Claire Burgess’s Blog

On the Path to Base Camp

Posted in Claire Burgess, Everest, Nepal, Travel by Claire Burgess on June 13, 2010

Here is the next instalment from my trip to Everest Base Camp.

Thursday 13th May- Day 4

We left Namche to go to Tengboche which is 9Km away. The route started fairly steeply but I’m starting think the start of the day is always like this. The path seemed to wind around and in between the nearby Mountains. As we followed the path we came across the men who maintain the Everest path. We saw them re-building parts of it which looked like hard work so made some donations.

It was the most beautiful day today and we all started chatting about what it would feel like if we made it to Base Camp. It seemed so strange, the amount of people who had probably walked the path before us but it made it all the more mysterious that I didn’t know anyone who had been to Base Camp. We had met people along the way but I didn’t actually KNOW them. It made everything much more exciting.

After Lunch (and being locked in the squat toilet by Rob, the class clown of the group) we made our way up. It was the same steep path as yesterday but somehow not as hard.  I just took my time and listened to my music even though that meant that sometimes the rest of the group were 10  minutes ahead and I was walking alone with Dawa. It was all very relaxed and so I didn’t really mind.

Dawa said today he thinks I will make it. But I don’t know at this point if I will. I guess I will just have to see how it goes. I keep trying to remind myself that it’s meant to be hard otherwise everyone would do it.

We got here this afternoon and are now at 3867m with 60% Oxygen. It’s started to make me out of breath if I climb the stairs at the Tea House too fast. So much so it makes me feel like my heart is going to burst out of my chest. There is a temple here right next to the Tea lodge and we went to the afternoon ceremony although I have to be honest and say it was so relaxing in there after such a long day listening to the Monks chanting was sending me to sleep.

Everyone is really sleepy but we have been advised not to sleep until tonight. It’s so hard because I love a good nap at the best of times, but I need one even more when we are walking these kinds of distances. It got cold too and we just sat around the fire chatting. Oh and tonight I have definitely got a room with a view. Out of the window I can see Everest!

On my ipod- Blur- The Universal

To Namche Bazzar

Posted in Claire Burgess, Everest, Nepal, Travel by Claire Burgess on June 7, 2010

Namche Bazzar

This is what happened when I went on a trek to Everest Base Camp.

11th May 2010 – Day 2

This morning we got up a little later at 6.30am and wasn’t in pain like I expected. Today we set off on a 6 hour trek to Namche Bazzar which is at 344meters above sea level and 9km away from Phakding.

In my head this didn’t sound far but as soon as we started walking it was clear today was going to be a tough day. We were going up hill lots and although I did start using walking poles today, I have never used walking poles before and started with them too long. This meant going uphill was so hard. Once someone pointed this out things were much easier. Still tough though and to be honest I couldn’t really keep up too well. I felt a lot of pressure to go quickly because we were walking as a group of 12 plus the guides and I felt like people stuck behind me wanted me to go quicker. This made it really hard to get into the rhythm of walking.  But our guide Dawa told me that I would find the hills much easier if I took things slowly. Things are much more difficult because of the reduced oxygen  levels and when we are going uphill it makes you feel really out of breath.

One of the other trekkers, Nick, who has a fair bit of trekking experience told me I would find things easier if I just stopped thinking. This was amazing advice. I just put my iPod on and kept on going slowly, only stopping to let Sherpa’s carrying massive loads of bags or wood or even Yaks carrying trekkers bags.  I really don’t know how the Sherpa’s do it. Some of them don’t even have proper walking shoes just trainers and are only paid around 1000RPS per day which is around £10. This is nothing in comparison to the work that they do carrying heaving loads strapped to their backs up the steep paths.

The paths have some amazing views. I really like when we go over the long bridges which cross the valley because there is an amazing breeze as you cross although it does get a little scary because they are so high.

Today was definitely a very difficult day. My heart was beating so fast at times that I struggled to catch my breath and by the time we reached Namche tonight I was about ready to fall down. I’m a little worried as this isn’t even the longest day of walking. Base Camp seems like such a long way away.  Namche Bazzar is full of trekkers. Lots of them are either on the way to Base Camp or on their way back.  This is the place en-route where you can hire things like sleeping bags and buy food supplies.

My Ipod is really keeping me going so I will put in the posts which song has really helped today.

On My iPod – Frank Turner – The Road