Luckily back home, but far from finished

I’ve now been back in the UK for a little over a week, but it could have been very different. The last post was about our ‘interesting’ flight back from Lukla, and after the (actually quite minor) psychological trauma it inflicted I have not updated the blog, but after a certain piece of information was pointed out I thought I ought to mention it.

This was Lukla on the day we flew out.

OK, so not too bad, but what you have to remember is the entire area is surrounded with quite large mountains that are not very visible when covered by clouds, and the planes that fly in and out of here don’t have any fancy radar or instrument landing systems. Simply put, if you can’t see it, you don’t fly there, and if you can’t see through it, you don’t fly through it.

We got out. We knew we were luckily, just not quite how lucky.

We were on one of only two flights that got out that day (31st October 2011, for reference). Lukla then was shut for a little while. Actually a week, and they were still working through the backlog yesterday (9th November 2011), so if we hadn’t got out, we might still be in Nepal today.

The biggest thanks needs to go to our porter, D.B. Tamang, who despite technically being off the clock found us moping into our drinks in the early afternoon with the rallying cry of ‘first flight! you on first flight! coming now! airport now!’.

This was despite the fact that the previous afternoon when re-confirming our flights I was sure we had been put on the third flight, which for clarity did not actually make it that day.

We’ve contacted the trekking agency to get an extra bonus tip to him. Only fair, and he was great throughout.

So in the end we got back to Kathmandu on the day, if not the time expected. And as expected the Kathmandu Guest House had made a hash of our booking, so we stayed at the Excelsior around the corner. Although it doesn’t have the gardens and bar area, it does have a nice roof terrace in a traditional 6 stories up not sure if it’s safe nepali style.

What this doesn’t give an impression of is the noise of the streets below.

Of course it will, once I’ve pulled together all the various threads of the Stop Frame Everest film. But i do think it may be some time away, just down to pure logistics


I have around 25,000 photos and a few hundred video and sound clips to pull together, So far, in a week, all I’ve managed to do is put archive pictures into fairly generic folders based on where taken. I’ve started to work out the best way to go to video from stills with stabilisation, but it aint easy.

So lots of beta, like this;

The film will take a good few months, but I’m hoping will be ready for a premier at one of the Leamington Underground Cinema events in February – i.e. debut on the big screen at the Apollo.

And I’ll keep you all updated with teasers.

BTW – donations are still open now I’ve actually done the bleeding trek


Show me the rupees

They say the best things in life are free  (bah bah bah bum)

But you can leave them to the birds and bees, I want money!

(ooh, ooh-eeh ooh – that’s what I want)

It being less than two weeks before I risk life and limb in the nether regions (Not to be confused with Netherlands (disambiguation)) of the third world, I’d like to point out to all and sundry a couple of things

  1. I’m not doing this for my health. The ancillary benefits are no doubt great, but if you know me then the idea of an ‘exercise high’ is about as likely to arise in conversation as ‘I like what Cameron is doing on NHS reform‘, i.e. no chance.
  2. This does actually involve a certain level of risk. Sadly last week one of the tourist flights from Kathmandu crashed, with the loss of 19 lives. This has happened at least once a year since private airlines started in Nepal in 1992, and is unlikely to decrease given the terrain, weather and commercial pressure to keep flying.
  3. There is a secondary risk when going to altitude of cerebral edema or pulmonary oedema due to the reduced air pressure. I am less worried about this, having been high before, and this being in my control in terms of how high we go, but it can hit anyone even if they’ve been high before
  4. I am doing this to raise money, but I am funding myself. This is an mportant distinction compared to other options where the money raised goes towards the trip. I will point out that the linked site does also offer a self-funding option, but most people don’t go that way.
  5. I am doubling up on the self funding by adding in the frankly stupid idea of making a film at the same time. For example; is an utterly pointless wander around the block, but demonstrates the principle I will be using for filming it as stop-frame
  6. Most importantly; I am proudly raising money for Tommy’s

OK, not the Tommy’s I meant, although they do a mean burger, I mean, just look at the diagram –

they’ve got arrows pointing out all the lovely bits of gristle and everything.

Want one..

anyway, I meant to say I was raising money for Tommy’s

Damn, that’s not right either

Let’s face it, no-one is going to donate to a borderline alcoholic to go to a bar… Unless they really do (or don’t) like them…

One last try. I’m raising money for Tommy’s. OK that is a link to my Justgiving page, here’s a link to Tommy’s charity page so you can read it. The most important thing is this –

And I know myself, and for many others it does not.

Have I gone off track?

Looking back at the last few posts, it has occurred to me that I may have gone a little off track. What I mean is that this should be about raising money for charity, and not some vanity art project-come-jolly in the mountains. All a bit self indulgent perhaps?

Perhaps. Then again, this trek was originally just something that a friend and I really wanted to do, and would have done anyway. The idea of filming it is an add on I may have thought of otherwise, but has been triggered by the charity aspect, and I want to follow it through to see where it ends up.

I really do want to raise money for Tommy’s, but if I’m honest I’m not particularly selfless and I certainly haven’t a clue about fundraising. I’m learning, but in the meantime I’m only doing what I can. And hopefully what I can do is keep people interested or entertained enough with what we’re doing to tempt them into donating the odd fiver or tenner to the cause.

p.s. No animals were exploited or injured in the writing of this post….

Oh, and another p.s. if you want to see a decent fundraiser (and contribute) go here