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Kathmandu to Everest BC
We drive from Kathmandu to Everest Base Camp
The first part of Everest is getting there...
10 April 2011 - arrival in Kathmandu
We assembled as a team, although a few people arrived several days early. Grant and Stephanie, newly married, took a mountain flight and trip to Nagarkot. Thanks to Ken, especially, for buying, and transporting some new radio equipment for us.
11-12 April - in Kathmandu
By showing our passports, our Chinese visa was issued, although in fact the visa process was started more than a month earlier. We kicked back in Kathmandu, buying last minute gear and enjoying a bunch of meals together. Ismail bought Everest boots, down suit, sleeping bag and other gear, and with a bit of work we managed to get Bakcell logo patches made.
13 April - drive Zhangmu
Finally we set off, on a rainy morning to the border. On the Nepal side our company rep checked us out of Nepal, they are so relaxed that we didn't even have to show our faces. Entering China was a different matter though, lining up three times in the order we are written out in our group visa, and having to completely empty our bags. Strict controls, but no problem, and thanks to Tsering who handled the paperwork.
Our Chinese sim cards all worked, even my one from last year, even if the 3G services are not so fast on most of our sims. The Project Himalaya email and website are blocked though. Gmail isn't, and my (Jamie's) account worked immediately.
Thanks to Dorje, we were given the best rooms in the hotel too, and the restaurant didn't poison us, so all in all, a trouble-free Zhangmu stay.
14 April - drive Nyalam
It is only an hour or so's drive to Nyalam, climbing up through the most amazing gorge, but mostly cloudy this time. Instead of Landcruisers, we have an brand new Ford Transit van for us, driven by Shauli, a driver I have known for years. He now says the road to Lhasa and Kailash are so good, Landcruisers are no longer needed. Certainly it is a surprisingly comfortable vehicle, and the turbo propels up faster up the long hills than the standard Landcruisers.
The new hotel has great rooms, fine cotton sheets and warm quilts, although the toilets still require some maintenance. We even had hot showers in the afternoon though - and outside snow flurries.
Esther in Nyalam in the nice hotel room, it really wasn't that
cold?! - Jamie
15 April - Nyalam rest
We stay a day here to acclimate, and walk up a ridge out of the town to gain some altitude and views. A snowy afternoon.
16 April - drive Tingri
En route we saw Kiang, the wild ass of Tibet. And those views of Shishapangma!
The hotel in Tingri has built a new wing, in fact they were still working on it, and so in a major change we had double rooms with attached bathrooms, although the water shortage caught us out a few times. The restaurant at Nyalam caught up with a few of us though.
Dinner in Tingri, Chinese food again, but less oily than Nyalam - Jamie
Climbing a hill above Nyalam: Ken, Esther, Jim and Grant - Jamie
Just out of Tingri - Jamie
17 April - Tingri acclimatization
We wandered up a hill for some great views of the Himalaya from the north. And managed to avoid Tingri dogs, although a few definitely deserved a stoning at night.
Ken admires Cho Oyu on our Tingri acclimatization hike - Jamie
Cho Oyu - Cho Oyu from Tingri - Jamie
Descending the Pang La, Everest in the distance - Jamie [15mm fisheye stitched]
18 April - drive Everest Base Camp
Avoiding the rough shortcut road, we drove almost to Shegar and then leaving the tarmac behind, over the 5150m Pang La with good views of Everest, Cho Oyu, Makalu. Spectacular!
Arriving at BC, what a lunch. And it was great to see the crew, explore our well set up camp, and actually be at the base of the mountain.
Shauli cruising in the Ford Transit van, Everest there - Jamie
Tibetan jorums in the Lhasa restaurant, Tingri - Jamieall rights reserved -- frozen in time 2011