Update...they're alive!

It has been confirmed that our team is alive!

I heard from Elsa, she had to choose between fingers or summit….she chose fingers. Wise decision.

The boys are still going…they have most likely just arrived at the summit and are on their way down now.

I don’t have any more information for now, but I will update as soon as I’m able.

Positive vibes and thoughts to our team!

Off to the Summit...

Yes folks…YES

Team Typhoid heads to the summit tonight….our time tonight…..

I received a message from Elsa’s Satellite phone today stating they were in Camp 3 with Oxygen and headed to Camp 4 (approximately a 3 hour hike) this morning at 8am…so they should have been there at around 11am CST. There is a 20 hour hike to the summit from Camp 4….not sure if that was to be done immediately today or if they will do that tomorrow….but with the difference in time, I would assume they are en-route!

I can not stress enough to PLEASE SEND TEXT MESSAGES TO +881632598393

Make sure you include the + on your phone when sending these messages for them to go through. Save them to your contacts and send as many encouraging texts as you can to provide our team with the strength to make it up…but even more…down from the summit.

Let’s keep them going!

I’ll update again once I receive any more messages!

+8-816-325-983-93...MESSAGE THIS NUMBER...IT IS TIME!

Our Typhoid team has put in their bid to summit….they are leaving right about now and will be starting their summit experience….We need to send encouraging messages for the next 3-4 days! Send as many as you can whenever you remember, we gotta get them all pumped up and encourage all we can! Here is the post I received: …

After more than 18 months of training, dreaming, eating and annoying everyone around us, we are only a few hours away from our summit bid.

Tonight, at 2am Kathandu time, we will cross the beloved ice fall again, and head to Camp 2.

Great news I hear from the Sherpas is, they have either redirected or put ladders up at those huge crevasses that started forming. One less thing to be concerned about.

We will be in Camp 2 one night and then its up to Camp 3 also one night. Then in Camp 4 and the beloved summit. There is a 3 day window for summit, not great but it could be worse. Windchill of -38! (big eyed emoji)

Wish us luck and PLEASE let the encouraging text messages to satellite phone stream in!

Thanks for the support and being part of this.

Love you all,

Elsa

Secret Socks and Puppy Love

from Elsa…

Everything I am about to write is true, and an accurate account about how I ended up completely refilled with puppy love . Yup, I know…this has nothing AND everything to do with climbing.

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We are in this holding pattern now…waiting for the jet stream to move off the summit of Everest, which mean very low winds and much safer summit conditions. Dawa gave us til the 16th of May to get away from basecamp, to go get mentally and physically refueled.

So full of excitement, we left yesterday morning. All smiles and giggle we hop along the, by now, well worn path towards Dingboche. It’s about a 6 hour walk. Well, when we got to our Coca-Cola stop, it had started snowing hard. I suggested going in to the tea house and kinda wait it out, or maybe make a day of it. Sleep in Gorak Shep and go further the next day. Once inside the dinning area, Thomas and Dan were seriously contemplating going back to base camp and starting over again the next day. Well, I don’t know what Dan’s motivation was, but Thomas…well, he was wearing secret socks. Yup, secret freaking socks…let it sink in a second. We are about 18,000 ft high, we have clothing, socks, shoes, hats that will have us survive at -30…and then, there was this tiny little hole in Thomas’s luggage, that he had to fill…with secret freaking socks. Not only that, he actually felt the need to wear them. I’m still laughing about it.

So, around 2, the boys took off, back to base camp. I stayed behind for a few reasons. I had proper socks, I didn’t feel like walking back, AND there is this puppy dog at the tea house that I’ve been eying. Well, it didn’t take long for puppy and I to end up in my bed, snoring away. What a cuddler he is!

Will keep you guys updated on our 4 days off.

Refueling, any which way possible!

Elsa

Last time in Base Camp before the Summit

and I quote…

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Well, we are back down at base camp…for the last time before we push to the summit. This last rotation was tough on me, very. If ever I run into someone that tells me “I’ve heard (yes they always hear it somewhere) climbing Everest is not that hard “ I will for sure knock the so hard on their A$$! This is not hard…right now it seems impossible.

