- Trek for a Cure: Everest
Tues. 2 Apr: Bhaktapur & Panuati
The team are now heading into the Kathmandu Valley to explore the historic towns of Bhaktapur and Panuati. Both towns give the team a chance to observe traditional Nepali life, away from the tourist traps of Thamel and Kathmandu city. Walking through the cobblestone streets, to see some of the only well-preserved temples of Nepal, the team can see potters firing clay in their kilns, children playing with soft metal hackie-sack like items and the women washing in the atmospheric side streets.
Mon. 1 Apr: Kathmandu
Today the team were free to explore the ancient corners and lane-ways that litter Kathmandu city. After visiting the various Hindu shrines around town, the team then were invited to a traditional Nepalese meal at their mountain guide Tashi’s home. The team we’re even taught the art of making mo-mo’s (Nepalese dumplings!)
Sun. 31 Mar: Fly to Kathmandu
The team is now 2 whole days ahead of schedule! They’ve really earned their time for rest, sightseeing and warm meals that lay ahead of them over the next few days. Of course the end of the trek is bittersweet as the team farewell their mountain guides and Sherpas, who have pushed and motivated their aching bodies and tired minds all the way to Everest Base Camp.
“Just in case you want to know how a man looks like after 12 days in the mountain without proper access to a shaver and hot water.”
Sat. 30 Mar: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3, 440m) and Lukla (2, 840m)
“Yesterday we decided that instead of walking two days to Namche and two days to Lukla, we can do all that in 1 + 1 day. So we walked much faster and longer today and arrived even earlier to Namche. We walked from Pheriche to Namche in one day! We had an additional incentive to arrive to Namche: hot showers or bathroom attached to our room with a real western style toilet. Pure luxury.”
Fri. 29 Mar: Trek down to Tengboche (3,860m)
Today Team Cure Cancer Australia will continue their descent, dropping down the valley to Orsho, then following the west bank of the Imja Khola to Shomare and on to Pangboche, the highest permanent settlement in the Everest region. From Pangboche, they will retrace their footsteps down to the Imja Khola and up through the forest to Debuche and Tengboche, where they will stay tonight.
Thu. 28 Mar: Gorak Shep (5,290m) to Pheriche (4,270m)
Today our Trek for a Cure team commence their descent. Here’s a message we received from Vlada on the trek to Pheriche:
“…after the breakfast and packing, we started descending. We arrived to Pheriche at around 4,300m and we will spend the night here… Tomorrow we continue our descent and we have 6 hours to arrive to the place called Kyanjuma.” Vlada Team Cure Cancer Australia
Wed. 27 Mar: Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5,290m) & Everest Base Camp (5,360m)
The highlight of this high-altitude adventure is here! Everest Base Camp. Today Team Cure Cancer Australia left Lobuche and followed a broad trail alongside the Khumbu Glacier, ascending gradually as the path winds over the rocky moraine towards the settlement of Gorak Shep. It is standing here that the team will realise they are now among the glaciers of the world’s highest peaks. The air is thin and they’ve been trekking for days. The thought of finally trekking to Everest Base Camp is the motivation they need to keep up the momentum and keep trekking. The team stopped at Gorak Shep (5,160m) to break for lunch before continuing on to the Everest Base Camp, approximately another three hours.
To reach Everest Base Camp, the team split in two – Chad, Matt and Chris went via Kala Patthar (5,540m) while Vlada went directly to Base Camp. The team are doing well though Vlada is suffering from mountain sickness. Vlada reached Everest Base Camp before Chad, Matt and Chris but they are all now reunited as a team at Gorak Shep and will continue to descend together in the coming days.
Tue. 26 Mar: Dingboche to Lobuche (4, 920m)
The team set off early this morning to follow the wide trail north along the bottom of the valley. Today the team was tested as they kicked through the turf of awkward ruts and gullies that would test even the most sure-footed mountain goat! Slow and steady won the race today, as the team approached close to 5000m above sea level. On the crest, the team passed a line of cairns, built in memory of Sherpa’s and other climbers who have passed away on various Everest expeditions over the last 50 years. It had to be one of the toughest days the team has endured so far as they prepare their mind, body and spirit for tomorrow’s journey to Everest Base Camp.
