Monday, September 11, 2017
Everest trek is always interesting, new experiences, challenging, & hard as well. As a guide I have been facing so many experiences. Sometimes, people get so excited & cry; sometime they can’t climb on this altitude & get sick then cry. There are always two different causes to cry on mountain. One; they are happy, other; they can’t do it.
Here I am talking about Gokyolake trek. I forgot the year, it should in 2010, I had Hungarian Doctors group for Gokyo lake trek. Actually, they had come to Nepal for seminar in Tilganga Eye Hospital. I think they were eye specialist. All they were women, they had booked Gokyo lake trek after their seminar.
We flew to Lukla, & started to trek. They were old women, we had slow & gentle pace. I had hired porters from Lukla. One of the Sherpa porters was very experienced, hardworking & helpful. We stopped two nights in Namche Bazar & climbed to Gokyo trail. This day became very interesting, terrible, & unforgettable as well. There is one point named Lausasa, from here; one trail to go EBC & one goes to Gokyo Lake. It is steep climb from this place to Fungi Danda. Our porters were ahead then us on this uphill. We met them closed top, unluckily, Sherpa porter was vomiting frequently. We always fear from vomiting in this altitude but it is not normal for him because he was okay in this morning & he is very experienced porter for this area. Of course he was Sherpa from this region. It is not altitude sickness.
We stopped on the top of hill. There are a couple of teahouses as well. We were in doctors’ group, they tested blood pressure, eye pressure, and everything was perfect. They gave him some energy drinks. I was quite worry, I talked to my boss in Kathmandu. He asked me his name, age & address for insurance. I think there was no insurance till that time. I asked to him to stop here or to go back to Namche Bazar. But he refused & said, I am not sick, I encountered to ghost in Lausasa. Ghost made me sick, down there is a witch doctor, he will make me okay. I was worried, there were others porters too but to send him back alone is not good idea. If other porter goes with him, two porters baggage will be problem for us. But Sherpa carried his bag pack & trekked down to Fortse Thanga.
We stopped in Fortse Thanga for lunch. There was a cook who was witch doctor too. We asked to him to make Sherpa okay. I was bit shy from our doctors group because they were medical doctors & we are getting treatment from witch doctor. It was shame for us. No, one of the Hungarian doctors asked me to do same thing what we were doing. She said, she also know that idea & it works very easily too. He has everything okay, there should be something nature affection. She asked to him lay down on bench. She didn’t touch but did as like our witch doctor. She said, he will be okay after 15 minutes.
Actually, I was surprised to see that an eye specialist doctor was practicing as a witch doctor. I stopped to Sherpa porter in lunch place. Other porters helped to carry his bag pack. I suggested to him stay an overnight at Fortse Thanga because he didn’t want to go back. We trekked to Dhole for the overnight. I was worried about porter; it was hard to get new porter in this remote area. This trail was not that busy otherwise sometimes we could meet some porters.
Sherpa porter came in next day early in the morning & he was quite okay. It was surprised for us, he would believe in ghost & our doctor too then he became okay. It was coincident or what was? He trekked all the way to Gokyo & on the top of the Gokyo Ri without any problem again.
One of the doctor/she was witch doctor too, she was crying on the way to Gokyo Ri. First I got confused & thought maybe she is sick or couldn’t walk. No! She was crying because it was too beautiful in the morning with Mt. Everest view & others gorgeous view. It was new for me someone is crying with nature’s beauty. It was unforgettable trip ever.
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
The guide was a drunkard; I also used drink lot in the early 20s. We would get free "Raksi” local alcohol in the most of the guest houses. I think we didn't pay for Raksi. Most of the guides & porters would drink in this area. This trekking area is safe to drink. If you go Annapurna Circuit Trek, & Everest base camp trek, normally they don't drink. Guides & porters are very careful in Everest region but they drink in Annapurna region because here no high altitude risk. You should not trek in very high altitude area in Annapurna region.
So, we would drink every single evening, most of the guest houses, & lodges used to offer Raksi. I think it was their competition, & business policy too. There was an event in Chhomrong, we also went there & participated in the cultural program. We are rich in culture; we have our own singing, 7 dancing number. We have duet song, especially, questioning, & answering by singing. We sang the song almost the whole night. You can imagine, you are trekking every day & singing a whole night with alcohol & not sleeping.
It was a nice night but next two days were absolutely not beautiful nights. After two days, we reached to Annapurna base camp. Unluckily, I got a worse headache in base camp & I couldn't eat anything, couldn't sleep the whole night. It was hangover then high altitude, & carrying a bag-pack. I was weak, tired, & sick on the way back till Pokhara. So this Annapurna base camp trek is memorable for me. I learned that we should not drink in trekking.
There was another story in Chhomrong before going to base camp; one of the Guide named Sange was sick, he was frequently vomiting, & not eating anything. I think he was sick before starting this trek. He was vomiting blood, guest house owner & local people rescued him by carrying in next morning to Pokhara. It was sad news, he passed away when we came back to Chhomrong after Annapurna base camp. It made us upset. I always have that scene he is climbing up to Gurung hill after Gorepani.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Everest is not only a mountain it is head of earth. Everest base camp is its one part. People want to go base camp because it is there. I had a dream to touch it. I was born in a mountain area of Nepal and taught in school about Mt Everest. Usually, we would read it in Nepali name “Sagarmatha”. “Sagar” means sky & “ Matha” means head so it can be said sky-touching head.
When I finished my school & came to Kathmandu for university it was a big challenge for me. My parents did not have any income to afford me so I should do something to survive in Kathmandu. I tried to get a job in Kathmandu but it was not easy. Many people were unemployed; if you have your own closed-one then there is a chance to get a job even in any sector in Nepal. I was from very poor & uneducated family. One of my brothers was struggling in Kathmandu so he couldn’t support to me. I had to work to live & study. Four-years, I couldn’t find any things. One day I met one trekking guide, he offered me to go trekking as a porter.
