It's a red letter day that has been many months in the planning and now the team is successfully in Annapurna Basecamp on a splendid afternoon! All is good in one of the most beautiful locations in all of Nepal if not the entire world!
Trekking from Deurali to Machapurchare Bacecamp
Current location: http://fms.ws/vBLM7/28.52655N/83.90768E
April 21 @ 5pm Nepal time. The Kristin Nepal expedition group woke up to clear blue skies this morning for the trek to Machapuchere Basecamp. It was a short, but steep climb up to the cluster of guesthouses located just below the spectacular peak known internationally as "Fishtail" because of it's unique "fin" shaped summit. After reaching the lodge around noon, the weather once again changed and the group got their first Himalayan snowfall in the afternoon.
Everyone is doing very well and are having no problem acclimatising to the gradual elevation gains each day. The location of the lodge the group is staying in tonight is at 3,700m which is pretty much the summit of Mt Cook! Tomorrow will be the crescendo day when they trek though light snow until reaching Annapurna Basecamp itself at an altitude of 4,130m. All is going very well, spirits are high and there are no medical issues to report. Cell phone coverage is virtually impossible, so I am getting reports from the lodge SAT phone. More photos will not be possible until the team descends back to a lower elevation.
Trekking from Bamboo to Deurali - April 20
The group made their way higher up the trail leading to basecamp and along the way encountered a bit of rain and then just as they reached the lodge in the village of Deurali, the sky opened up with a spectacular hailstorm. Mr Churches reported that there were several inches of hail covering the ground outside the lodge.
Mountain weather sometimes delivers 5 seasons a day and the Kristin group is getting a bit of everything as they make their way higher into the narrow canyon leading to basecamp. I'm hoping to get some photos sent from the lodge, but perhaps the hailstorm knocked out the already weak 3g signal that sometimes reaches as high as Deurali at 3,320m.
All are well tonight in Nepal!
Trekking from Chomrong to Bamboo
April 19 @ 8am Nepal time. Great news! The weather has finally cleared and everyone woke up to glorious views of Annapurna South, Machapuchare (Fishtail) and the other snow-capped peaks in the Himalayan range they are trekking toward. Today's hike will first descend for an hour and then once again ascend to a slightly higher elevation of 2,310m at the small settlement of Bamboo where the group will spend the fourth night on the trek.
The weather forecast is for continued clear skies, so the timing of the trek seems to have been blessed with optimal weather for the final approach to the high glacial basecamps. The group will soon enter the "blackout" zone as far as mobile phone signals are concerned, but there will be SAT phone options at the lodges each night so I'll be able to get reports each evening which we'll continue to share with you all. All good in Nepal!
Trekking from Landrung to Chomrong - April 18
Landruk - 18 April
April 17 - Trekking to Landrung Village
4:30pm Nepal time - April 16
Everyone has arrived in the first trekking night destination of Australia Camp.
The sherpa team is very impressed with the strength and fitness of the group who made it to the camp in just over 2 hours of uphill hiking. The weather is a bit hazy, but hopefully the clouds will part and afford everyone a wonderful view of the entire range of the Annapurna Himalayas that is available from the camp. Here are a few photos taken as the group arrived.
Several students "walked in the shoes of the Nepalese" by taking over porter duties and hauling the 30>40kg loads in traditional style. All good in Nepal!
Day Two... White Water Rafting
Current Location: https://www.findmespot.com/mylocation/?id=uzWiJ/27.86561N/84.63263E
After a thorough safety briefing and fitting of flotation jackets and helmets, the group is off for the 4>5 hour raft trip. The weather is clear and warm, so the conditions are perfect.
All the Kristin students & staff really enjoyed the white-water raft trip today on the Trisuli River. Everyone is now safe & sound in the riverside tented camp and are enjoying hot drinks and a bit of time to relax before dinner is served by the rafting crew.
After dinner the crew will put on a nice campfire so everyone can enjoy the relaxing sounds of the river and the first star filled night in Nepal. There were no accidents or incidents to report on the rafting excursion. Everyone is looking forward to a night in the tents and then departing early tomorrow morning for the start of the trek to Annapurna basecamp. All good in Nepal!
Day One in Nepal
We've all have had a very good day here in Nepal. Everyone woke up from a well deserved night of rest and enjoyed a breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room. We then spent about 2 hours repacking from the travel suitcases to the new Kristin duffel bags so that everyone is ready to go tomorrow morning. After a lunch in the garden of the hotel we drove though the traffic, earthquake damage, urban intensity and city sprawl to the outskirts of Kathmandu and the location of the VVM School.
Because this was Nepalese New Years day, the students of the school were on break, but the Kristin students were welcomed by the principal of the school who expressed his sincere gratitude for the generosity extended by the Kristin students in raising funds necessary to service and replace the internal filters of the school's water filtration system.
There are almost 600 students attending the school and the clean, hygienic drinking water that will now once again be possible because of the new filters and UV light sterilisation parts will have far reaching benefits in not only the health of each student, but also the quality of education they are receptive to because they are not distracted by gastrointestinal distress, dehydration and other consequences of a fouled water supply. The Kristin students also turned over a wonderful supply of new sports equipment to the principal. Before leaving, I reminded the principal that the Kristin students and community also collected a large amount of toothbrushes and other extremely useful medical supplies which we will be utilizing in our major dental and vision camp to be held at the school on April 27.
After receiving traditional garlands, the Kristin team left for the ancient hilltop temple of Swayambunath where they will enjoy this 2,500 year old sacred monument and it's splendid panoramic view of the entire Kathmandu Valley. After dinner once again in the hotel the teachers will be getting everyone to bed so we can have an early and efficient departure for the rafting tomorrow morning.
Breakfast at the Hotel Manaslu
Today’s plan is pack for the trek, visit VVM school in Patan and present the UNICEF donation and then explore Kathmandu.
Arrival in Kathmandu!
The Kristin Nepal expedition team arrived safe and sound here in Kathmandu. The Silk Air flight touched down on time and after about 1.5 hours to secure visas and collect the luggage and cargo, everyone rolled out of the airport. We drove everyone back to Hotel Manaslu where the students were give a short briefing and encouraged to head right up to their rooms and get a well deserved night of sleep. Mr Churches requested that we not wake everyone up until at least 7:30 tomorrow morning.
All the students and staff are tired, but grateful the long journey to Nepal has been completed. We'll get started on the good stuff tomorrow morning. The hard part is over. Warm regards from Kathmandu!
Nepal Trip 2018 - Packing with a difference!
This Wednesday 39 students boarded a plane for Nepal, participating in a 3 week adventure aimed at making a positive difference for earthquake ravaged villages in the Himalayas. Alongside personal packing, the students packed a whole range of donated goods, after dedicating hours of their time these last 18 months.
Nils Bachmann and friends worked weekends doing odd jobs, sausage sizzles and refereeing to buy sports equipment for local children and tools for the community centre project Kristin School is helping to build. Over 1500 toothbrushes have been packed in bags, ready to get to the dental clinics that need them.Briar Petrie and her team wrote letters and collected 2000 feminine hygiene products, to help ensure girls stay in school all year round.