Mon. 25 Mar: Excursion to Chhukung (4730m)
Today’s trek involves a more strenuous acclimatisation trek to Chhukung. But it is not all sweat and muscle use, the mountains and glaciers that surround Chhukung on all sides are very impressive. From the towering south face of Lhotse to the north, Island Peak in the centre and the fluted ice walls that line the southern end of the valley, the views are spectacular.
Sun. 24 Mar: Dingboche (4,410m)
Another day of (much appreciated) acclimatisation for the team as they settle at 4,000m above sea level! The team enjoy some free-time and explore what the Village of Dingboche has to offer.
Sat. 23 Mar: Trek to Dingboche (4,410m)
Fri. 22 Mar: Trek to Tengboche (3,860m)
Beyond the 6-7 hours of trekking to Tengboche, team Cure Cancer, will be met at the days end by the most important Buddhist monastery in the Khumbu region. After an ascent through pine forest, black juniper and rhododendron forests, the team arrived at the monestry in the late afternoon. The monastery’s proclamation as a must see, is due to the incredible views of Everest that it boasts and in keeping to the Buddhist philosophy of do no harm, it has become some what of a wildlife refuge.
The team are no doubt feeling the pains of repetitive trekking and relentless cold weather, so it is moments and places like this that remind the team of how mighty and humbling their challenge and contribution to Cure Cancer has been so far!
Thurs. 21 Mar: Namche Bazaar (3,440m)
Team Everest is all about acclimatising today. Instead of a day of shopping for tradtional Chinese-made goods in Namche, the team decided upon the (optional) hike to Everest View Hotel and Khumjung, one of the best preserved Sherpa villages. The walk saw the team at 3, 880m, and whilst cloud blocked their view for most of the morning, the team was surrounded by snow peaked mountains and a slight fall of snow by the afternoon.
The team are expecting a wet day tomorrow, but it’s nothing team Cure Cancer aren’t prepared, ready and excited for!
Wed. 20 Mar: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,440m)
Message and images from Vlada on the Trek for a Cure:
Today, we woke up and repacked our bags to start the trek to Namche Bazaar. Last year it took us around 8 hours to reach Namche Bazaar as we (especially me) started feeling altitude at around 3,000 metres. This time, there were no problems and we arrived after 6 hours of hiking. The last part was quite hard as we had to go almost constantly up and evade yak caravans and quite a few other trekkers.
Another day of adventure is almost over. Tomorrow and the following day, we will spend the night at Namche Bazaar but will go for long walks above Namche to expose ourselves to higher altitudes and let us hike to even higher altitudes. Mountaineers mantra is go high but sleep low.”
“Yesterday we arrived at Phakding and had a lunch. After the lunch, we had a short break and then left to see one Buddhist monastery, which was at around 2,900 meters and was about one hour far to hike.
The monastery was nice and we saw some young students for monks, around 7-10 year olds, who were there and were studying to become Buddhist monks. We gave them some money donations and left back to our overnight accommodation which was funnily called Shangri-La. If you think that we were staying in the luxury accommodation, you are very wrong. It was very basic. But we are not here to enjoy our life in luxury. – Vlada”
Tue. 19 Mar: Fly to Lukla (2,800m) and trek to Phakding (2,650m)
Message and images from Vlada on the Trek for a Cure:
“Just to report that we had early morning flight to Lukla at 6.30am and safely landed at 6.55am. It was a bit bumpy landing but otherwise a good flight.
We met our porters and Lukla crew, repacked our bags, had a quick breakfast and at 8am started trekking. Lukla was at 2,850 meters and we arrived to Phakding, our next destination at 2,650 meters, after 3.5 hours of easy trek. We’ll have lunch and visit a monastery this afternoon. Tomorrow is a very long day of 7-8hrs uphill trekking. We will gain 800metres in altitude as we head to Namche Bazaar (3,400m). – Vlada”
Mon. 18 Mar: Exploring Kathmandu
This morning we received an email from Vlada who is on the ground in Kathmadu. Vlada is part of Team Cure Cancer Everest.
“We arrived in Kathmandu yesterday afternoon. I met the rest of the team in Bangkok where we spent the night. Team Everest consists of Chad from Riverland (SA), Matt from Sydney, Chris from Darwin and myself from Perth. We are really a team that represents all four sides of Australia.
