raffle gear we don’t want. Beer & whiskey flows a plenty and before long we are all dancing to Nepali folk songs as they sing, dance and play a Djembe drum.
It’s sad as we fly out with our last glimpses of the mountains.”