From Crossing the Khumbu falls the first time (when I fell down the ladder) till now, things have moved…when I say move…there are even more places where they need ladders, but they now don’t have any more left. Now you have to jump wearing crampons, backpack and still sucking for air. There is no place to run and then jump…no, no…just freaking jump. It is so scary. I have my Dawa put a safety rope on me and him, (much to his annoyance, guess what; I don’t care). We do an effort of jumping and pulling….see, it works, I am still here!

Camp 1 does not exist anymore. From base camp, you go straight to Camp 2. It’s a lot of up and down and over ladders, lots of using junmar (it’s a climbing tool that helps you go horizontally up and we use it a lot) and then there is this non-stop section where you go up (not a steep angle, but steep enough) for a very long time. It feels like days.

Finally, Camp 2. Well, much more primitive, much colder, much windier, just much more basic. We do have a cook tent, where we eat as well. I think one of the toughest things is to eat, just because you need the energy. It is hard….I hate rice…I hate pasta…well, I’ve been trying to eat it because that’s what we eat up high.

And then…the cold…what can I say…it’s COLD. I’ve been wearing two pairs of heat warm in my gloves and it doesn’t seem like it makes a difference. It seems likeI have to tell my fingers what to do. It feels like I’m getting paranoid about frost bite…don’t think I am. My fingers haven’t turned black again, would love to keep it that way.

From Camp 2 it feels like it’s just straight up to Camp 3. No one sleeps there, as it is at that point that we will start using oxygen.

Here are a few things that I might have changed knowing what I know now before this climb:

  1. I would have moved into a walk-in fridge and lived there for 2 years

  2. During my training program, if Rob said run 15 miles, I would have sprinted 30, wearing a mask…breathing is still very hard

  3. I would have just eaten watered-down rice for the last 5 months

  4. I would have my answer for “Why are you doing this?” completely worked out

Thanks for following out blog. I didn’t want to write when we just got down, cause I was tired, and tired makes me angry. Reading this again….ooops…seems like I’m still a wee bit angry.

Still angry (hahaha)

Elsa

No more Lazy days...

The message I received reads…”Last complete lazy day! Although we did a 3.5 hour hike for a coke…so worth it. Here is our schedule:

We will be leaving Wednesday Morning at 3AM (which is about 12 hours ahead of you) we will go straight up (through the ******* falls again) to camp 2. Then a complete rest day, maybe 2…depeding on our physical state. then we head up to camp 3 to only touch and spend an hour or two (no sleep there as that is where we start using Oxygen). We will come down to camp 2 and sleep.

Thursday, all the way to base camp. When we went up the previous time, a few people sent us text messages. It was absolute heaven to receive them. Dan and I read them at night and it really was very encouraging. It’s free to send messages to satelite phone. You have to write your name because we won’t know by number….It gets lonely up there. We still strong, I just have this ******** Khumbu cough…I’m sure I’m gonna crack a rib”

YOU GUYS HEARD THE LADY!!! PLEASE SEND ENCOURAGING TEXTS TO THE SATELLITE PHONE!!! Here is the number as it should be entered on your phones: (and please enter the “+” symbol)

+881632598393

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Here is the latest photo that I have received…pretty awesome … That is Elsa hanging from the ladder when she slipped off….

Saturday Morning

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What a great day! Woke up in our very roomy tents. Got served tea in our tents and shortly there after were showed how to hit the snow off our tent roofs. We got pummeled! 5 hours later and it’s still going.
Breakfast was fabulous, because of maybe... me being a bit forceful, I got served two bowls of Sherpa stew.. boys got poached eggs and toast? I got that too.

We just hung around in the dining tent for the whole morning until Dan first disappeared, little bit later Thomas. Lunch came... well it was interesting, especially after I promised myself I need to eat everything they served ( didn’t last long) . Lunch consisted of steamed cabbage and carrots, French fries, chocolate pan cakes and sardines...

