Daily Dispatches

Title: Chet Sutterlin - Lobuche Peak and Everest Base Camp Trek 2012

Dispatches

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CHET SUTTERLIN MD:  Nepal (last day ) – Saturday 19 May 2012

Well, my friends, it’s hard to believe that my journey to Nepal has come to end. It is Saturday morning 19 May. I am in the Yak and Yeti Hotel packing dirty clothes and preparing for transport to KTM international airport. I will fly to Bangkok Thailand, then to Sydney Australia arriving Sunday Morning 20 My where work awaits … (Head down, Bum up!!!)

I am so pleased to have experienced so much to limited a sign of time. Although I did not reach the summit of LObuche Peak on tUe 15 May (Reached 19,400 ft elevation  ... 2hrs from summit) the effort was gratifying. Thank you to Pasang Sherpa (climbing Guide). Happy 29th Birthday to my son, Landon on Wed 19 May. I celebrated by taking a helicopter from Pheriche to Kathmandu, which ended the trekking part of the trip. Thank you to Ngawang Pemba Sherpa ( trekking Guide)and my porters , especially Pasang Sherpa who is INJURED by strong and reliable (I hope you enjoy my hiking boots which have been all over the world – USA, Russia , S. America, Austraila, N.Zealand , etc.. they will serve you well on Himalayan trials) 

My Last few day in Kathmandu were very productive and enjoyable Dr. Rohit Pokharel MD PHD, chief of Spine Surgery at Tribhuvan University, Teaching Hospital, has been very helpful in expanding my understanding of Nepal’s Health care system. My friends Bharat Joshi of Yak & Yeti Hotel and Tsering Dolkar Lam of Hotel Tibet International have made my stay very comfortable. Please visit them on your visit in Nepal

Many, many thanks to my good friends Ramkrishna Pokharel and ... You guys enrich my life. Also thank you Wongchu... You are a unique person.

Finally, at this moment one of my closest and most trusted friends is attempting to climb to the summit of Lhotse, one of the highest mountain in the world...”God’s speed” Dick Morse. Have safe and successful climb. Best of luck to all of my Sherpa friends on Everest and Lhotse, and to the doctors of WMS attempting Everest.

To family and friends at home and around the world... “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the FIRST step.” (Chinese Proverb)... Don’t be afraid to take it !

"Dr. Chet"
KATHMANDU, NEPAL
Saturday, 19 May, 2012

Swayambhunath Stupa

Swayambhunath Stupa

 

Sunrise view from Swayambhunath

Sunrise view from Swayambhunath

 

CHET SUTTERLIN MD:  Nepal – Tue 8 May to Sat 12 May 2012
After a rest day at Pheriche on Tue, we departed on Wed with a fresh blanket of white snow, blue skies, and crisp cold air with Lobuche Peak (6090m/20,097ft) in the distance. On arrival at the village of Lobuche (4910m/16,203ft) we were blessed with a MOST amazing sight! A mother yak had just given birth within the hour. The toddler was very unsteady on its wobbly new legs, and fell to ground often as mother yak dutifully and lovingly licked clean its soft black coat. She was very protective of the newborn calf challenging anyone who approached, including pesky crows intent on devouring the afterbirth. I had a fitful night’s sleep due to persistent periodic breathing (Cheyne-Stokes respiration) which is common on arrival at altitude. However, our goal on Thur 10 May was Everest Base camp (EBC – 5364m/17,767ft) which we reached uneventfully. While at EBC my oxygen  saturations have dropped to the 75% range, but my resting heart rate  of 70-75 beats/minute is good in my opinion (trust me, I’m a doctor!). EBC is a veritable zoo, as usual, with a plethora of multicolored wind horses (prayer flags), tents, and expedition banners. It’s magical to return to EBC, the Himalaya, and my Sherpa friends since my last visit in 2008. Thur and Fri were spent organizing gear, reading, writing, relaxing, eating, and drinking LOTS of liquids. Dick Morse introduced me to David Breashears, a renowned mountaineer and cinematographer who filmed the Everest IMAX movie in 1996….he is a very interesting person and passionate about his craft. By Sat 12 May my oxygen sats had improved to 80% and resting heart rate maintained at 70-75 bpm….acclimatization continues!

