After two days acclimatizing in Namche Bazar, we headed off on the long and challenging paths to Debouche (3770m). During the walk, we passed by the beautiful Tengboche Buddhist monastery. It is hard to describe how amazing it was to see the monastery, with the jaw-dropping background of the Himalayan mountains including Ama Dablam and Mount Everest in view.
After one night in Dibuche, we were up early to get to Dingboche (4410m). Again, another challenging hike but super rewarding. Once in Dingboche, I could continue using Microsoft teams comfortably with local wi-fi services.
We opted to eat the same cuisine as the Sherpas as they claim it’s got special ingredients to give them the Sherpa Power! These guys are super strong and fit, so of course we listened!
The following morning, we were straight on the trail to Lobuche 4900m. The trek is starting to get quite tough with the altitude but, the steps we are taking are slower. The accommodation is also becoming more basic the further along the trail we go. However, this portion of the summit was a great opportunity to see the Lobuche mountain we planned to climb on the return from Everest Base Camp.
The nights are also becoming harder to sleep as the altitude starts to affect your sleep but eventually we get a few hours!
We were then awake at 4 am to head straight to Gorak Shep (5150m) where we will have breakfast before the final two hour hike to Everest itself!!
Once we arrived at Gorak Shep, my dad who tagged along was really feeling the altitude but decided, after coming this far he had to make Everest! We had an hour’s rest and off we went for the final leg of the journey to Base Camp.
Surprisingly, it is noticeable the number of people on the trails is much lower than in earlier days. I read only 60% of people actually complete the trek, so I’m guessing this is the reason for the lower numbers.
After the final two hours of the trek it was time to celebrate reaching Everest Base Camp. This is something I have previously only dreamed of and it was now a reality!
After spending an hour soaking up the view, we headed back to Gorak Shep. We planned to stay here one night before heading back to Lobuche village for the final climb!
My dad was adamant he had to get to Everest despite a few symptoms of altitude creeping, which gradually got worse as he really started to deteriorate. He was adamant he was going to be okay but clearly, he was not recognising the seriousness of his symptoms. As well as this, it was getting late and if we needed him to be rescued from Gorak Shep, it had to be done soon otherwise it would have been too dark and cloudy.
His symptoms included all the ones associated with HAPE/severe high altitude sickness… the cold weather also taking its toll on him and Gorak Shep was forecast to hit lows of -15!
After discussing with the Sherpa, the decision was made to get a helicopter rescue back to Kathmandu.
Within 25 minutes a helicopter was here picking us up and the journey back to Luckla was mind-blowing! The clouds forming in the valley meant that the pilot was looking for gaps to fly under whilst keeping tight to the valley.
We spent one night in Luckla which is over 2000m in altitude which straight away made my dad more comfortable but still clearly struggling!
In the morning it was straight to Kathmandu via helicopter. My dad has been cared for at a fantastic international hospital where he was diagnosed with severe high altitude sickness, fluid on the lungs and infection of the throat. It just shows how dangerous climbing at altitude can be! Ensuring you are working with a reputable company, like seven summit treks, who can arrange quick and efficient rescues is a key factor of the expeditions!
Thanks to the quick action of Seven Summit Treks and the amazing specialists at the hospital in Kathmandu, he is on the mend and feeling much better which is great news!
Obviously, this means Lobuche East had been put on hold until another time but I certainly plan to come back and climb it! Unfinished business!
In terms of Microsoft Teams, I’ve been fully using it throughout the Everest Base Camp to the highest point of 5300m and in most places, it worked perfectly fine! I’ve also used it extensively in Kathmandu keeping in touch with family, work and also Qatar airlines rearranging flights. Maybe this is an unofficial record at 5300m!?
Finally, we have been unable to visit the Kidasha charity due to unforeseen circumstances. However, I encourage you to check their website and discover the amazing work they do. Every penny raised really does go to the front line and helps children who live in poverty within Nepal. I hope to continue raising money for their amazing cause!