The boys started building snowmen before lunch. Of course Dan had a bunch of structural pointers to help Thomas with his snowman. Pics to follow.

Friday...Return from Camp 2

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What a wild ride. We back from camp 2, a day late but we’re here!

We started uneventfully with a 3 am wake up . The Buddhist love little altars. Even though it’s impossible to imagine this, but it’s the truth. We started off in this line, go the opposite way from the ice fall , by this time there is juniper burning. You grab a handful of rice, do some weird stuff with it and then throw it in the air while we are circling this altar. Now only we head to the ice fall. The circling of the altar sounds kinda sweet, except that there are rocks and ice and it is very uneven. Every time we do it I think I have a bigger chance of breaking my leg , right there, without leaving base camp. 

Now we head through the ice fall. Up ( mostly up now) and a little down. Clipping in, clipping out of the fixed lines .Huffing and puffing, weaving but most of all trying to move as fast as we can cause this area is dangerous. We climb up ladders, we cross crevasses on ladders... and then it happened... I fell off a ladder... more of a glide... and there I was hanging, clipped into my two safety lines.  Karma, one of our Sherpas, leaned over and clipped an extra safety rope on my back pack , chest strap. I know I’m gonna sound like a hero( which I’m not) I was so exhausted by then that I kinda enjoyed the little rest of just hanging out there. I honestly wasn’t scared ( maybe I should have been, refresh that, I should have been. We got told this morning that another climber died falling down one of these same ladder crevasse’s). Karma got me up and over and away we went again. Now,  I do however have a video of Thomas crossing the ladders. Looking at it , it seems like he was the one that fell down the ladder. After going all the way up to Camp 2 and back down again , it seems like the boy conquered his fear of using the ladder.

Getting into camp 1... loud , very loud flapping sounds because of the storms. We got in our tents, Dan and I were sharing  for the first time. There could have been 23 people in the tent with me, I was too tired to even care. Even though there was a terrible storm through the night and very loud noises, I slept like a baby. Could have been a good dose of adrenaline . Next day we went to camp 2. 

Camp 2 felt like we were never ever gonna get there. You can see the tents, you go up this hill for 40 minutes ... guess what ... it feels even further away. We got there, finally, turned around and went down sleeping at Camp 1 again. Winds were terrible , worse than the day before. 

The next morning we headed out early to base camp. That sounds like a walk around Loose Park... it’s not . 
Finally made it, got in bed and took a long nap... wait a minute... retrace our steps...  we radioed in and Pemba, our head chef had to listen to me bitching about wanting Sherpa stew. It was lovely.

We are still strong  
Elsa

Khumbu Cough and Camp 2

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Yup, we were suppose to be heading to camp 2.... that’s before the Khumbu cough got hold of me and Daniel!

Dan got it a few days before me and worked through it faster, it seems . Me , it hit me like sledge hammer. It is like a terrible head cold with a very annoying cough. I never knew I could produce this amount of (I know the fancy word is mucus, but this is just an incredible amount of snot, nothing fancy about it).  I spent two days in my tent. I was out for the count. Pemba and Dawa brought me food in the tent , and checked up on me very frequently. They got in the habit of calling me Didi, it means sister in Nepali. When they approached my tent you would hear very softly “ Didi, Didi “ before you hear the zippers of the tent opening. The boys, Dan and Thomas did a 4 hour hike to bring me a coke... tasted like heaven, and I felt special as hell.

I started feeling better yesterday afternoon, had dinner in our dining tent. Besides still coughing and draining I feel 100% better and we will move tonight through the ice fall up to camp two. We will come back down, spend one night in camp one and then back to base camp. Just heads up, there is this weird time change between US and Nepal. Nepal is 10:45 hours ahead of US( Missouri).

