My Nepal-Diary

All the Facts (like Summits, Names, etc) must be checked. German is my mother language and i learned english at school, so be kind with me.

Suggestions and corrections are very welcome!

The Links open in the same window, please use the "back" link at the bottoms to get back to the appropriate section of the diary. At the end of the Diary is a link back to the Index.

We organized the Trip on our own, so the diary starts before the Day of departure (3rd of May 2000).

In February Thomas and myself started to get the necessary vaccinations. The University of Cologne helped us on the vaccination program. It wasn't cheap, but do you have a real choice?

28 April 2000, 9.26am, Cologne, Pulse: 58

Our Tour starts on the 3rd of may. Thomas has the Tickets on his desk... :-) Anticipation and nervousness...
The only Thing i did so far was taking out the Clothes (here's a Photo of all the Stuff i took with me). The vaccinations have all been done. My Mom's getting all the other Medicine for us (She's a Doctor). I got 550 $US from the Bank. (Why is the US$ so expensive... :-( )
I need to get some films for my reflex camera. Yesterday my Mom showed me an old photo album of my aunt. She was in Nepal and India in 1977. Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Pumori were visible. She was very impressed; i'm eager to find out how i feel, when i'm there...

05 May 2000, 7.44am, Kathmandu

We woke up a couple of minutes ago. The background noise ist very strange, but nothing compared to yesterday. We arrived around 3pm at the Airport. After changing some Money we bargained for a good price for the Taxi. Then the Driver took off into the chaotic (for european conditions) traffic.We walked through Thamel in the evening. After sending some EMails towards Germany we went out for Dinner. Both of us were happy and healthy.

05 May 2000 1pm, Kathmandu

We walked to the german Embassy . They ask you to register there, when you go on a trekking Tour, in case of an emergency. Then we went to Pashupathinath. I was shocked, that there are some very beatiful Places and just a couple of metres further is a mountain of garbage around.When you're walking through Thamel lots of young guys try to sell something to you (Sir! Look! Nice and cheap!), while outside of Thamel is quite (except the traffic) and contemplative. Motorbikes were taken apartand put together in the dust of at the roadside (including the motor). Unbelievably they're working afterwards.
We want to go to the Travel Agency to get our flight to Lukla soon, that we can get out of Kathmany as soon as possible. In the evening we were at Pilgrims Book House; i bought Thomas Clancys "Without remorse" for the spare time on the trip.

07 May 2000 6.04am, Phakding, ca. 2600 M, Pulse at 8.00am: 88

We woke up about 15 minutes ago. I got a headache yesterday evening, in rained during the night. (Maybe my sensitivity for weather changes got me...)
We've been at the travel agency two days ago and we got a flight to Lukla the next morning. Check in time: 5.30am. 4.30am was wakeup time.We had some problems finding the place where we had to go. The plane took off around 6.30am and we arrived at Lukla around 7.15am. The airstrip in Lukla (build in 1964 for 2650 $US under supervision of Sir Edmund Hillary) is about 500 m long and ascends in an angle of 10 degrees and ends at a rock wall. The flight is on sight, so we got very close to the mountains, that i got the feeling that all i got to do to touch them is stretch out your arms.
We got some tee at a local lodge and departed. A couple of minutes later we had breakfast (a water melon) with an amzing view.
Phakding was reached around noon. We got a room with anamazing view in a good lodge. The rush of the Dudh Kosi was audible when we got to bed.In the afternoon we went for a short walk and crossed suspension bridge, that was more than 100 m long. We went down to the river, lots of round stones of every imaginable Size. The river is itself is dirty, though it's coming from a glacier. There were Cans, Shoes and stuff like that in the river...

07 May 2000 8.43pm, Namche Bazaar, 3440 M

Thomas and myself were sitting in Namche Bazaar. It was a very, very difficult day for me. We started from the Lodge around 8am an quitted around 8.15am, because it was raining. We finally started at noon. At 12.15 i found out, that one of our maps was missing. Thomas turned back to get it. While i was waiting it was quite cold. Iwasn't able find a good Rhythm afterwards.
We got our park permit right at the entrance. Close to 5pm we arrived at Namche Bazaar. There were some Lodges a bit before the entrance of the town. We had some Tea there. Afterward we left for a Lodge for the Night. There was a hot shower... :-) I feel like a new born Child right now..
My Pulse is 94 after Lunch... We've seen someamazing mountains and a lot of untouched nature. There are huge mountains and waterfalls around, a lot of nature, but once in a while even within the Park are mountains of garbage.
I'm asking myself, how i'm gonna feel tomorrow. I believe my legs are gonna be sore... The 2nd pot of tea is just finished, during the night the 3rd. Before we go on a daytrip tomorrow another one is going to be emtied.

