EVEREST- That Changed my life
Everest climbing has changed my life and this is a proud Nepali talking. Born and bread in Nepal before i moved out in sydney, I had dream to climb Everest even just for once and always loved travelling and used to travel. My definition of travel is not just cover the long distance destination but to enjoy the process. Every single step towards your destiny is a new story which we write them in our memory and this feeling has created wanderlust in me for travel. Exploring new grounds, learning new cultures, making new friends had carved me to be who i am today and added bricks of emotion, feeling of compassionate and thankful for my life i live in. I knew my passion of travelling and exploring the place was never ending up and decided to take my passion in professional path. In 2016, I teamed up 2 friends with whom we start the travel venture, “Travel Adventure Nepal” to showcase Nepal through our eyes to travellers. At the mean time, I got on to the next group of five to travel towards Everest Base Camp for an extreme adventure.
Sydney to EVEREST BASE CAMP
Finally the day arrived for my departure to Everest Base Camp. I was super excited as this 20 days of break will includes 15 days trek towards the Everest Base Camp and five days to visit my hometown Chitwan and spend some time with my parents. We had an evening flight to Kathmandu from Sydney on China Southern Airlines. The next day on 7th May at around 10.45am when Captain announced the delays in landing time by more than half an hour in kathmandu, my heart just sank and heartbeat could have heard from outside. The aircraft circled few rounds around Kathmandu valley over the mountain waiting for the clearance. I could also see another flight hovering just below our flight from the window and this was not helping me calm my nerves at all. (The issue was we got clarified later on that the Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu closes its service from 10pm to 8am for Runway maintenance which delayed the aircraft landing times created and traffic build ups in the sky). Although i was scared to death at that moment I couldn't help myself enjoying the panoramic mesmerizing view of Himalayas in northern side of valley. Landing was made prior to reschedule time. We then met with our Destination Management Company team members and Photography team in Kathmandu and were ready to commence our journey to Himalayas.
The Very next day, we drove from Kathmandu to Manthali, Ramechhap. During the run way maintenance all flights to Lukla from Kathmandu was diverted from Manthali to Lukla. We had early morning flight to Lukla from manthali today. At this stage I was thinking of Lukla Airport, The Most Dangerous Airport in world. I was already scared with lots of Crash news in Lukla and now I was flying to same destination. We were only 6 members in flight, 1 Air Hostess and 2 Pilots. Small Twin otter plane from where you can have clear view of Cockpit. Flight was ready to take off. It was not that scary during the take off but after 8 minutes of flight there was a Strong Turbulence and I could feel like the plane was moving like ferry in Sydney. With those terrifying moments, I was just praying for safe landing and I realised the plane has touched the runway without descending the Altitude. Safe landing was made and I really feel proud of myself when I came out of Plane.
We met our trekking support team in Lukla and had breakfast. We then started our journey together to Everest Base Camp. For first 3 hours we walk through the trail via pine and cedar wood forest along Dudhkoshi River. As we had late breakfast that day we decided to have lunch in Phakding which was our Overnight stop as well. Next day we set for long trek to Namche. Stroll via stony trail, crossing over suspension bridge and sometime ascending and some time descending, our trek to Namche was just amazing. I still remember the straight ascending trail before Namche was very hard for me. But I was motivated seeing the locals carrying Gas cylinders and others stuffs to Namche. They do those things every single day. Thanks to my porter who reach Namche before us, leave the duffle bag in hotel and again came back to carry my Day bag. Reaching upon Namche, I could feel refreshing breeze of air flowing from high KONDGE Mountain.
We reached hotel, had some boiled potatoes with smashed green chilly; I feel like “if i could heaven tastes it would be something like this”. After some funny gossips together we set down for Dinner which was Nepali local food- DAL BHAT (Rice, Lentils and Curry). I learn new word from my photographer friend SHUTTER PSYCHO- “DAL BHAT POWER 24 HOUR, NO TOILET NO SHOWER STILL SMELLS LIKE ROSE FLOWER”. That was really funny.
Next Day was our Acclimatization Day in Namche. We trail up to Khumjung at 3,859m, reach to Everest View hotel where we were expecting to see first view of Everest but due to cloudy weather we didnt have a clear view. Still the excitement level was in high oozing our through in my expressive facial emotions. The only thing disturbed me was the very high numbers of Helicopter flying in Sky. Sometimes I was thinking, these technologies has given the facilities makes life easier but eventually shaded the traditional values in Dark. I was thinking of those potters, guides and locals who relies on trekkers travelling in Everest working hard to make money and run daily life but the helicopter tours has reduced the trekkers ratio at current stage. So with these thoughts I continued my journey around the khumjung valley. Returning back to Namche, we stroll around Namche Bazaar where I was strike by Single thought- THIS IS JUST LIKE everywhere else, if YOU HAVE MONEY YOU HAVE EVERYTHING. Credit Card facilities, Branded Clothing Showroom, International types Restaurant and many more. We then return back to Hotel, eat our DAL BHAT again and went to Bed.