At night time there are now two distinct sounds here at base camp . One is constant coughing . That is because the air is so dry and cold , most everyone has this annoying cough. The other sound is the avalanches. Thomas counted 15 the other night. He is hyper vigilant about them. I have to admit , it is very scary.

Will take some pics of our  amenities, so you can enjoy. Especially the toilet. Basecamp is on a glacier , which and  because of summer it is melting. They build the toilets on these big rocks and fit a big plastic container underneath, that catches everything. Remember I said it is a glacier? Well I went in there the other day for number two. Because it’s number two , you can’t say midstream, but anyway. In the middle of my business some of these rocks started falling.... scary. They had to move the toilet yesterday because of the unstableness. It could have been really bad.

Besides the Khumbu cough, the hardest thing for me are these darn hot flashes!! As everyone knows, I am suffering from mad cow disease , also known as menopause. Part of this fun adventure is just suddenly, feeling that you are on fire! It is very hard for me to regulate my temperature when we are climbing. I do know, however, that sometime during this climb, I’m gonna get one of those flashes, exactly when I need them. By the way, if you read somewhere that Everest is melting with incredible speed, it’s not..... just me being on fire.

We are taking the satellite phone with to camp two. I will make sure to send Leslie a text so she can relay our progress.

Still happy 
Elsa

Camp 2 bound

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AND…Team Typhod has begun their hike to Camp 2. I’m eagerly waiting for photos and hopefully an email to find out how it went. From what I have read, Camp 2 sits at 21,300 ft. and is littered with abandoned gear, as the fatigue from the lack of oxygen and strenuous hike causes climbers to lighten their loads. It is very important that the team move about as they need to breathe deeper since the level of oxygen is lower the higher they go. They are located in avalanche territory as well. I did receive this video from Elsa that Thomas captured when they were hiking and suddenly heard an avalanche. He caught the first part on video, but when the Sherpas started running, they also ran, which is smart, and also why the video is so short. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Vg3KuBBZuwBtVcL_J_GX7hEXmZpvdj0O/view?usp=sharing

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Getting ready for Camp 2

This morning I woke up to this email from Elsa….I don’t even need to edit a thing, as I can hear her while reading it….and so will you…

Crossing the Khumbu falls for the first time....fun, pretty, hard, very hard and scary as hell.

We started at 4 am, as we didn’t want to get caught behind a long line of other climbers. Lots of jackets, gloves( not enough) hats, water, harnesses rattling with every step we take, helmets and hats, and off we went. Headlamps shining bright, it’s not long before I open my mouth and said, I wanna put my crampons in. It’s slippery as heck, and a little bit further I realize why the actually have a point where you put them in, as the section up to there is a combo of ice , rocks and scree.

It seems as soon as we clipped into the line things started getting serious and hard. Not 20 minutes into it, my calves started a combo of cramping and just utter fatigue...I did my fair share of trying to ignore it, complaining, forcing everyone to stop and of cause cussing. It seems that the route went steep, very steep immediately. Where we had to use the junmar it seems like a bit of a relief on my calves. Many hours later we stopped to refuel again, and I’m telling Karma( one of the serpas, that my hands are really sore. Gloves off , brutal rubbing and he shows me the first signs of frostbite. My fingers were going black. Luckily I complain quickly which really helped. No permanent damage, hand warmers in the gloves and we moved again.

Turning around and coming down was a combo of extreme exhaustion, fun and fear. We were about halfway down, stopping in a “safe” place to refuel, when we heard the rumbling of an avalanche. It’s like slow mo...we look up towards the sound, Thomas had his phone and the serpas started running... well I’m smart enough to know when they run , it would be best to follow suit. Nothing got to us, actually the only thing that got to us was the urgency to get out of the glacier area as fast as we can. ( Thomas has video, let’s see if signal is strong enough to download).

Here are some other realizations I’ve made over the last week...
Spam is food! The excitement that Dan and I show when we see those triangles of deep pink meat is hilarious! There is only that much rice , noodles and ( half raw ) potato’s you can eat. We have a great chance of getting diabetes, with all the cookies and candy we eat. Eating here is a huge chore, with no appetite and the foods that we are presented with, but hunger don’t discriminate . Tea is a staple, and I dream of meat.

