April 10, 2014 - Trek to Lukla

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WMS 2014
April 10, 2014 - Lukla

Last day on the trail was uneventful. Everyone was in a great mood, and eager to reach the end of the trek. After arriving in Lukla, and a quick shower and relaxation time, we cruised the town searching for the best bar in town, as we were enticed by the 2 for 1 happy hour and free wifi. We were all eager for a nice beer after 2 ½ weeks of tea and tatto panni. Unfortunately, the bars were either closed or too derelict for us. We eventually settled in “Starbucks” where we were able to enjoy a few cold Everests and Tigers. We also got free popcorn! Unfortunately, the coffee took over an hour to make…not sure what they were doing? Had a great evening at the lodge where we celebrated our last night with the Sherpas, enjoying Nepali hot toddies and a fantastic dinner. Food is definitely improving on the descent. Greg finally had some real “meat” that he could identify. Early morning flight planned back to Kathmandu.

Favorite Trek Moments:
- The trek to Tengboche, because after that, I knew I could make it the whole way as long as I went bistaarai, bistaarai (chop chop).  
- Stumbling into EBC to receive our kata scarves after a long trek from Gorak Shep.
- Finding out from JB that Gorak Shep is actually where Batman began his training.  For real.
- Chatting with Jasmin at 5am and laughing so loud that we maybe woke everyone up.
-  Singing Peter Gabriel songs in my head while climbing Dugla Hill, and then singing them out loud with Tony on the way down.
- Leave me for the crows.
- Couldn’t have made it without Tony, Pasang, Chongba, Mama Dikki, Dindi, and Dorji. 
- Thinking of Jim at every great moment (and every small moment).

There were many breathtaking landscapes but the standouts were the valley at Pheriche due to the surrounding mountains and the view from the teahouse at Tengboche. Also, there are huge tree-like rhodies here, which makes the Washington State flower look rather poorly in comparison. 
I favored the complete void of motorized engines while on the trek because it was truly lovely, allowing for some real mind wandering without the distracting noises of traffic and dangers of crazy drivers. 
The diversity of the people we met at the teahouses was really mindblowing. These were people who are really living their dreams to summit Mt. Everest, wander the Himalayas, or simply be in Nepal. Everyone had a mission to their trip and was willing to share their motivation. 

The people. We got a good group this trek. Our Sherpas were basically family. Most of my favorite things about this trip is the interaction. 
Favorite leg of trek was dugla hill to lobuche. A lot of things in EBC was a blur. All I know is I was really happy up there.
This is definitely a trip to take. The like mindedness of the WMS membership essentially guarantees a cohesive group for any of these adventure CME trips.  The ability to experience the risks and medical conditions yourself is priceless.  I nominate Tony for Honorary Eagle Scout. He, with his ready bag, treated or solved the problems of 4-8 people every day. He was definitely prepared. 

Dave Z:
What a great experience!  My favorite memories are:
Wake up knock at the door or call outside your tent for morning tea. The never ending cheerfulness, patience, and helpfulness of our Sherpa guides.  The call of “chop chop, bistari, bistari” to get us moving in the morning or after a break. The unbelievable scenery every direction we looked. The sound of snow and rock slides all night at basecamp. Tony and Eric’s fun way to impart information throughout the trip.  Filling in for Tony at the final party.        

After 10 years of dreaming, finally, I made it to the Himalayas. I couldn’t have asked for a better group and experience than going with WMS. Highlights for me were:
Morning wake up tea by smiling faces.
Kumbu Lodge in Namche
Taking on Namche hill, Tengboche hill and Dugla hill – and making it! 
First sight of Everest – unbelievable!
Kunde Clinic 
Entering EBC – however soon realizing we had another 45min walk before getting to our tents was painful! 
The stars at EBC!!!!
The laying awake hearing the ice crack only meters away! Scary stuff when waking up in the morning and finding a large crack in the ground we were sleeping on.
The Swedish team
The recurrent and varying types of pyramids we came across…….
The guitar player on Tengboche hill!
So many moments..Loved each of them, thank you everyone for making it such an amazing trip!

Most beautiful – ice fall at Everest Base Camp takes some beating. Imagine looking in all directions and only seeing ice, white and sheen from the midday sun, really was the prettiest picture I have ever seen.
A notable mention must be reserved for the showers on offer at certain camps – always seemed to present themselves at moments when most needed.
The Sherpa people – they put us all to shame. If ever you need a moment to reflect on your persona or character then the Sherpa people are a good point of reference. They are a hard-working population that pride themselves on providing good quality service and are a joy to be around through their endless positivity.
The trip would not have been the same without the eclectic mix of medics from a variety of professional and geographical backgrounds, each with their own distinguished personalities. A constant source of amusement and enthusiasm which proved vital in the tougher climbs to base-camp and the return journey. I shall miss them.

Czarina’s favorite elements: 

I loved our Sherpas- strong, attentive, and with the best smiles.
The scenery: the mountains, the yaks, the glacial rivers, the porters, the wind, the crows.
Hanging out with Everest summiteers, like Dorji!
Overall, trekking in the Himalayas was breathtaking.    
At times, literally. 

Dave S.

Daily afternoon tea and story telling; the expertise teaching from Eric and Tony; Fresh mountain air; The Himalayan terrain at altitudes above Pheriche; trek from Lobuche to Gorakshep on the high route past the Italian pyramid, over the amazing Khumbu glacier; Night time at Everest Base Camp, enjoying moonlit vistas of the Himalayas, bright stars, and constant sounds of avalanches and ice crevasses creaking; interesting travelers and climbers we met along the way; wonderful group of Sherpas and guides we were fortunate to have with us for our trip; amazing group of docs (and lawyer) from a variety of backgrounds to share the trip with – definitely friends for life. The beauty of Nepal and its people.



Everest Base Camp