Collectively we’ve raised more than $12,000 for Cure Cancer Australia Foundation, thanks to the great people who have supported us.
The flight from Bangkok to Kathmandu only took 3.5 hours. Things were going well until we got closer to Kathmandu when the pilot advised us that there was congestion for the landing so we had to circle around Kathmandu for 15 minutes.
When we finally landed, we were met with our guide Tashi Sherpa and we were take to our hotel in a small van. We had a chance to refresh and unpack before we met Tashi for a briefing about the trek.
For dinner, we went to a famous authentic Nepalese restaurant where we tried some of local cuisine and local drinks (including Raksi, a rice-based spirit, as well as Everest Beer). We were also able to enjoy traditional songs and dances. At the end of the musical performance, diners were invited to join in with their traditional dances. We managed to persuade Chad to join in and I think the people of Kathmandu will talk about his exceptional performance and white hairy legs for weeks to come!
Today we are heading out to explore Kathmandu and purchase some last minute items for out trek. It will be very long day but we are looking forward to the journey ahead. Stay tuned… Vlada”
Sun. 17 Mar: arrival in Kathmandu
Today team Cure Cancer Australia will be arriving in Kathmandu after transitting in Bangkok. They will have time to rest or explore the city as they mentally prepare for the Everest Base Camp trek which commences on Tuesday. Tomorrow they will continue their exploration of Nepal’s capital with an in-depth day tour.
Fri. 15 Mar: One more sleep…
Tomorrow our Trek for a Cure departs! The team will head to Kathmandu via Bangkok, arriving on Sunday. On Tuesday the real adventure begins. Team Cure Cancer will fly to the airstrip that Sir Edmund Hillary and the sherpas built in the 1960′s. Stay tuned…
Sat. 9 Mar: One week to go!
— Cure Cancer Aust (@CureCancerAust) March 9, 2013
ABOUT CURE CANCER AUSTRALIA FOUNDATION & TREK FOR A CURE
Since being conquered by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953, Everest has become the ultimate goal for mountaineers. For the rest of us, taking the historic route to the Base Camp is a more achievable dream. The Trek for a Cure: Everest Challenge not only fulfils this dream but it also helps fund cancer research that can save millions of lives.
While challenging, with its high altitudes and at time difficult terrain, the trek to the Everest Base Camp (5,360m) and nearby Kala Patthar (5,540m) offers a chance to walk among some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery.
Credits: Thanks to Vlada for providing us with updates and images from the Trek for a Cure: Everest Base Camp 2013.
- Destination in profile: Everest Base Camp
“It is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Hands down.” Kyle Taylor, Inspired Adventures tour leader and seasoned traveller
At 3:37pm on the 16th of February 2012, the first ever Inspired Adventures Team Everest took their first steps on Everest Base Camp, reaching 5,350 metres. They had walked across a completely frozen lake before the path ascended, descended, ascended, descended, and ascended again, following a very narrow ridge with sheer drops on both sides. The final stretch was a steep descent into Base Camp, having passed 5,400 metres on their approach. Eight days in with four to go, it was clear that this is truly the adventure of a lifetime.
The Inspired Adventures Everest Base Camp charity challenge is a 21-day journey deep into the heart of Nepal. After a few days to rest and prepare in Kathmandu, it’s onward to Lukla to begin the 12-day trek, stopping each night in a local teahouse for food and sleep. A mainly carbohydrate-based diet, meals are complimented by delicious lemon and mint tea. The higher you trek the colder it becomes, making that down jacket and four-season sleeping bag all the more cosy. Eight days to Base Camp and four days back to Lukla, the trekking is of moderate difficulty with altitude, cold weather, and duration being the biggest challenges.
The Himalayas are spectacular – perhaps the most beautiful, untouched place on earth. You will trek through pine forests and glacial moraines, Tibetan market towns and traditional Sherpa villages, the whole way with the stunning Himalayas as your backdrop.
Our adventures are specifically designed for people who are relatively fit and willing to train. While no mountaineering experience is required for Everest Base Camp, a good level of physical fitness is essential. This is a strenuous climb and the better prepared you are, the more you will enjoy it. We take things slowly and steadily, enjoying the changing scenery and views. This will help you acclimatise better, helping to make you stronger for your final trek to the summit.
