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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 staying warm

Esther in Nyalam in the nice hotel room, it really wasn't that cold?! - Jamie
But then again she wore a down suit at Aconcagua BC too

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.

Eating in Tingri

Dinner in Tingri, Chinese food again, but less oily than Nyalam - Jamie

Nyalam acclimatization

Climbing a hill above Nyalam: Ken, Esther, Jim and Grant - Jamie

atmospheric

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 and Cho Oyu

Ken admires Cho Oyu on our Tingri acclimatization hike - Jamie

Cho Oyu - Cho Oyu

Cho Oyu - Cho Oyu from Tingri - Jamie

Pang La road

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 driving

Shauli cruising in the Ford Transit van, Everest there - Jamie

tibetan jorums

Tibetan jorums in the Lhasa restaurant, Tingri - Jamie

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