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Making the Best of a Bad Situation — Part Two

On 1 May we made the move from Chho­plung to Luk­la with the hope that we had flights back to Kath­man­du the next day. It was an easy hike up and we got real­ly nice rooms at the North Face Resort. The team dis­persed for the after­noon to explore the town, eat burg­ers, have a beer, play pool, and get inter­net access. Deana, Dawa, and I con­tin­ued to arrange con­firmed flights for the team for the next day as well as get intel on con­di­tions in the val­ley and Kath­man­du from oth­er teams and locals.

Our superb staff.

That night we had our staff par­ty to tip them out, thank them for their extra­or­di­nary ser­vice, and serve them before they returned to their vil­lage. Deli­cious food was served with lots of rak­shi through­out the night. The sher­pas sang tra­di­tion­al local songs and danced with the mem­bers before it was our turn to enter­tain them. Michael from Cana­da orga­nized a group to do the time warp” from the Rocky Hor­ror Pic­ture show. Need­less to say a lot of laughs and hugs were shared before call­ing it a night to get ready to head back to Kath­man­du. They are by far the best local staff I have ever worked with on an expe­di­tion, stay­ing with us the whole time despite wor­ries for their fam­i­lies and homes. 

Thank you par­ty for the staff.

The next morn­ing we woke up ear­ly and head­ed to the air­port in 2 waves, with Deana tak­ing the first group and me with the sec­ond team. All morn­ing we watched flights come up with food, tents, and beer before being filled with for­eign­ers to head back. After a smooth 40 minute flight we were back in the hot and humid weath­er of Kathmandu.

After a short bus ride back to our hotel, the Yak and Yeti, Deana briefed us on plans for the evening. Many mem­bers were fly­ing home soon, so she orga­nized a final din­ner in Thamel for the team to say good­bye. We head­ed out on foot at 5:00p.m. to Café Mitzra for a deli­cious meal of indi­vid­ual choice. Some mem­bers got lamp shanks, quail, duck breast, or pas­ta and it was all deli­cious. At the end of din­ner, nine mem­bers head­ed to air­port for their jour­ney home. The rest of the team has since flown out, and are either home or on their way. 

Final team din­ner in Kath­man­du. Stu­art Wolfe all photos

Deana is orga­niz­ing relief efforts in Kath­man­du and I am help­ing in my capac­i­ty until I leave on Fri­day. She is a remark­able woman and by far the most pro­fes­sion­al trekking guide I’ve ever had the hon­or to work with. Despite every­thing we were still groov­ing in Nepal and shared an unfor­get­table experience. 

Thanks to every­one at home for your kind words and thoughts, help, and being there for us when we return. 

~MM Trip Leader Stu­art Wolfe