We have two rest days before we cross the Khumbu falls again, on our way to camp 2.

Today is the warmest day, we’ve had so far, sky is blue and it seems like everyone is moving in slow mo, just enjoying the Vit D. It has been snowing everyday, which can put you in a somber mood.

Breakfast is served shortly and then I’m gonna treat myself to a shower.... will let you know how that goes. Oh, seeing that I pee in my red( for danger) nalgene, at night, I now know that I pee 24oz at a time. Wish I brought a bigger one as it is very cold to empty at night.

Still happy
Elsa

All said via email...

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Well the time has arrived to say goodbye to our cheerleader!

He was such a stud. This kind of trip is something that he will never
do, but he got out of his comfort zone to come and do this journey with his Mom. He went from “
You can not eat that “
And I have to shower “ to not showering for two days and eating because he was hungry.
He hiked up to our base camp, where we will be staying for the next 4 weeks. We had a quick lunch and he turned all the way around. He has been suffering from extreme head aches. Funny thing, I gave him a few altitude tablets, had no time to explain side effects. 

Have to admit, I was very sad, when he left, Thomas walked him out, I  got into my -40 sleeping bag and stayed there for a few hours 

He texted me the next day , very relieved, as a fellow hiker we’re telling him about the side effects, very frequent urination and tingly fingers. Boy thought he had frost bite.

Thank you for making this part of the journey with me, and making it memorable, thank you for getting out of your comfort zone ... and more. I love you with all my heart.

Well here we are, in base camp. My favorite part, the warm water bottle we get every night.  We have box tents, what a relief, you can walk in, stand up, no crawling.

We also have a dining tent where we are served three meals a day. Problem is the lack of appetite and all the carbs.

Yesterday we did an acclimation climb, went up to 18 600ft. Took it out of Dan and I. Thomas, living in Bolivia has had no problem with getting adjusted to altitude.

Our camp is right I front of the Khumbu falls, every time we hear a avalanche, Thomas runs out. Dan and I are too caput.

Today we played in front of the ice fall , practicing crossing the ladders , using jumar and climbing up the ladders.

We were suppose to go at 2am tonight, but because Dan and I are not 100% we have postponed till tomorrow. Just heard the news that no one is going, as the route broke. The ice fall doctors will be out there fixing it tonight.

Oh, nearly forgot, we had a pusa which is a Buddhist offering that everyone does before the expedition. A Lama came from a village below, they burned juniper, hanged little flags, gave everyone cookies and chocolates, a lot of chanting, we threw flour in the air and drank rice wine. Actually we just took a sip, nasty stuff.

Tomorrow we are just walking around, checking in at the medical tent, try and rest and get ready for evening of crossing Khumbu falls.

Our reception is really spotty, I try and update when I can.

We still strong
Elsa

Ice Falls and Acclimating

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Our Typhod Team has been busy in the below freezing cold doing acclimation hikes, and getting their bodies ready to sustain all the strenuous activity to come. Today was a day with obstacle courses climbing metal ladders, and tomorrow they will prepare to hike up the Khumbu Icefalls.

The movements our climbers make have to be slow and steady, their bodies not only have to get used to the lower oxygen levels, but they also need to begin producing more red blood cells in order to be able to function on less oxygen.

Khumbu Icefalls are at an altitude of 17,999 feet. It is an ice river that moves every day by several feet. From what I understand, most people begin to climb the icefall during the night, usually around midnight or one in the morning, as it is safest when the sun is not out. Our climbers will go up the falls and come back down while they acclimate. There will also be a group of “ice doctors” along the way, who are in charge of maintaining the routes to and from camp as the ice shifts throughout the day and new crevasses open and new ladders and ropes have to be set up.

The photos that have been sent by the team are stunning. The colors are breathtaking, but boy does it look COLD. Can’t wait to see photos of the team in action. More to come….

