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Mountain Madness Climber

Weather On The Way To Everest Base Camp

Moun­tain Mad­ness Group 2 is on its way to Ever­est Base Camp!

We climbed to Nam­che Bazaar yes­ter­day past large trees felled by the win­ter winds. Even now in the spring, weath­er is the most pow­er­ful force we have to con­tend with.

Buf­fet­ted about by the wind, our flight into Luk­la had an extra dose of excite­ment, but we land­ed with­out any trou­ble and start­ed hiking. 

By after­noon, a sol­id rain start­ed, and we were lucky to already be at our lodge. In the morn­ing, it was clear and gor­geous, but by night we had a heavy down­pour. For­tu­nate­ly, that meant blue skies and sweep­ing panora­mas for our hike to the Ever­est View Hotel this morning.

Last trip saw a lit­tle snow, a lit­tle rain, a lit­tle hail, a lit­tle fog, and wel­come dos­es of sun­shine inter­spersed in between. We’re hop­ing for more sta­ble sys­tems and sun­shine which are late in com­ing this year. In the Himalayas, it’s best to be pre­pared. No telling what tomor­row may bring!

Trekker and Khum­bu Ice­fall climber Hank Wis­ner shares his reflec­tions on the trip so far:

Trekkers Hank and Jeff

Fif­teen years ago, I was in Nepal for the Ever­est Base Camp trek. I pre­sumed that what lived in my mem­o­ry was the way things remained, but actu­al­ly so much has changed.

In Kath­man­du, pol­lu­tion, pop­u­la­tion, pow­er out­ages, and gen­er­al chaos have increased dra­mat­i­cal­ly. The gov­ern­ment seems invis­i­ble and inef­fec­tive. I see more beg­gars, pover­ty, and filth. What­ev­er the caus­es, Kath­man­du is no longer the charm­ing and roman­tic place which had stuck in my head from years ago.

The exact oppo­site is true from Luk­la to Nam­che – and maybe beyond, but I haven’t got­ten that far yet. I expect­ed poor, dirty chil­dren, run­down shacks, beg­ging, and gen­er­al hope­less­ness. What I found was clean, hap­py chil­dren, new homes, rows of hotels-restau­rants-inter­net cafes, and cell phones every­where. Even the dogs are in good health. 

The hotels have hot water, show­ers, and laun­dry ser­vice. I even got a mas­sage from a tra­di­tion­al Tibetan doctor.

Fif­teen years ago, there was exten­sive pover­ty here. The peo­ple were dirty, and health was poor. Every­where you look now, it’s clean­er. The peo­ple seem con­fi­dent, hap­py, and hope­ful. The trekking trails are well cared for, and busi­ness in Nam­che seems good. There’s been a build­ing boom, and new lodges are every­where. Peo­ple have clear­ly been lift­ed out of pover­ty by tourism and the climb­ing indus­try. It’s good to see. As a for­eign­er in the Khum­bu region, I can relax and inter­act with con­fi­dent and hap­py local people.

Every con­ti­nent has its won­ders, but the Himalayas are espe­cial­ly beau­ti­ful. The peo­ple of this region deserve kudos for keep­ing it mag­nif­i­cent, clean, and safe. When I get back to New York City, I can close my eyes at night and see the majesty of the Khumbu.

The more I trav­el, the more I real­ize the illu­sion of sep­a­rate­ness of peo­ple. We all want the same basic things: close fam­i­ly, love, health, and pros­per­i­ty. I’m hop­ing that the rest of Nepal can attain what the Khum­bu has accom­plished in these past 15 years.

–Hank Wis­ner, Ever­est Base Camp Trekker 1987, 1997, 2012

View of Mount Everest