It was in 2006, I started to carry trekker’s baggage on mountains. It was not easy but I was also from mountain & grown up by climbing on the mountain. Here’s one thing; I used to climb up almost two hours to reach in school & one & half hour to go back home every day in my 11 years school life. So I think I had that habit in blood. I had started to trek by carrying tourist’s bag in Langtang & Annapurna Himalaya area. Tourists would ask about Everest, I knew information about Everest, legendary Sir Edmond Hillary, Tenzing Sherpa & other much more but I had not gone in this majestic land.
In 2008, I got a job to go Everest base camp trek & Island peak climbing as well with two Canadian boys. It was not only base camp trek, we had to cross big pass before base camp named Chola pass. It was so nice, so beautiful, so amazing. I had almost 25 kg bag pack but so much excited to trek in this area. I saw Mt. Everest from the top of Namche bazaar first time in my life. We are Nepali & many others foreign people think we have seen it always but of course many of the Nepali die without seeing it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have any camera, mobile anything in this time. Yes! We didn’t have a mobile phone; it was a very new thing in Nepal. Rich people would have a mobile phone but others would not afford. We trekked to Gokyo Lake Valley; Gokyo Ri 5,360m above sea level was amazing with a 360-degree view including Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Choyu & higher mountain.
We had the plan to go Lobuche, Gorakshep, & Everest base camp after crossing the big Chola pass, unluckily one of our guests got altitude sickness while going to Lobuche from Pass. We changed the plan & trekked down to Thukla. Thukla it was 4600m from sea level. It was better placed to stay overnight. I also had a bit headache after Chola pass but when we stopped in Thukla it went away. Next morning, we went to Everest base camp direct from Thukla. It was amazing, superb & picturesque. We were tired but so much excited. We forgot all the tiredness, sickness, hardness everything. It was my lifetime experienced, achievement. We stayed almost 30 minutes in base camp, it was not busy season so we didn’t see any tents in camp but it was beautiful. We had to go back to Thukla.
It was nice to sleep after base camp in Thukla. Next morning we trekked to Chhukung and prepared for Island Peak climbing. We had an old Sherpa climbing guide. He was a very interesting guide; I learned a lot of things from him. He is already passed away now. We trekked till Island peak high camp. This area was beautiful. I had brought local “Rakasi” alcohol from Chhukung to base camp. The weather was fantastic all the day. I drank it two nights in base camp & high camp. It was so nice.
There was a big problem of drinking water in high camp. All water was frozen; one of the boys from our group had gone to ice fall area to bring water. He had survived from an avalanche while bringing water. Whatever it was a nice area to see Mountain View. Our group submitted successfully and came back to camp in the afternoon.
Then, we trekked down to Lukla within three days. Here we had really boring last trekking day due to heavy drinking in Monjo. Our group was happy after successful trekking & Island peak summit. So one day before Lukla we had big drinking party in the lodge which made one Canadian “Kaput”. We carried him on porters back to Lukla. Anyway, he became okay in Kathmandu after two days & we had indoor rock climbing again.
Now, I have been to Everest base camp more than 50s time. Off course, each & every time I am always excited, some of the things are quite different & changing very fast. Especially, Khumbu Icefall & glacier are disappearing very fast. I will write my experiences frequently what I have seen & felt in this amazing place.
Friday, August 25, 2017
Annapurna region is itself a massive, beautiful, and amazing Himalayan area in Midwest Nepal. Many different trekking trails can be done in this picturesque land. Annapurna Poon Hill Panorama Trek is one of the easiest, most popular, and short trek in Annapurna region.
Annapurna Poon Hill Panorama Trek is designed for those people who have an only short holiday from their work. It can trek within a couple of days. From Kathmandu, flight & ground both transportation are available to go Pokhara to start this trip. Pokhara is a most beautiful touristic city where all type of tourists loves to hang around. 42km from Pokhara after bus, car then it can be started to trek.
However, there is a bumpy road till Hile-Tikhedhunga nowadays. Tikhedhunga can be for the first night with local tradition in a simple lodge. The second day is really hard in starting due to a steep ascent to Ulleri village. There are two different suspension bridges just in Tikhedhunga & than vertical climb up with 3200 steps to Ulleri. After this village, the trail is gradual up into a forested area till to Ghorepani.
Ghorepani is most beautiful mountain settlement on the top of the hill. It was cattle shed in past time for a local shepherd. Later on, it became a camping site for trekkers in 70s/80s. It was the popular camp site for tourists till 90s & local people started to build tea houses from late 90s. Now, it is full of nice lodges & guest houses.
Poon Hill is a famous for sun rising view. Three different highest mountains ranges are seen from this place including Mt. “Dhaulagiri” 8167m 7th highest, Mt. “Manaslu” 8163m 8th highest, and Mt. “Annapurna I” 8091m 10th highest in the world & other many more mountains with its 6000/7000m height.
Actually, “Poon” name is an ethnic group name from Magar ethnic, Poon people live around this mountain. The name of Poon Hill from this ethnic group, they are very gentle, honest, hardworking, and brave. They are popular in Gurkha army of British & Indian force.
Trekking to Ghandruk through all Rhododendron forest after stunning sun rising view from Poon Hill. Ghandruk, other village populated by Gurung ethnic who really famous for Gurkha soldier. They have their own language, dress code, culture, & custom.
Finally, Annapurna Poon Hill Panorama Trek ends Nayapul again where it is started but there is a road to ride bus nearby Ghandruk village. Bus/car drives to Pokhara & overnight, then another following day brings to you in Kathmandu by bus or flight.