Base Camp

crossing crevass on a ladder. Courtesy of Alan arnette blog

crossing crevass on a ladder. Courtesy of Alan arnette blog

Hello Friends! Let’s give a cheer to Team Typhod, as this morning it was confirmed that they made it to Base Camp! The team is doing their acclimation hike on Kalapatar later today, followed by an obstacle course with ladders in order to prepare for the Khumbu Ice Fall and their arrival to Camp one on Tuesday.

The reception is no bueno, but hopefully we will get some photos to come through. Elsa reports the weather is very cold (as expected) and they are working very hard. They got this.

From what I am reading, there are a LOT of hikers this year on the Nepal side, and they have arrived at base camp. They will be heading to Khumbu Ice Falls, where this year there is about 5 crevasses they will have to cross on ladders, and there are some vertical ones as well. It is time to strap on the crampons and climb the metal ladder. I have included the link below, it is the Alan Arnette blog page, it is incredible with a ton of pics and very detailed day-to-day information about what is going on with our team. I will keep you posted on what news come through! Send positive thoughts, vibes and lots of energy to our climbers!

http://www.alanarnette.com/blog/2019/04/20/everest-2018-facing-fears/

Dingboche now...Internet bad...

“Dingboche now Internet bad” this is the message I received this morning.

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Well…since that’s about all the news we have for today, let’s think about what Team Typhod is doing in Dingboche today. Dingboche is a Sherpa village with a population of about 200, altitude of about 4,410 meters, which is around 14,470 feet. Oh what I would give to see how these 200 citizens react to our beloved Elsa and the boys. I can guarantee she is making friends all over the place and they will forever remember that voice and friendly laugh. I bet you our team is acclimating and enjoying the halfway mark to the base camp hike. Once you reach Dingboche, you should be on day 5 of the trek. This area is known for having some mountain sheep called Argali, I hope we get some good pics of some. This place is also known to have a bakery where people visit and order tea and other local treats.

From what I have read, this is a place for a good overnight stay and acclimation of a couple days, as people start to feel the altitude once they reach Dingboche. There is a trekking trail where people go to hike around and acclimate before continuing on to the next stop, Lobuche….and some stories to go along with them.

First glimpse of the big one… Everest

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Three days into the first phase ( base camp trek) of our climb and life is a breeze.

A rough 4 hour bus ride (with heads bobbing off the windows, trying to get in a little bit more shut eye) which started at 2am. Well that was followed by a whole day sitting at this little airport waiting for the weather to clear, for our flight to Lukla. The weather forecast for the next day look pretty sketchy as well, so we got all fancy and chartered a helicopter. Flight was smooth with absolutely beautiful views.

First night in Khumbu valley was great. Hit the walking trail at 6 am next morning to Namche. This is normally a two day hike , but team Typhoid with cheerleader in tow, was strong, steady, yet sweaty and made it in great time…. well actually our cheerleader also known as princess fairy sparkle, literally collapsed against the center post, in the restaurant and said“ I can not F$&@@! move, I’m serious, I can’t move”. Boy was exhausted and I think he now has a better idea of what is in store for team Typhoid on a small scale.

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Two nights in Namche. Our time was spend with an acclimation hike from where we got our first glimpse of the BIG ONE… Everest, followed by a sports massage…. have to interrupt myself here…. The great Mr Becker decided, in Kathmandu that he needed a massage. Dan went with him, thought it was a bit funny when the one lady came from the back, adjusting her belt, but didn’t think about it again, till later. Well Thomas’s masseuse was not happy with him. Apparently he didn’t get the memo… it’s not a real massage, she kept on asking him if he really wants massage, but didn’t like his answer, 15 min into slapping him some she walked out of there…..great food, a few beers, laughter, making friends and with a good idea of what’s coming, just enjoying the now for what it is … absolutely awesome.

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Up early and we hit the trail again. Uneventful, no hiccups or even heavy breathing. We feel strong, happy and healthy! We are in Tengboche, heading to Dingboche tomorrow.