08 May 2000 6.21am, Namche Bazaar, Pulse: 64

Blue sky and sunshine... :-) Perfect weather for a little Walk.

8.15pm, Namche Bazaar

We slept for another two hours, because we had no big plans for today. We left towards the Everest View Hotel after breakfast. Unfortunately it quite cloudy today. The Summits you could see in thedirection of Mt. Everest were Lhotse or Nuptse. Then we went to Khumjung and hat a pleasant walk back to Namche. Rumors say, that camp 4 was established today. There's so much beautiful nature here. Gigantic mountains, vallies and waterfalls.

09 May 2000 5.00am, Namche Bazaar, Pulse: 66
4.27pm

I just delivered my 5 postcards to the "Post Office". It is a small house; the office is on the first floor, the entrance is about 1 m 75 cm high. I'm curious when they will arrive in Germany...
We went in nortwestern direction today. When it got cloudy we decided to turn around and head back to namche to stay dry. In this direction the valley is really really beautiful and clean. Thomas walked quite fast in my opinion, i would prefer a little slower pace, to save some power for later and higher.
When we walk with our backpacks tomorrow i want to slow him down a bit. We met a guy from southern California today, who has already been in basecamp. He said, that he enjoyed this trip into the valley more than trekking up there. I'm eager to know what the weather is like further up. Tom is a bit sceptical about getting up there at all. He does not really think about the way and acclimatisation, i believe.

10 May 2000 6.00am, Namche Bazaar, Pulse: 60
1.48pm, Tengboche

We walked to Tengboche (Thyangboche) from Namche Bazaar today. We started around 8am and arrived around 12.30pm. The Altitude is close to 3800m; if the sun is shining it is quite warm, if it is windy or cloudy it becomes icy quite fast. The Trail was easy but strenuous; it descends 200 to 300m and then heavily ascends towards Tengboche. The "first goal" is reached!!
I was able to take somepictures of Ama Dablam, Lhotse, Lhotse Shar and Everest. It was clear and nice and it became cloudy at noon. That seems to be the usual weather pattern right now.
We got a room with a beautiful View of Ama Dablam, Lhotse and Everest. If it is clear tonight i can take a long-term picture.
Wer're both healthy. My right ankle and my neck hurt a bit and Thomas feels a bit drunken. We got telescope trekking poles yesterday; i believe we're gonna have sore muscles tomorrow.

11 May 2000 5.30am, Tengboche, Pulse: 64
6.38pm, Pengboche Wa Lim, 3840m

Our sleepingbags were so warm that we slept for another two hours. We stayed at the lodge till 11.00am had brakfast and enjoyed the phantastic view. It becomes dark right now. Supper is ordered, tea is already standing on the desk. Our clothes were dry again. We had to walk back to Tengboche because i forgot a sweater there. We took a different route the second time and have been above 4000m. Sleeping altitude is around 3840m. We're gonna see how it is gonna be...
Walking without the backpack is easy. We met some germans on the way, who take part in clean-up expedition. When we asked them why they do it the answers range from:"Conviction" (And it is important!!) to "... because then the trip is not that expensive." Anyway: A good thing
I had tea with milk for the first and last time today. It tasted smoky... (Later i tried it again. It was OK. Somewhere else the black tea tasted smoky...)

12 May 2000 6.15am, Pengboche Wa Lim, Pulse: 62
5.01pm, Pheriche

We left at 8.00am and arrived at Pheriche 2 1/2 hours later with a break of 30 minutes. We sat outside in the Sun reading or writing, together with a Lady from Scottland. She has trouble acclimatizing. At 3pm we wanted to see a lecture on high altitude sickness at the HRA (Himalayan Rescue Association) Station in Pheriche.Originally there were three doctors, but now at the end of the trekking season the last doctor took off towards Island Peak Base Camp for her well earned Holidays. We walked to Dingboche instead to have some tea/kakao at a lodge. There were half a dozend people there. We knew two of them from Tengboche. There was a Mexican, who i believe is climbing Everest, because i think i've seen a picture of hin on the internet.
Sleeping altitude is around 4240m. Thomas didn't sleep good in the past days and wakes up a lot. I wake up a lot too, but i don't have any trouble falling asleep again.
Ama Dablam looks differend from here, we're on the north-western side now, not from south. If it becomes clear tonigt a long-term picture is taken.

Tomorrow we want to rach Tughla -4620m. We had a "luxurious" dinner with Boiled Potatoes and tibetan Bread...

