4 April 2009: It is unbelievable we actually are at EBC...

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I still can’t believe how Nepal is so different and amazing than the states. The mountains are unbelievable. Climbing the Ridge on Bridger Bowl in Bozeman is like walking up a 24-step staircase compared to climbing one of these monstrous mountains.

Other then the mountains, the land in Nepal is astounding. There is always an incredible 360 view of the land around you. Chortens, memorials made of rocks and covered in prayer flags, are always around the next corner. Prayer flags are hung in the most unbelievable ways, being across a huge gap hundreds of feet above the trail to being hung across entire hills. Speaking of prayer flags, back in Pengboche we were blessed by the Lama Geshe for good luck on the rest of our trek. It was an experience to remember. Unfortunately, some of the Lama’s blessings didn’t stop seven out of the 17 people inour group from getting sick or weak.

Trekking up here in the Himalayas is like Survivor only you are not voted off the island, you fall off the island. The ten people who are left fortunately reached Everest Base Camp on April 3. A few people in those ten fell off the island beforehand, but managed to swim back and keep going.
It is unbelievable we actually are at EBC. The only other times I have seen EBC have been pictures or videos. The Khumbu Ice Fall is the most spectacular and huge glacier I have ever seen. It stretches all the way from camp 1 on Everest to Pheriche several miles down the Khumbu Valley.
This is the experience of a lifetime for me, and I’m only in high school! This place will be implanted in my mind for the rest of my life. There will never be another place like Nepal that I will visit. Seeing Mount Everest in front of me for real is the most amazing thing I have seen in my life so far, and it probably will be for the rest of my life.
Mitch Blake

Aloha! My name is Beth Cooper. I am a teacher at Kealakehe Intermediate School. The 8th grade Science classes (Ms. Clay and Ms. Couture’s classes) have been following this trek to Everest Base Camp.

I have trekked up to Everest Base Camp with 3 friends, one of which is Dr. Torrey Goodman (she will be one of two doctors staffing the Everest Base Camp ER for this season). Because of her, about 300 students at Kealakehe Intermediate are getting an idea of what it’s like to be in Nepal, climb high altitudes, and meet the most fantastic people- the Nepalese.

So, what has it been like to trek up these most amazing mountains and valleys…? AWESOME! It’s cold, always beautiful, and very humbling. I have never met such genuine people. Their smile (as they carry 150 pounds on their back!) their laughter, and their desire to make us happy and comfortable teach me to try be a better person. I hope I can come back and do these people justice, by sharing about their culture.
I also plan on spreading the word about HRA and what an amazing job they are doing for these Nepali people. To be surrounded by such giving people is just life changing!
Mahalo nui loa for this experience,
Ms. Beth