Frisbee with the Phortse kids, latest Irish Times article published on the effects of altitude and the people of the Khumbu, and we cross the Renjo La at 5350m.

We had some fun this morning playing Frisbee with the local kids in Phortse.

Since the last post from Thame, we have been off the beaten track and largely without 3G or Wifi (even when advertised otherwise). If you’ve been missing the updates, I hope you’ve seen our map tracker where you can follow our every move. Still was able to get my latest article to the Irish Times by deadline and it was published in print and online today – check it out as I’m trying to avoid repetition. Was able to take the opportunity to talk about all the amazing people of the Khumbu valley we have met over the past week.

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Leaving Thame we dropped by Thameteung to visit painter Pasang Nuru Sherpa. Pasang lost his fingers and toes to frostbite while crossing the Nangpa-la in the mid-70’s and has been painting ever since. We got to meet his children as well and they talked to us about their hopes to go to university in Kathmandu. His son has just completed exams for his final year and waiting for results.

We then moved up the valley to Marulung where we stayed at River view lodge run by And Phurba Sherpa, an eight time Everest summiteer. For more on him, his marathon winging daughters, and Passing Nuru, you’ll need to read the Irish Times article. This is the third of my weekly articles in the Irish Times and really pleased with the feedback thus far.

From Marulung we had our first tough acclimatisation schedule ahead. First we tackled our first 5000m peak, check this video out from the top and cheerful Sami Mansour in particular! Some of the team were really feeling the altitude but everyone pushed through.

We then moved up to Lungde and then had a tough day crossing the Renjo La pass at 5350m and then descending down to Gokyo at 4750 for the night.

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Jo, Michael, myself, Jonathan at the Renjo La – 5350m

From Gokyo, we them descended a thousand meters to Phortse and after a few days pushing it trekking and sleeping at higher altitudes everyone is back to feeling a million dollars. After a few days living in very basic conditions we’re now back on the main tourist trail. For 4 or 5 days we were seeing less than five trekkers a day but this morning between Phortse and Pangboche we encountered our first trekking groups which we needed to pass.

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Jo and me, on our way from Phortse to Pangboche

The lack of crowds this past week against the lines of trekkers we’ve seen on the route today really makes us really appreciate the route that Tim has put together for us getting off the beaten track. Still we’re also happy to have a few creature comforts back.

I expect we’ll have better internet over the coming few days so I’ll provide another update before we leave the main trail again and get out our tents, helmets, and harnesses for the first time before our climb of Pokalde 5800m next week.

Thanks again for your support for our school building project in Makwanpur through Child Rescue Nepal. Our amazing day with Jamuna, her team and the kids in Kathmandu is still fresh in our memory. For details on how to support please check out

virginmoneygiving.com/letsbuildschools

We’ll also provide an update on our corporate sponsors shortly. Till then, stay safe and enjoy it out there.

 

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