13 May 2000 5.30am, Pheriche, Pulse: 56
12.27pm

We decided to stay in pheriche today. Thomas' pulse is very high, close to 100.
At 15 minutes to 10am, we took off for a "small" excursion. We're between 5400 and 5500m high right now, sitting in the sun. We took lots of pictures. Lhotse, Lhotse Shar, Peak 38, Island Peak, Ama Dablam and Makalu have been photographed. We're not able to take our eyes off this beautiful view.
I believe that extra day is gonna be good for both of us. The excursion was a good thing. (Climb high, sleep low).
Clouds were coming. At 1pm we decide to descend. On our way down we hat do walk up through some SAND.

14 May 2000 7.30am, Pheriche, Pulse: 62
7.00pm, Tughla

We just ate. The day wasn't that long, but i got some mild headache on the descend from Lobuche to Tughla. I believe i'm not drinking enough. But i don't like the thought of drinking even more than now...
We walked from Pheriche to Tughla to Lobuche. We met a danish couple (we've met them before) in Tughla and escorted them to Lobuche.
The headache is in the back of the head and i don't want to take pills at this altitude.
We've not seen Mt. Everest for the last two to three days, because of the angle. How will it look like, when we get closer...
4 to 5 avalanches were seen or heard today.

15 May 2000 5.41am, Tughla, Pulse: 62
11.20am, Lobuche

We got up quite early today. We left at 7.15am and arrived around 9.15am in Lobuche. We put up our Tent an went into a lodge to get some luiquid into our bodies. There was a Sherpa with a radio set. We asked him, wehether he is waiting for a success call from Mt. Everest. He said: "They're 2 hours away from the Summit. Right now They're on the south summit 300 Feet below Summit." Thomas asked him, whether he has been on the summit before. He grinned ans said: "Sure, 9 times". He left for the base camp with another Sherpa. Byron Smith arrived couple of minutes before they left. He's going for the summit tomorrow.
Right now we're sitting in the sun at about 5200m. It is so quiet up here. Once in a while an avalanche breaks off. A helicopter flew towards base camp below us, while we were walking on a ridge towards the lobuche-glacier.

12.25pm in the Pyramid/8000M Inn @5050 M

At the next table were three members of the catalanian south-pillar (?) Everest expedition. They got angry at me, when i asked them, whether they were spanish... Ohoh...

16 May 2000 6.30am, Lobuche, Pulse: 66
16.55pm, Gorak Shep

Today has been the first successful attempt via the southern route. Yesterday the Group turned back because of deep snow and strong wind. The news come from the catalanian expedition. Two members of that Group with a radio set have been down at Lobuche at 10am. They said: They (The others: who? Rumors say Chinese, Japanese) were above Hillary Step now. This afternoon these news were confirmed in Gorak Shep. Gorak Shep ist the last village before you arrive at base camp. There are two lodges there. Right now we're about 5200m high.
If Tom is moving his head, he's got a headache. When we arrived i took a Diamox. Thomas took one yesterday.
So far, both of us is feeling ok. The way was quite complicated, but not that long. It was quite steep once in a while. Most of the time we were right on or close by the khumbu glacier.
If the weather stays good, we take off towards Kalar Pattar tomorrow, base camp on the day after and if we're feeling good to another viewpoint a little higher on the slopes of Pumori, where you can see more of Mt. Everest.

18 May 2000 6.35pm, Gorak Shep

Keeping the diary has become a bit irregular, but i didn't feel good. To tell you the truth i feel very, very bad.
We took off towards Kalar Pattar at 4.30am. It was very cold and even though i wore gloves i had cold fingers. I found it to be psychically difficult, because you see fake-summit after fake-summit. The true summit is like a triangle that breaks off to the north, south and east. We've been very lucky with the weather and took lots and lots of pictures. You can see Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and the south-col. Ama Dablam looks great from here. (Here were the Gallery 1, 2 and 3 in a new window)
I got very quiet, because of the stories and tragedies that took place on Mt. Everest.
We sat in a lodge that afernoon. I didn't feel well. I took a Diamox, but it didn't get better at all. I had a bad headache, my back and my legs were hurting. In the Evening i took a pain killer (I did not take a sleeping-pill, because they reduce your ability to breathe). I slept well, but not restful. Thomas went to the base camp on his own. (Galleries 1 and 2 open up in a new window). I felt too weak to go with him. I was sleeping or dozing until he came back. Two german doctors were sitting in the lodge. They gave me two Dexamethason, one to take immediately one for tomorrow, if i don't feel better. (Thanks Roma and Oliver!) We walked down to Lobuche. The air seems to be thick... It feels good...
We're going to descend furthe tomorrow, maybe even as far as Pheriche. Today my backpacks big buckle broke... :-(

19 May 2000 6.50pm, Lobuche

No Chance to repair it or get a new one up here. We got to work something out...

