He stood on the top of Chomolungma as God once...:D
I'd like to add one thing to Jake's list. For those seriously considering joining, please get educated on AMS, that is acute mountain sickness. It's a real potential problem, one that can be life threatening. I know some of us here have some extensive knowledge about it (not blowing my own horn, but I've spent a long time studying AMS and have a very good working knowledge about it). If so needed perhaps we can set up a seperate thread for health & safety/preparation issues regarding the expedition.
Well said. This trip, not to make it sound melodrmatic or anything, could be quite a tough little venture with some genuine health issues involved, including AMS (altitude sickness). I'll be sending out a pre-trip medical questionairre soon to anyone who expresses interest (even thread lurkers). This is not to scare or discourage anyone, but to keep things safe and help you plan as well. I'll be putting out other memos and such too with Shawn's help (and your help too! I don't want to be in charge of you and your trip!) on topics such as cultural hints and language, area back-ground, gear and equipment lists, conditioning and training, Kuhkri Rum versus Rahkshi moonshine etc etc etc. If you've been to Nepal before, or just on an exped/ mountain clean-up please put forth your suggestions too.
Even if you are less than 50% sure at this stage, consider setting aside some money each month and starting a little research and exercise.
Ladies might be interested to note the following point. Females typically sleep 2-3degrees (C) colder than men - so warmer sleeping bags/ clothes can be nice. Females and smaller males tend to suffer less from AMS than big beefy blokes as they have less muscle mass needing oxygenation. Super areobically fit men actually show biggest declines in performance at "high" altitude (it's a great leveller!:becky: ) - above 4000m. So girls you might well be the strongest people there, don't be intimidated by macho garbage boastings or warnings about trekking and the Hims.
Finally, even if it's not super hot, altitude and dry air suck the water out of you. Hydration, hydration, hydration! This is key to staving off AMS and to being strong and healthy always.
It may not be a necessity for every single person, but anyone seriously interested might also think about getting certified in first aid. I put a link to the Korean Red Cross where you can contact them about English courses. It's http://www.redcross.or.kr/www/eng/faq.jsp
Also if you are thinking of trying for a summit (or just high slope cleaning) try getting in some ice-climbing practice this winter (or anytime at O2 in Ui Dong North Seoul).
I'll try and set up a few dates for practicing some crevasse rescue systems (they also work as great haul systems to lift heavy loads of trash etc) and avalanche awareness. This shouldn't be a major issue, but we will all benefit from a little education here.
Another lesson/ topic might be on hygeine and waste collection/ packaging. We want to clean up the place safely and get it out safely.
I'll be getting some basic Nepali lessons too from a Nepali student here. A few words will go a long way to breaking down cultural barriers and making sure we don't come off as being "holier than thou" do gooders.
Agreed. A few people should be certified in first aid. Like Jake said, it's great knowledge to have regardless.
I also agree that education on hygeine and waste collection/packaging may be imperative. To add to this, it's important that the expedition is thoroughly knowledgeable about the current packaging issues in Nepal. For example, plastic-bottled water is a major litter issue in the Himalaya. The plastic bottles are non-recyclable and inevitably end up as waste and litter. It would have to be a rule of the expedition to not use these water bottles (also, the water is often just tap water that goes through UV light testing) so as to minimize our own impact and not add to the problem we'll be trying to manage. Therefore, knowledge on how to prepare drinking water properly - boiling at altitude, how to use iodine, etc. - will also be necessary.
Just to keep this thread ticking over, I have done some more checking into things. There is a Nepali student here in Daejeon who I'm (hopefully) going to learn some basics from. The language looks to be somewhat similar to Korean in general grammar and ordering, and even a few words! Likewise anyone interested could look at getting themselves acquainted with some aspect of this exped and it's goals.
Shawn's suggestion to avoid bottled water (at least during the hike in and out stages - though in K'du itself I think we can find some brands that are using recycleable plastic, no?) is good, so we might need to make sure at least a few people have water filter pumps etc. Up higher, boiled CLEAN snow (not the dreaded yellow stuff) has never given me or anyone I know any "Delhi belly", and if you've been in Asia a whiles and been out eating street foods and such, you might have a good base layer of immunity to the milder bugs already (that was my experience when climbing in Tibet and Nepal with other foreigners who'd arrived from the states/ Europe - they got sick much more readily than those of us who'd been living in Korea).