Dick Morse and Chet

Dick Morse and Chet

 

Nak and baby

Nak and baby

 

My tent

My tent

 

Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp

 

Dick Morse at Everest Base Camp

Dick Morse at Everest Base Camp

 

CHET SUTTERLIN:  Nepal 2012…Sun 6 May to Tue 8 May 2012
Trekked from Namche Bazaar (3440m/11,352ft) to Tengboche Monastery (3860m/12,378ft) on Sun 6 May. An auspicious day as it was Buddha’s Birthday (2500+ years old). Unfortunately, I was not invited to the party! I did, however, get my 1st view of Everest trailing its plume of snow in the jet stream at 29,000+ft).  I crossed the Dhud Khosi River at the small village of Phunki Thanga (I’ve always loved that name…reminds me of “Phunki Chicken”, a teen dance from the ‘60s). I met a really cute kid there named Ming Yur, a very gregarious boy age 2 with a New Zealand Rugby hat. Hit the trail again on Mon 7 May hoofing it to Pheriche (4240m/13,992ft). The weather turned cold and windy the last hour, which was rectified with a pot of milk tea on arrival. Best friend, Dick Morse, arrived from Everest Base Camp (EBC) that afternoon. Much food, a few beers, and a bottle of Lindemann Merlot from Australia consummated the reunion. Tue 8 May was a rest and acclimatization day which included a hike with lightweight pack to 15,500ft elevation and back all in less than 3 hrs (not too bad for an old dog!). Now relaxing after a hot shower (2nd of the trip) and “blogging”. Tomorrow to Lobuche (4910m/16,203ft)! Peace and love to all my family and friends (oh yes…..and world peace, too).

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

 

Mount kangtega and rhododendrons

Mount kangtega and rhododendrons

 

Mingyur

Mingyur

 

Chet with Mingyur

Chet with Mingyur

 

Chet and Dick at Pheriche

Chet and Dick at Pheriche

 

CHET SUTTERLIN MD:  NEPAL 2012…..Week 1 (Sun 30 Apr to Sat 5 May)
I flew Thai Airways from Sydney, Australia to Bangkok, Thailand then to Kathmandu, Nepal. of Peak Promotion (climbing and trekking agency) met me at the airport, transferred me to the hotel, and then we had good food with his lovely wife, Laxmi. Pizza and Australian Shiraz! On Tue, Rohit Pokharel MD PhD, Chief of Orthopaedic Spine Service at Tribuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) and I performed an operation on a young 14yo girl with TB infection of the spine and paralysis. The procedure went well. Wed morning I gave 2 lectures to the orthopaedic faculty and residents at TUTH followed by ward rounds. Our young girl with TB showed sensory improvement overnight which was encouraging. Wed evening I had dinner (Mexican fajitas!) with my good friend Ramkrishna Pokharel and his wonderful wife, Shova, who is pregnant with her 1st child.

On Thur, the flight to Lukla (2840m and “World’s Most Dangerous Airport”) was uneventful. The hike to Phakding (2610m) on Thur and Namche Bazaar (3440m) on Fri was absolutely full of the of the smells, sounds, & sights that typify the Khumbu. Progress was slow as I was compelled to photograph nearly every child, animal, dwelling, and garden along the way. My Sherpa trekking guide, Ngwang Pemba, and I arrived at the Khumbu Lodge and were greeted by proprietors, Pemba and his sister, Nawang Doka DDS (the local dentist). Sat 15 May was an acclimatization day and we hiked to Khunde (3840m) and Khumjung (3780m). Sir Edmund Hillary established a small hospital and school in these villages for the Sherpa people of the Khumbu. In 1953, Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa were the 1st to climb to the summit of Mt Everest (8848m). We returned to Namche for shower, rest, and dinner. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, all day Sat 5 May I have been thinking of my daughter who is now 27. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AUTUMN!                        

at Tribuvan University Teaching Hospital

at Tribuvan University Teaching Hospital

 

Jopkyo

Jopkyo

 

Khunde
Khunde