20 May 2000 11.50am, Chukkung

We walked from Lobuche to Tughla and Dingboche to Chukkung yesterday. It was a long day, but it was ok. Today we had the first Coca-Cola in 14 Days. We were talking about eating, drinking and luxury a lot.
Yesterday evening (Food was excellent) the view was very low. Sometimes below 10m. It is drizzling. We got another 14 days in Nepal. It is a pity on the one hand, because there's so much to discover here, but on the other hand i'm looking forward to germany. The wiew is below 150m right now. Perfect timing for a day off (tomorrow) Ama Dablam, Island Peak and Lhotse were not visible.

20 May 2000 4.00pm, Chukkung

I forgot: It snowed yesterday. Somebody called the view: It's a winter-wonderland...
There were 3 to 4cm snow, that melted as soon as the sun came out. The Mountains hat a cover of "confectioner's sugar" on them. The view was a dream.The view is below 20m right now. There's a swiss Island peak expedition in the lodge.Tom's lying in his sleeping bag reading Tom Clancy; I'm sitting at the stove (Stoves were a sometimes difficult thing, because the people like to feed all kinds of stuff into them) with cold feet, thinking about the food, that's waiting for us in europe.
We need, at least, one more good day (for Chukkung Ri), better would be two (for Chukkung Ri and Tse). More good weather will be for the descend. We got 5 spare-days, if the weathers is bad or we decide to head towards Gokyo.
One day will be for relaxing in Kathmandu.

21 May 2000 4.45am, Chukkung

Let's go! Blue Sky and Sunshine, just perfect... :-)

7.45pm, Tengboche

Chukkung Ri was "made" before we had breakfast. (Gallery 1 and 2 in a new window) We didn't make the traverse to Chukkung Tse, because it looked too risky/slippery that day.
We sat in the sun and enjoyed the fantastic view for quite a while.
15m after we decided to descend (Our highest point was about 5650m high) the clouds surrounded us. We hat breakfast at 10.00am, packed our stuff, started to descend and arrived an Tengboche at 6pm.

We're happy we came that far. We're tired and we're gonna sleep very good. I just dreamt of half a liter of Kölsch (A beer that's brewed in my hometown Cologne)

22 May 2000 10.30am, Tengboche

Tom left for Namche Bazaar this morning. He wants to change money, get me a buckle (maybe going to the bakery and giving his girlfriend a call). Maybe he brings some postcards for me, then i got something to do today.

12.46pm, Tengboche

Tom is not back yet. It is raining and very cloudy, 20 to 25m visibility.
There's a german couple here. They want to head towards Gokyo, we talked a lot. (They contacted me, because they found this page. He's put up some Pages too.) Christoph mailed me some pictures. If the weather stays bad, i don't want to go up again.

15.15pm
Tom's back. He's lying in his sleeping bag, because he has become very cold on the way.

23 May 2000 12.55pm, Namche Baazar

We're in Namche Bazaar for two hours now. I called home. I woke up with toothache the last couple of days. I got an appointment with the dentist at 2pm.We've been at the bakery, had a cheese/sugar biscuits and Coke. I bought my last postcards.

4.20pm, Namche Baazar

The dentist was very cool. She gave me antibiotics for the inflammation but refused to open it, because we were on the way down.

26 May 5.05pm, Flight to Europe

The last couple of days passed very fast; but one after the other...
We walked down to Lukla from Namche Bazaarin one long day. Departure was at 8am and we arrived at 2pm. The german doctors-couple is here again! The Trail seemed to be very long. Neither Thomas, nor I, remembered the way from Phakding to Lukla to be that long... We confirmed the Tickets for the 2nd machine. The next morning we were told, that we were on the 3rd flight. Problem one: The airport's gonna be repaired. Problem two: The weather's becoming bad. Problem three: The weather's becoming bad.
An american and an australian guy waited with us for the 3rd flight. All four of us took a Taxi to Thamel from the airport. We checked into our Hotel and i walked through Thamel to send some Emails and buy some Coke.
Finally i got Coke and Chocolate-Cookies for Thomas and myself. There's a Supermarket in Thamel! I was standing under the shower eating cookies and drinking Coke.
We had to go to the Agency and get our Tickets (We left them there, that they confirm the Tickets for us) and get them confirmed for the first possible flight.
Everything went fine, we got on the Flight next day (again via Dubai)
The Rum-Doodle-Bar was the place where we wanted to go on our last evening, but they hat a Staff BBQ, so we went to another restaurant. My dad had sent a fax to the hotel, so i had 5 Pages to read before i went to bed.
4.30 am was wakeup-time.
In about 3 and a half hours we arrive in Frankfurt, then we catch the train to Cologne, which will be another two hours. It's gonna be around 8pm when we're finally there.
My tooth got a root treatment meanwhile, so everything is fine now.

It won't have been our last visit in Nepal...
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