A few photos

OK, so now we’re back in Lukla at the trail’s end, awaiting our flight tomorrow morning back to Kathmandu. All in all, not feeling to bad – don’t feel like I have any leftover symptoms of HAPE, and my legs are surprisingly lively. Soon put that to rest with a few beers.

We’ve splashed out ($15) on a posh room at the North Face resort, with our own shower and everything. Actually ended up in exactly the same room as I shared with Colin two years ago. Worth every cent to get the smell of two weeks trekking off.

Anyway, in advance of my return, I thought I’d post a picture or two to show you what its all been about.

And here’s a picture of me where the last one was taken. Looking rather happy for a man about to develop altitude sickness. And below is a picture of what I’m going to be doing later this evening.

Thanks to everyone who has donated, and if you haven’t, why not?
Weather and flight logistics permitting we should be back in the UK on Tuesday evening, so see you soon.


Decision re-made (sort of), back on for Everest

On the last post I said that Beccy was staying in Namche and I was off up to Gokyo – not the original objective. Well Beccy is still in Namche, as far as I’m aware anyway. However after a four hour tramp over the Mong La (4000m) I did a bit of soul-searching the night before last whilst staying in Phortse Tenga. I wondered whether I was wimping out.

After a bit of calculation on days, and on the basis we’ve spent more time acclimatising in Namche than normal, I realised with a bit of gumption I could still make it up to Everest – if not base camp, then at least the Kala Pattar viewpoint, which for most people is the end destination as it is higher and you can actually see the summit.

So this morning I’m sitting in Pheriche (4250m) after a fairly – no make that very – hard slog from Phortse Tenga. Apart from the 600m altitude gain, the path goes up and down like a proverbial (insert favourite simile) and it is a fair distance, plus I’m carrying around 12kg, so starting at 8:30 and with an hour lunch I got into Pheriche at 5:30, roundabout dusk.

Despite the possible altitude issues, I slept the best I have done so far on the trek, and this morning feeling fine. Probably won’t push for Lobuche (4950m) tonight, that most likely would be a bit too much, so looking to stay at Thugla (4650m) which is only a few hours away. Easy day then. At this rate I’ll be looking to be up Kala Pattar on Thursday, and back in Namche on Friday night.

Here’s hoping.

Oh yes, if you’re interested, I’ve taken 17,465 photos for the film so far.

Training in Leamington

Unfortunately I can’t enjoy the luxuries of ‘training’ in Paris every weekend, so with only a little more than a month to go until the trip, I though it was about time, well actually way beyond time I upped the pace a little and started regular gym sessions.

Now those who know me well, will realise that this is not my normal environs, milieu, stomping ground, place worship or anything else. However, believe it or not I have been (in the past) a member of a gym, and due to general convenience & the fact that it’s quite nice I’ve rejoined Pure. They have all the right kit, open early (not likely) to late (possible), and a nice pool to warm down in.

So today I started. Actually I was pretty pleased. 35 minutes on the bike, 20 minutes running – uphill – on the treadmill and a couple of weights sets followed by 20 laps of the admittedly not olympic size pool. Not bad considering it’s at least a year since my last visit. I expect I’ll pay for it tomorrow.

I tried to find an image to illustrate my session, but unfortunately when I searched for ‘sweaty workout’ this is the only image that came up which is suitable for public consumption.

Deary-me internet, you are so rude.

Anyway, I plan to go every other day until the trip, so will keep going for ‘more intensity’ and ‘feeling the burn’ or whatever other horse-shit phrase is currently in vogue for hurting yourself now to hurt less later.

At this rate, I might even think about giving up alcohol until the trip………

Only Joking!

Stumbling towards fitness

As you can tell from the photo I’m feeling pretty chuffed with my progress so far. It was really nice to go out to Philadelphia to train, if somewhat profligate given the aim of raising money for charity. However you have to keep the motivation going, and I would never condone false photographic tricks to persuade potential sponsors I was working hard.

Back in the real world, any efforts to gain some semblance of a training program have been shafted somewhat by social engagements this week. I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘any excuse’ but my brother’s wedding isn’t something I can easily get out of, particularly when I’m both a witness on the wedding day and photographer the next day for the reception. The copious flowing booze doesn’t help – as anyone who knows me will testify, I can resist anything except temptation.

I have, however managed to fit in (in descending order of usefulness)

  • alternate nights 30-40 minute run whilst Lila is being put to bed (as the other nights I’m putting her to bed)
  • 3 days a week speed yomp up and down town between childminder and home / work
  • a couple of times a week quick 20 minute session on the cross trainer in-between times I have to either deal with the girl or the noise would wake her up
  • 1-2 days  week of not actually getting drunk

Written like that, it sounds as if I’m actually making an effort, but I wouldn’t want to mislead you into believing I’m dedicating all my spare time. This weekend we’re going to Paris

Yep that’s the one, with scary dog statues on the top of buildings, pointy bits of scrap metal as cultural anchors and legendarily arsey waiters. I do have two really good excuses for yet another break in any kind of training schedule (if it warrants the name). They are

  1. It is our wedding anniversary – our 18th. We must have got married when we were 12, or I’m so old my memory is failing. Or both.
  2. In France we can avoid the slew of English language 9/11 documentaries on TV. And for f***s sake it’s 11/9 you bloody colonials. How does Month/Day/Year make more sense than Day/Month/Year? At least do Year/Month/Day if you want efficiency and a nice sort order…

Anyway. You can make your mind up which is the better justification. In the meantime, to alleviate all the depressingness in the world at the moment, here’s a unicorn chaser.

And btw, if you haven’t sponsored me yet, donations are still welcome.