Are you up for the ultimate adventure of a lifetime? Join the Cure Cancer team In March 2013 or Climb-it for Climate for Australian Youth Council Coalition (AYCC) in September 2013 (details to be announced). Call the Inspired Adventures team on 1300 905 188 to get more details and register now!
- Trekking for a cure: Everest Base Camp 2012
By Wendy Hoddinett, Inspired Adventures participant
Snow is lashing at your face, it’s minus 25 degrees Celsius, the wind is roaring past at 100 kilometres per hour, your mind is starting to play tricks on you and your legs are screaming at you to stop because they’ve been trekking for eight days straight. This was the reality of arriving at Everest Base Camp in Nepal in February.
Why would someone sign up for this unique form of torture? Or more strangely, why would a typical office-working, 31-year-old Sydneysider with no trekking experience sign up?
A huge variety of reasons brought our group of 10 to this adventure. Each of us were united by the charity that we were supporting: Cure Cancer Foundation Australia. We had all been impacted in some way by cancer and wanted to do something – BIG – to help raise funds for cancer research.
And trekking to Base Camp is one big challenge.
The group first meet in Bangkok and are a mixture of ages from 24 upwards with three girls and seven guys undertaking Cure Cancer’s first journey to EBC.
We arrive in Kathmandu where the next day is spent exploring the city, visiting temples and historic sites, shopping for cool knick-knacks and buying last minute gear – or in the case of two of our trekkers, buying ALL your gear (not recommended).
Day three arrived and it’s trek time! After a 4am wake up call, we grab our gear and jump into the minibus to head to Kathmandu Domestic Airport where we would wait. And wait … and wait. For three days to be exact. Bad weather and fog meant our Tara Air Twin Otter plane couldn’t take off – or more importantly land at Lukla airport, home to possibly the world’s scariest runway. We amused ourselves by playing cards, reading, eating anything that came out of a box (and some dodgy airport restaurant momo dumplings) and playing pranks on each other, in particular our team leader Kyle who had the ability to sleep anywhere.
After three days of airport delays it was time to call in the helicopters. Tashi (our Sherpa extraordinaire who seems to know everyone in Nepal) arranged for us to charter two choppers to Lukla that afternoon. Three hours later we had arrived at the start of our adventure.
Ahead of us awaited 12 days of trekking over 150 kilometres, with 50 hours spent at an altitude of over 5000 metres. It would take us eight days to reach Base Camp. Not for the fainthearted.
The challenge with altitude is that you don’t know if you’re going to suffer the symptoms. It became obvious pretty soon to some of the group that altitude wasn’t going to play nice. But you learn quickly on a trip like this to take the good with the bad and just keep moving on.
The team spirit really kicked in during the tough parts of the trek: particularly during the gruelling three hours uphill to Namche Bazaar, the long winding road up to Tengboche, the climb from Thukla to Lobuche and the final push to Base Camp and back to Gorak Shep. It was during these times that brought out the best in everyone. Some of us needed the motivation while others were brilliant at offering the encouragement. As Tashi would often remind us, completing the trek is 60% mental and 40% physical.
So what were the highlights? Of course, arriving at Base Camp – for a few there were tears, but the sense of pride of what we had achieved was felt by everyone. It was also special to share that time with the group, our sherpas and porters as no other trekkers were at Base Camp as the main season hadn’t yet begun.
The Himalayas are also stunningly beautiful no matter where you are above sea level. From the soaring snow-capped mountains that neighbour Everest, to lush forests, roaring rivers, swinging suspension bridges lined with prayer flags, the eerie landscapes above the tree line at Dingboche and the winter wonderland that arrives in the final days you close in on Base Camp.
The friendships formed also stand out. Our group hit the jackpot in terms of the people who signed up for the challenge. The sense of ‘team’ and looking out for each other was evident in everything we did. We also enjoyed the quiet times getting to know each other in the tea houses hanging out by the fire. These friendships formed will hopefully last for years if not a lifetime.