Another Day, we start our hike to reach Tengboche at the height of 3,860m. The first 1 hour trail was just awesome. Simply Nepalese flat trail, with magical view of Rhododendron forest were kind and Bright. After lunch, my brother showed me the height of tengboche and the trail and I felt as i wouldnt make it. But the first view of AMA DABLAM Mountain from the trail gave me strength to walk as my guide told me meaning of AMA DABLAM. AMA means Mother and DABLAM means Diamond in Neck. Mother with Diamond in Neck holding the glacier. With 10% battery left in my body to walk, we finally reach Tengboche and had Boiled Potato with smashed Green Chilly.
Next Day before starting trail, my brother showed me destination for the day which looked far more difficult and away than previous one. We had to reach Dingboche at the height of 4,410m and which was at the corner of last visible mountain ridge. But this trail was even more beautiful with mesmerizing view of AMA DABLAM and closer to our eyes.
After having lunch in Orsho, the hardest straight climbing starts here. Again, my funny brother told me all those heights we crossed till now were Nepalese flat, now this is a real height. We had target to reach Dingboche before 2 pm as the weather forecast was showing snow rain. Nearly at around 1.15pm, snow starts to fall but we continue our journey as we were prepared for every worst senario and condition. Reaching Upon Dingboche was like reaching milestone.Next day was our acclimatization day. We reach up to Nangkar Tshang at the height of 5,616m from where the best view of Makalu, Lhotse and many more snow capped mountain were visible. We return to our base after acclimatization and prepared for the next day hiking schedule. At this time, i had mild head ache which was symptom of Altitude Sickness. I slept that after having garlic soup for dinner.
Today we start our hike to Lobuche which was at the height of 4,910m. The trail from Dinboche to Lobuche was very rough trail with a rocky trail. There is very thin level of Air flow and no vegetation in the area.
My headache was started to worsen and finding it hard to walk so i took time to walk. The time when we reached to Lobuche, I felt sick and had to throw up. My team members realized now i was having1 Mountain Sickness. Firstly, I drank the Garlic Soup and took DIAMOX (Medicine for Acute Mountain Sickness). I was not feeling well to eat food, but my team members were not letting me to sleep without having food. So i ate noodles and went to Sleep. I still remember all my team members were gathering around me till mid night reparing for worst. Around 10 pm i vomited again. This time i was losing my body oxygen level too. My brother checks my Oxygen level with Oximeter which was showing 45 which is well below average. Normally, to survive in mountain our body needs minimum 67% of oxygen in body. I then started losing my consciousness and vision. I could see my team members very blurry and could not remember anything after that. The very next day when I wake up I realized that I was brought down already at night. My brother, my guide brought me down to Pheriche at the height of 4,270m. I was looking for my other team members but weren’t there. My brother told me they went to Base Camp to complete trek with Banner of Travel Adventure Nepal. I had a very emotional moment at that time when i heard this. Thank you SHUTTER PSYCHO and team members for takong our dream to Everest and my brother to stay back for me to save my Life. Later, I heard that 10 trekkers had died at same place due to severe mountain sickness. I realized I won the war against the Death. I wouldn’t be here writing this story if my team members werent there with me at that time and had taken necessary action to save my Life. I got back my new life in Everest. Thank you all my team members for the support and dedication and a very professional Job. We 3 members then walked down to Pangboche to the height of 3,930m. We were still unknown about our remaining team members who were in Everest Base camp as there aren't any mobile network. They surprised us the same evening when they came to hotel agter sucessful trip to the Everest base camp. The day they went to Base camp, they had planned to stay in Thokla at height of 4,620m. But they walk whole day to reach to us which is pretty impossible for any trekkers. They walked from Everest Base Camp (5,364m) to Pangboche(3,930m) without stopping for 11 hours. Hats Off to the team.
Next day we slowly returned to our starting point of our Trek, walked for two days descending and we reach Lukla. I heart was full of mixed emotions and times it gets heavy too. I wasn't feeling bad about not reaching Everest Base Camp but was about the time for depart and leaving my team members. They proved themselves to be Real Friends to me rather than Team members. We did farewell program in Lukla on our last day of trek. I will never forget the very next day when we were departing to Manthali from Lukla, all of our trek support team members had tears in their Eyes. With heavy heart and eyes full of tears, we departed promising to meet again. This Trip has brought lots of Changes in my life. Getting a second chance to live life again is already a big gift for me. I realized nothing is important in life than friends and families. I learned to prioritised happiness rather than sadness, ego and anger. Nothing last forever but The only thing you need till the end is your family, your friend and peace of mind when we depart from this world. Thank you EVEREST for New life and enlightenment.