Another issue will be creature comforts and the provision thereof. A basecamp (when we are actually at the mountain area - not trekking in-out) really needs to be comfy to maintain motivation and help keep the troops healthy (mentally and physically). It'd be great to have a solar powered generator to supply a bit of electricity to the mess tent for lights at night and maybe even a portable DVD player/ laptop (no internet though!). Sounds wantonly luxurious I know, but when you're there and working hard all day, it makes a big difference. Diesel/ Kero jennies (generators) are the norm, but heavy, dirty and noisy. Someone out there with experience in solar jennies wanna suggest something here?
I'm imagining the exped schedule will play out a bit like this:
Day 1- Arrive Kathmandu (can buy visa at the airport or ahead of time).
Day 2- Quick tour of K'du (Monkey Temple, Boudanath etc) and shopping.
Day 3-4 Sort out gear and paperwork etc, head off (by bus/ plane)
Day 5-10 Hike in to clean-up mountain area, staying o'night at tea-houses.
Day 11-14 Acclimatize and set up BC, start low altitude clean-up work.
Day 15-20 Acclimatize more and continue clean-up to higher areas.
Day 17-22 Summit party clean up highest areas and down.
Day 20-22 Break BC and send last garbage out (by Yak/ porter etc)
Day 21-26 Hike out
Day 25-27 Back to K'du etc
Day 26-30 and beyond, your free-time in Nepal. Enjoy!
The reason to get going outta K'du asap is weather (monsoon tails can be long) and also it's in the cities you have the biggest chances of getting sick and so on. Party hard and get sick when you finish!:p
We'll be at BC cleaning up for maybe 2 weeks, so make sure you have a greatly comfy camping system worked out! Two foam pads are worth the extra weight/ bulk on the way in (probably you won't be carrying it anyways), and a warm sleeping bag with liner is a must. A few books (light reading to share) and a guitar/ frisbee/ harmonica/ deck of cards etc keeps us all sane.
K'du is a great and super cheap place to pick up cheap camping/ climbing/ outdoor gear ex-expeditions from the gear stores that abound in K'du's Tamel district etc. I'd almost reccomend picking exped gear up here to save on travel weight....but not on the absolute essentials, they may not always be available in your size!
OK well that's all for now. Get wise about the trips possible demands and start figuring how you can prep in advance. It will be an abolutely unforgettable and awesomely grand adventure!
Good stuff, Jake.
I spoke with my good buddy in Kathmandu, Balkrishna (goes by BK), this morning. The talk was mostly of my upcoming trip in February/March, but I did mention the expedition, and he's keen as of now. Now that our ideas are becoming more rounded, I'll be able to provide him with more details.
So, again, this is what I suggest:
- During our stay in Kathmandu, we crash at BK's place; he has a very large five-storey house, each floor seperately accessible from the outside stairwell; plenty of room for a small group of rugged and burly mountaineers. I believe that BK will allow us to stay gratis, or at least cheap (perhaps food costs).
- In return for BK allowing us to stay at his house, we make use of his trekking company to organize the essentials in terms of: guide (at least one may be necessary, even if only for helping with translation infield and keeping fickle porters organized - I've never made use of porters myself, but the stories of their stubborness is stuff of legend), porters, camp cook, yaks/horses, paper work, red tape, etc. I do think a gift for BK and his family (his wife and two exceptionally polite children) would be appropriate, too.
I'll keep everyone posted as I things develop on this.
Im interested but Im only available til Aug
Thanks Shawn! I'll let you know more precisely what I think we need to put to him vis-a-vis detailed questions, but generally just need his opinion on feasability, area choice and a time frame (I'm hoping to keep it within 3 weeks or so).
Lurkers, thanks it's nice to know you ae out there. I'll be asking for more firm expressions of interest soon (but not a fully fledged comittment) so we can better communicate and prepare.
Kat, the exped would likely be scheduled in somewhere betixt mid-June to late Aug. I'll try and get that fixed up asap so you can get holiday times prearranged with schools/ bosses etc.
Even if this doesn't pan out precisely the way we are planning now, KA and I will be there and doing some stuff.
People seriously thinking should get vaccinations organized by April, and in training/ preparing to some extent asap.
For thoise interested I have an initial questionnaire I will e-mail you (if I haven't already). Please ask me to send this to you and tell me (in a pm not here) your email address. Lots of work to be done, and I wanna start delegating tasks and confirming things. Love you guys!
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