Friday, November 25, 2016
Nepal Himalaya - A Journey Through Time will be launched in New Delhi on Sunday December 4th 2016 at the India Habitat Centre, Gulmohar Hall at 7 pm. On that occasion, a presentation through photographs titled The Lure of Everest will be made. All are welcome. The details are below:
Thursday, November 17, 2016
|Thamserku from the high route between upper Pangboche and Phortse|
The High Route from Pangboche to Gokyo
The route between the Gokyo valley and the Khumbu valley is normally done through the high Cho La pass which connects Dzongla in the Khumbu to Thangnak in the Gokyo valley. However for those who do not want to cross this high pass there is a another alternative - using the high route from upper Pangboche to Gokyo. In October 2016 a South Col Expeditions team walked this route on our return from Kala Pattar and Everest Base Camp.
Upper Pangboche 3950m to Phortse 3880m
On returning from Kala Pattar/ EBC before Pangboche village there is a trail with a sign which leads up to Upper Pangboche. This is a beautiful village with a few lodges surrounding a monastery. After a cup of tea at one of the lodges near the monastery follow the trail to Phortse. The trail follows the side of the hill and climbs up and down often making steep ascents and descents on stone staircases some of which are quite steep. As you skirt the hill you can see below the lodges of Devoche which you would have passed on the way up to the EBC. Further south the monastery of Tengboche stands on top of a hill below the high route. This trail has brilliant views of Ama Dablam, Melangphulang, Kangtega, and Thamserku and to the north Everest and Lhotse as well.
The trail finally climbs to a small chorten from where the village of Phortse lies below.
Upper Pangboche to Phortse 2 hrs 30 minutes to 3 hours
Phortse 3880m to Na 4400m
The trail from Phortse climbs steeply out of the village and reaches a big chorten on top of a hill at an altitude of 4270 metres. The trail then descends and ascends soon after skirting the hillside and reaches a deserted village Ghengo in around 20 minutes. From here the first lodge is the Kangtega View at Thore at a height of 4390 metres. This is good tea break. If you are walking from Upper Pangboche you could make a night stop at Thore after lunch at Phortse.
From Thore the trail drops in around 30 minutes to reach the single Tashi Friendship Lodge in Thare. From Thare, the trail drops gently first and then does a brief climb to an old mani stone whose inscriptions have all but vanished. There is a junction here please take the trail going down into the valley - it is also marked with a white arrow and you can see the single blue roof of the lodge at Na ahead in the valley. The narrow trail now meanders through rocks, scrub, and streams climbing gently up the valley. Towards the end of the walk it climb up through rocky sections and then descends to a small bridge below the single lodge at Na.
Phortse to Big Chorten 1 hr 30 min to 2 hrs
big Chorten to village of Ghengo 20 minutes
Ghengo Village to Thore Kangtega View Lodge 40 to 50 minutes
Thore to Thare 30 Minutes
Thare to Junction 45 minutes
Junction to Na 1 hour
View from the Big Chorten abover Phortse looking towards Na and Gokyo
|Lookinng down at the lodges of Dole on the walk from Phortse to Na|
From the lodge at Na a small and rocky trail leads down to the river and crosses a bridge in around 30 minutes. Across the river higher up you can see the lodge of Pangka and the peak of Machermo. The trail from the bridge leads up to the main trail to Gokyo. Then comes a number of steep ascents following staircases clinging to the side of the hillside. A sharp bend to the left crosses a small bridge over a foaming stream and the first lake of Gokyo appears. Behind this lake is Kangtega and Thamserku reflected in the still waters. At the head of the valley, Cho Oyu one of the 8000 metre giants appears. The trail then climbs gently for another 30 minutes to the 2nd lake and ahead the steep climb to the Gokyo Ri can be seen. Passing the second lake the trail follows the hill and in around 45 minutes the 3rd lake and the lodges of Gokyo are visible.
Na to 1st lake of Gokyo 75 to 90 minutes
1st lake to 2nd lake 30 minutes
2nd lake to 3rd lake 45 minutes to 60 minutes
|The sole lodge at Na|
For more information on our Everest treks do visit www.southcol.com
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
The Phyllis and Don Munday Award - Grand Prize in the 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition has been awarded to Ice Diaries: An Antarctica Memoir, the story of author Jean McNeil's year spent on the continent of Antarctica.
The book, from publishers ECW Press, was chosen out of 147 mountain and adventure literature submissions from authors hailing from nine countries.