There’s really not a lot to say about Dan.. he is Dan and everyone wants to be like Dan.

From now on our internet availability will be minimal. I will send updates to Leslie via satellite phone and she will be writing our blog posts, which I know for sure will be much more legible. Thanks Leslie!!!! If, however, I happen to get a bar or two on the 3G, I surely will update you guys with the nitty gritty.

Thanks for following

Still strong

Click here to see all images

Elsa

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The Trek to Base Camp begins

Hello friends! This is Leslie writing on behalf of Team Typhoid. I will be filling you all in on the days when our trekking friends are not able to access the blog.

It has already been an amazing adventure for the group, getting their fill on good food and monkeying around for a few days. Now it’s time for business.

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The team made it safely to Lukla after the weather conditions caused their airplane flight to be cancelled at the world’s most dangerous airport. They had to take a helicopter instead and landed safely after a long day of waiting. I received news from Elsa that after they landed, there was a plane that crashed into a helicopter. Apparently the helicopter was parked on the runway. (if you want to learn more about the crash here is a link to an article in the Washington Post).

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So…now begins the trek to Base Camp. The team made it safely to Pakhding, where they will begin their 8 day hike. The image you see here will show you the towns they will stop and stay at along the way on their nearly 40 mile trek from Lukla to Everest base camp.

Stay tuned…

Click here to view all photos

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Monkeying around

Tick tock… that’s the sound of the checking/shopping/packing/eating clock , running out of time…. tick .. tock.

With less than 24 hours before our 4 hour Jeep ride, followed by the flight to Lukla we need to wrap things up here in Kathmandu. But then, laughter is good for your soul, and with that in mind we made sure we got a few doses of that in yesterday.

Gerald , our main and only cheerleader, got over the initial shock , that most first time visitors experience during their first encounter with this jewel of craziness, the beloved Kathmandu. He was a champ, sitting up front next to the driver. We first headed out to the monkey temple. There is a fancy official name for it , but seeing that there are many monkeys and many temples, and seeing that I’m too lazy to look up the name right now, we will be calling it the monkey temple.

Thomas was not in full disclosure mode before we ventured out there. He has kind of a weird obsession with only the little monkeys jumping on his head. What can I say, boys will be boys… I’m not talking this #metoo confessions stuff, my boys are good! They banded together, bought snacks for the monkeys and tried their outmost best to get the monkeys, only the little ones to jump on Thomas’s head. But to everyone’s amusement, the big ones with the pink asses will come, and up jumps Thomas. I kept my distance, but was with him … those big ones are scary as hell. Daniel and Gerald were the video/ food props crew. Never knew, that to Thomas, not all monkeys were equal… haha the big ones and the ones with diarrhea made him move fast.

Next stop( sorry, but I’m not gonna look up the real name of this place, right now cause I’m technologically impaired and I’m scared whatever I’ve written will disappear) so let’s call it human barbecue place. It’s an outdoor crematorium with many Hindu temples. We got to watch them make fire to an already dead man( had to clarify that because my friend, that I spoke to yesterday thought it was like a human sacrifice.) There are many of these fire pits. They take huge logs of wood, put the body on it, our guy’s face was not covered. Next step is dried grass on top and then they light it up. When they done they just sweep the, whatever remains are left, into the river…. weird, really weird to us that are used to the 6 ft burials or the impersonal cremations , were you hope that this vase with ashes that they give you, is actually the ashes of your person.

Wait a minute, I have the sequence wrong, we are not that heartless that we would have been able to eat , right after cremation. So in between the above two activities, we went to a huge (emphasis on huge), stupa. Its a heritage site, beautiful, little bit of a tourist trap , but who is gonna trap us :) Great lunch( by now Gerald is kinda getting really hungry but he is still freaked out about the thought of yak milk and yak butter and yak cheese, we are eating, he is having a coke).

