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Everest Base Camp with Mountain Madness

Friends and Fun at Everest Base Camp and Island Peak!

What a great sea­son! As the Spring Ever­est Base Camp trips come to a close, we are look­ing ahead to the fall with excite­ment. Due to pop­u­lar demand, we have added an addi­tion­al date to our fall EBC trips. If you did­n’t have a chance to sign up for the Octo­ber 8th trip, we now have a trip run­ning on Novem­ber 5th. Once you vis­it this intrigu­ing region, you’ll want to return! We’re expand­ing our Nepal and Bhutan trips this year, so be sure to check out our Wom­en’s Anna­pur­na Trek, climb of Mera Peak, and trekking in the Tsum Val­ley and Mus­tang regions!

Below, guide Deana Zabal­do and her trekkers share sto­ries from their won­der­ful expe­ri­ences in the Himalayas. Also, check out the videos Deana took at 17,000 feet and at Base Camp!

22 April, 2011

Moun­tain Mad­ness does it again! (Ever­est Base Camp, that is!) Our sec­ond group of the sea­son is on its way into the high Himalayas. We had an excit­ing flight from Kath­man­du to Luk­la on a Twin Otter (instead of the usu­al Dornier) and have been enjoy­ing sun­shine, our first Ever­est views, and a deca­dent after­noon in the bak­eries of Nam­che Bazaar.

–Deana Zabal­do, Guide

Today we had a beau­ti­ful hike from Nam­che Bazar to see the spec­tac­u­lar Ever­est peak (at 11o’clock in this pho­to) and Lhotse (the world’s 4th high­est moun­tain, in the mid­dle at 12 o’clock, with a dou­ble spike) among oth­ers. We took the shot from ~12,500 ft above sea level! 

–Lar­ry Gross, trekker

25 April, 2011

Best Day On The Mountain

Today we had an acclima­ti­za­tion day in Ding­boche at the Hotel Ari­zona, 14,250 feet. We had the oppor­tu­ni­ty” to sleep in until 7am! After break­fast, we took a hike to 15,600 feet. The scenery was beau­ti­ful, and we were breath­less. (All a part of the acclima­ti­za­tion plan.)

Back at the Ari­zona, we enjoyed lunch and then the fun start­ed. We pulled out a fris­bee and beach­ball and a two-hour frisbee/​volleyball game ensued. Every­one played: the Sher­pas, the hotel staff, our guides, and most of the trekkers. We had many Ding­boche res­i­dents and yaks observing…and a cou­ple of local kids joined in the fun. 

High­lights of our game:

–Fris­bees tossed into the neigh­bor’s farm.

–Hotel staff climb­ing out the sec­ond sto­ry win­dow with a broom in hand to retrieve errant throws on the roof.

–The amaz­ing loft of a fris­bee at 14,250 feet. It goes FAAAAR!

–The laugh of a pink jack­et­ed Nepali woman as she got the hang of throw­ing a fris­bee and then just would­n’t stop!

Lat­er in the after­noon, we had tea with our Nepali staff. Every­one (both for­eign­ers and Nepalis) intro­duced them­selves, told about their fam­i­lies and their homes, and asked questions.(If you hap­pen to know the corn yield per hectare in the US, we have some curi­ous Nepali farm­ers who would like to know! )

After tea, we played cards and Liar’s Dice with our staff. Play­ing with Mani is worth the price of the trip just for his style and smile. 

He still owes us a song on the trail…

Final­ly, our Moun­tain Mad­ness kitchen staff cooked both piz­za and an apple pie for din­ner. And keep in mind they cook in a tent!

What a great day! We remain breath­less and on our way to Ever­est Base Camp.

–Beth, Cam­bra, and Pam, EBC Trekkers

Island Peak is more than just the summit…

When I signed up with Moun­tain Mad­ness for the Ever­est Base Camp trek and climb of near­by Island Peak, I was­n’t quite pre­pared for the cul­tur­al expe­ri­ence and per­spec­tive. It’s hard to imag­ine when sit­ting back in Chica­go what to expect in Kath­man­du and dur­ing the trek and climb. What imme­di­ate­ly hit me was the spir­i­tu­al­i­ty and strength of the Nepali people.

Dur­ing the trip, I con­tin­ued to reflect on the cul­ture of our local porters and Sher­pa guides and was struck by their friend­li­ness, work eth­ic, and fas­ci­nat­ing lives. We could­n’t have done it with­out the help of that entire Moun­tain Mad­ness com­mu­ni­ty and fam­i­ly. They made the trip and climb such a suc­cess. Our trekking guide, Deana, was won­der­ful in get­ting us com­fort­able with our sur­round­ings and guid­ing us each day. At the same time, she enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly mixed in fas­ci­nat­ing sto­ries about Nepal his­to­ry and cul­ture, adding an edu­ca­tion­al facet to the trip. 

Such a won­der­ful experience!

–Spi­der (Jeff Web­ster), Island Peak Summitter!