So what unleashed the mental toughness in all? The high-carb, ‘yellow’ food all the way up the mountain made it tough to eat the huge number of calories we were required to consume each day. This was harder still for team members who lost their appetite, felt nauseous or had a headache due to altitude. Some of us also had to deal with bouts of gastro. We also didn’t have access to showers for 12 days, and trekked and slept in sub-zero temperatures.
What was surprising was how quickly you adjust to being out of your comfort zone. You learn to deal with the lack of running water and toilet situations. Your body also quickly adapts to trekking each day and learns to deal with the inevitable aches and pains. You will come home with an appreciation for running water, your heater and generally how amazing your body is to have taken you the distance. You also get through each day just by reminding yourself why you’re there – you’re doing it for Cure Cancer.
So why sign up? Because it will be life changing. It will also probably be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but the risk is worth it as the rewards are great. Best of all, by challenging yourself to complete an experience such as this, you’ll have also helped others – and who knows, it could be from the funds that you raised that helps find the cure for cancer.
- Cure Cancer's Team Everest Heads Back To Oz!
After three weeks in Nepal trekking, being cold, and eating yellow food, this team is headed back to Oz! We are looking forward to fresh food, paved roads, and 24-hour hot water. Last night we had a brilliant final dinner at one of Kathmandu’s most delicious restaurants. We said our farewells to our brilliant Nepalese guide – Tashi (T-Bone), reflected on the brilliance of our accomplishment, and were given a traditional scarf signifying good luck and good fortune. It was a classy (and delicious) end to the experience of a lifetime.
As we now spend 36 hours getting back to Oz, please enjoy some of the finest landscape shots we captured on our adventure. One final shout out to Cure Cancer Australia Foundation and for the last time this trip, GO TEAM!
- Our Lungs Open, Our Appetites Return, & We "Get Our Bodies Back"
Without question, the mental game on a challenge like this is focused 100% on “getting there.”. Getting back, however, is something you don’t really focus on until after your mission has been accomplished. For us, the “getting back” was FOUR MORE 6-7 HOUR DAYS of extremely undulating terrain. Just because we were descending did not mean we were actually walking downhill all day!
Fortunately, the further from Everest we got, the warmer it became. While the days continued to be difficult, the overall trajectory was downward, dropping anywhere from 600 meters to 1000 meters.
First, we could actually breathe again! The headache that Boo (Emma) and I had had for nearly four days slowly dissolved. Second, (some of) our appetites came back. Chook (Paul) only wanted tuna and cheese toasties (which he ate exclusively for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) but my goodness was he craving them. Wu (Wendy) and Stav (Steve) turned to each other at dinner and said “I am hungry” for the first time in a week. Third, our bodies slowly began to feel like ours again. This was especially true for Jazz, who was literally wilting away after a week-long out-of-body experience when the appetite disappeared, the altitude stressed, and the weather chilled to the bone. ”I’m back,” she said proudly yesterday morning.
And now here we are, sat in Lukla some two weeks after setting off having covered more than 155 kilometers (100 miles) by foot at extreme altitude in severe weather conditions. We have grown icicles on our cheeks, we have lost weight, we have eaten excessive amounts of yellow food, and we have pushed ourselves to the absolute limit. We haven’t showered or even seen running water for TWELVE DAYS. No indoor heating, no indoor plumbing, and no fresh fruit or veg. It took a helicopter to get us here! J-Rod (Jarrod) has eaten 126 eggs. Yes, 126 eggs!
Somehow, despite the incredible odds, we made it to Everest Base Camp and that is something that can never be taken away from us. We made it because we stayed positive. We made it because there was something larger than ourselves about the whole experience, having fundraised tens of thousands of dollars for Cure Cancer Australia Foundation. We made it because we were truly a team.
As I continue to say, this element of camaraderie and team spirit is probably my favorite aspect of our Inspired Adventures. You can take 10 near strangers, chuck them in a foreign land together, and within days they will think like a team, act like a family, and joke like lifelong friends. It is truly life-changing.
So then, why not find the perfect Inspired Adventure of your own for Cure Cancer Australia Foundation? Whether you are young or old, a fitness fanatic or wanting to get exercising, the adventure of a lifetime is always a good idea, don’t you think? Find out more at: http://www.inspiredadventures.com.au/curecancer