Back to the hotel ..where we had to sign papers, went through climbing program , ask many questions…I could see that in all our faces , the reality of our huge endeavor is settling in our bones… this s@&! Is about to become real.

i have this saying that hunger doesn’t discriminate, and hunger has no taste… and I was proven right. We went to a pizza place cause our beloved Thomas wanted to eat what he was for sure not gonna get on the mountain, and I’m 110% sure pizza was a good guess. Well after two days of only eating eggs and dry bread, our cheerleader, Gerald changed his mind about the yak cheese. I didn’t have the heart to tell him it’s water buffalo cheese… not that I think it would have made a difference… the boy ate that whole pizza. Back to the hotel and we were out for the count.

still having fun

Elsa

Team Tyhpoid

30 hours of traveling, many stops, plenty bad airplane food, trying to sleep in the Chinese gymnast or human pretzel position…we have arrived in Kathmandu.

One deep breath,… followed by standing in one line after the next , after the next to get our visas and paperwork done.. Suddenly, the oh s$@! moment… you start praying and doing all weird stuff in your mind, like rituals you’ve seen other people perform, to all the gods out there (don’t wanna miss one… Basically like an umbrella with every god , that you know of, huddled together underneath, and you desperately hope you hit the target… which is I HOPE OUR LUGGAGE MADE IT! And then, slowly but surely, here they come, with like 15min intervals. Who cares, it’s here.

Happy to see Dawa’s face when we got out of the airport. We got our flower necklaces, there is a better name for it, but I like flower necklace. In the taxi and off we went.

By now my exhaustion has kicked in big time, but we still need a few pieces of not so important gear. Grabbed that at the second shop we passed and I realized that I’m caput, because one of my favorite pastimes is haggling, and none of that was happening.

Nice celebration beer and tandoori chicken, and we back at our hotel where we met up with Thomas.

Team Typhoid consist of 3 members. First there’s Dan, also know as Dan the man, or Daniel . What a fine specimen of athleticism he is, hence “Dan the man”. What makes him such a great team member is his incredible knowledge of gear… this boy knows his stuff…. I think everyone, secretly wants to be like Dan. His other great characteristic is , Dan is a flat liner.. which means nothing really riles him up… compared to, Thomas and I who are cardiac arrest, up and down and all over the place, in a fun and sometimes hilarious way. Dan is exactly what our two ADHD asses need. Thomas is our other member… remember I mentioned one member getting Typhoid and losing luggage… Mr Thomas Becker….I love being around Thomas cause he is sooo disorganized… makes me feel superior 🤣😂… cause anyone that really knows me , knows I’m not. But, Thomas gets stuff done and in the end that’s what matters:) ( I have to remember to take a pic of Thomas’s wool undies, he got Alpaca ones… but the only alpaca part of it is the little printed alpacas 🙈)

We have a 7 o’clock gear check… time to go wake the boys…

PS: our main cheerleader, for the base camp trek section , is landing at 12:35. Looking forward to spend time laughing at my beloved son, Gerald Bleeker.

The big day has arrived

After months of training, dreaming, having nightmares, getting excited, freaking out…it’s time to get the last of our gear in the overstuffed duffels ( duffels looks like seals), say our goodbyes and head out.

Training was intense, fun and very consuming. Thanks to everyone that supported us through it.

Confession time, I had my own private training, using my shepee…yup, there is such a thing. I now am as efficient standing and peeing, as any man! Makes life sooo much easier. I did have loads of fun mastering it and can now stand and pee with the best of them.

A few little hickups, this last week…from one climber contracting typhoid fever, to losing his luggage (he found it) to literally last minute shopping, like yesterday….same climber:) we are ready as we gonna be.

I had to drop off my beloved Maxwell Bleeker at his second home, he is happy, which really makes me happy. Thank you Ally, I know Max will be taken care of well and not have one knot in his hair:)

We will be arriving in Kathmandu on 9 April.

Just reread the post again…well, for someone that always have too much to say, this is it…out of words. This is all I have , for now:)

Thanks for following

Elsa