Written a decade ago while McNeil was the writer-in-residence with the British Antarctica Survey, Ice Diaries is part travelogue mixed with popular science and memoir.
“This thought-provoking, timely and unusual book blends adventure travel writing and creative non-fiction in a book that's thoughtful and genuine,” stated Banff Mountain Book Competition jury member Harry Vandervlist in a press release. “It’s philosophical out of necessity, because the realities of life, death and the staggering natural world of Antarctica force you to confront big questions. Putting those thoughts into memorable prose that invites re-reading is another matter, and Jean McNeil succeeds brilliantly.”
Ice Diaries was also the winner in the competition's Adventure Travel category.
The winners in the other categories are below:
Yosemite in the Fifties, Dean Fidelman, Patagonia Books
Mountain Fiction and Poetry
Martin Marten: A Novel, Brian Doyle, Thomas Dunne Vooks & St. Martin's Press
Searching for Superman, Jeff Long, Ascent
Rock Queen, Catherine Destivelle, Hayloft Publishing Ltd.
Special Jury Mentions
Across the Arctic Ocean: Original Photographs from the Last Great Polar Journey, Sir Wally Herbert and Huy Lewis-Jones, Thames & Hudson
The Bold and Cold: A History of 25 Classic Climbs in the Canadian Rockies, Brandon Pullan, Rocky Mountain Books Ltd.
For further information please do visit https://www.banffcentre.ca/banff-mountain-book-competition
Friday, November 4, 2016
World Nomads (www.worldnomads.com) is one of the companies which provide emergency helicopter evacuation insurance in Nepal for trekkers. Our clients have used this emergency evacuation policy and it has worked every time.
We reproduce below the details from the World Nomads site below:
Travel Insurance: Trekking in Nepal and Helicopter Evacuation
We are constantly asked “if I become sick or injured while trekking in Nepal, is helicopter evacuation covered?” and "How does it all work if I need helicopter evacuation?"
Let’s say first that YES, medical evacuation from the mountains by helicopter is covered by the policy when it is medically necessary!
BUT, you will only be fully covered if you contact our Emergency Assistance Team BEFORE any helicopter evacuation can be arranged.
Why must I contact the Emergency Assistance Team first?
Because the emergency assistance team are the experts who can arrange your helicopter evacuation using a reputable helicopter company and they also guarantee the payment to this company.
Wherever possible, contact the emergency assistance team yourself or ask a friend to do it for you. This is because we have had cases where some unscrupulous operators and guides say they’ve received our go-ahead when they haven’t so it’s best if you contact the emergency assistance team yourself.
And even more worrying, helicopter operators inflate flight hours to gain more money and guides of trekking companies gain commission payments as a result of calling for the helicopter evacuation of insured trekkers. All of this results in the insurer paying unnecessary bills, and trekkers often being taken off the mountain when they didn’t need to miss out on the rest of their trek. Who wants to go all the way to Nepal and only trek for a day or two when a little rest and recuperation was all that was needed to keep going?
So ALWAYS contact the Emergency Assistance Team if helicopter evacuation is medically necessary as this way, you are in safe hands and you’ll be covered!
What you're covered for (Standard Policy)
Overseas Medical & Dental Expenses USD $5,000,000
Hospitalisation or treatment by a doctor or specialist 100% of expenses
Prescribed medicines by a doctor or specialist 100% of expenses
Pain relieving dental treatment $300
Counselling after an assault or mugging $250
Daily emergency cash allowance in hospital $2,000 ($50 per day)
Physiotherapy or chiropractic treatment Not included
Treatment by acupuncturist or osteopath Not included
Adventure sports and activities
Standard sports & activities
Study, work & volunteer
Non manual work only
24 hour Emergency Assistance
Emergency Medical Transport, Evacuation, Repatriation & Travel Expenses USD $500,000
Medical evacuation or repatriation home Included
Ambulance transport Included
Personal support and accompaniment $5,000 ($250/day)
Compassionate emergency repatriation Included
Accidental death repatriation of remains $15,000
24 hour Emergency Assistance
Contact the Bupa Global Assistance Team from anywhere in the world (24 hrs, 7 days):
Phone Denmark: +45 70 23 24 61
(Not toll free. Call via an operator reverse charge/collect.)
Text your policy number: +45 42 41 30 00
(Text message only. No phone calls.)
All itemised phone call/text costs are claimable.