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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal

Aug 9, 2012 - Mt Everest-Preface

I had the incredible good fortune to take part in a 13-day trek to Mount Everest Base Camp. While underway I had no access to the internet and, consequently, I was unable to update my blog. I did, however, keep a handwritten journal, which I will now enter into the blog along with the accompanying photos. Each entry will be exactly as I wrote them without adding any information based on hindsight. It may take a couple of days for me to get everything entered, but I will do it promptly

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Trip Journal


A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - Everest-Day 9 (18,192 Ft)

Today was the icing on the cake. At 4:30 am we hit the trail in order to climb to the top of Kala Pattar peak for what is considered one of the top views in all the Himalaya. The weather cooperated perfectly and as we started out the moon was shining off of the nearby peaks, including Everest. It was breathtaking, but it’s a sight that will have to remain burned in my memory because my camera just wasn’t up for capturing it in the dark. It was about a 2-hour climb to the top and as dawn broke we were really treated to something special....

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - Everest-Day 8 (17,520 ft)

Mission accomplished! Today, eight days after first landing at Lukla, we reached Base Camp. What a day it was! When I awoke this morning I saw blue sky through the bedroom window. I couldn’t ask for a more a more perfect day for that to happen because our route would lead us past some of the tallest mountains in the world. The weather held all day, so I even got a second glimpse of Everest. Like Day 4, it was once again a view of just the mountaintop. A better view wasn’t blocked by clouds, but by other mountains. In fact, as unbelievable...

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - The Porters

The idea that “foot power” remains the primary mode of transportation in the Himalaya is amazing enough, but the loads people carry on their backs defy belief. Most trekking companies allow their porters to carry no more than 35 kilograms (77 lbs). That’s a lot of weight to carry up and down steep grades in the thin atmosphere. It is nothing, however, compared to the Himalayan villagers who privately offer their services as porters. Since there are few roads in the Himalaya most of the shops and outfitters in the mountain villages have to...

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - The Trail

There is a special charm walking for 8 days on the trail from Lukla to Base Camp. This has always been the route most mountaineering parties take on their way to attempt a summit. Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Everest, came this way and today’s mountaineers continue to follow in his footsteps. Even with modern technology, they cannot simply fly to Base Camp because they would not be acclimatized. While this trek is a great adventure for me, it’s probably a nuisance for the climbing parties that can’t wait to get started tackling...

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - Everest-Day 7 (16,175 ft)

Today we continued our ascent and as we approached the 5,000-meter mark there were a couple of noticeable changes. The terrain is strewn with large rocks and boulders churned out by the Khumbu Glacier, which lies near the slopes of Everest. At this point Mt Everest is not visible but we are now close. The second change is that the effects of the altitude are more noticeable. It now takes more effort to walk even on level surfaces. Although we ascended about 700 meters (2,300 ft) today, there weren’t any particularly steep sections. Yet...

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - Teahouses

Each morning as we set out for the day’s trek I feel that I’m transported into a fairytale. All it takes is one step out of the door and I’m surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. Despite the beauty, however, there are some discomforts associated with this trek. A teahouse is certainly no 5-star accommodation, and I’m sure it doesn’t even qualify for 1-star. The purpose of a teahouse is to provide trekkers with a meal and a bed—and little else. The food is actually quite good and the beds are warm, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what...

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - Everest-Day 6 (13,911 ft)

The morning of my acclimatization day turned out to be quite pleasant. Keeping in mind that short, easy hikes on the rest day help in the acclimatization process, Bibalal, Lackpure and me went mushroom picking in the surrounding hills. The area above the tree line is considered tundra and we didn’t follow any trail. We just made our way over hills covered with short grass, soft moss and beautiful alpine flowers. Back home we are accustomed to mushrooms growing in dark forests, but here they are found in the shade of low-lying juniper...

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - Everest-Day 5 (13,911 ft)

Today our two combined groups parted ways. John and his guide started making their way back to Kathmandu and I continued upward with my guide and porter. We have passed the 4, 000 meter mark and are now above the tree line. The scenery has changed accordingly. There are still low shrubs and green grass but we won’t see a proper tree again until we make our way back down. Loose rocks now cover the trail and yaks can be seen grazing on the hills where they have been brought for the summer. Today’s hike was rather easy with large level...

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - The Hiking Experience

Before starting out on this adventure I worried that perhaps I wasn’t fit enough or that maybe I would come down with altitude sickness. I certainly have a long way to go, but I’m becoming a little less worried. We have now reached an altitude (12, 697 ft) at which the first signs of altitude sickness could set in and so far I’m ok. The hiking is strenuous, but manageable. The trail itself consists of rocks embedded in hard-packed soil. I have to watch my footing so that I don’t twist an ankle or knee but, even though it’s the rainy season,...

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - Everest-Day 4 (12,697 ft)

Today we had our first glimpse of Mount Everest! It was also a lesson in how mountain weather changes in the blink of an eye. When we set off this morning it was grey and overcast and I thought it might rain for the first time while we’ve been hiking. (Up until now it has rained in the late afternoon and at night, but never while we were on the trail). The skies started to clear, however, and from a bend in the trail we suddenly saw the tip of Everest—something that took even the guides by surprise. We only saw a bit of the upper portion,...

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A Whole New World

Aug 9, 2012 - Everest-Day 3 (11,220 ft)

Namche Bazaar lies 3, 420 meters (11, 220 ft) above sea level and is the first of our two mandatory stops for acclimatization to the altitude. Altitude sickness is a serious issue that will prove fatal if an afflicted person does not descend. Initial symptoms include headache, nausea, loss of appetite, loss of coordination and shortness of breath while resting. There are several police checkpoints along the route at which we must present our hiking permit. Each of these stops has big signs warning hikers to be on the lookout for symptoms...

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A Whole New World

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