Blog Archive

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nepal Earthquake

Just got back to UK. In Nepal we had no internet, and limited phone access due to the catastrophic blow to infrastructure as a result of the earthquake. I was also unwilling to take the satellite phone onto rooftops to find a signal as aftershocks were common - one was 6.7 on the Richter Scale! Anyway all Medex members in Nepal and staff members are safe and well. Most have managed to get flights out and those that remain are in the Gurkha camp in Kathmandu in open ground in the care of the British Embassy. They are safe but probably still have limited access to communications. Travel is chaotic and those of us that have managed to get flights owe much to Sherpa Brothers Treks for their dogged persistence in chasing airlines. Sherpa Brothers continue to assist those still awaiting flights. 

Although we were unscathed I fear that that much damage has happened in the rural communities that has yet to be reported. This has been a catastrophe for Nepal and its people.


Friday, April 24, 2015

It's All Over!

The crowds of Medex folk in the Manang Hotel are now thinning as Kathmandu Pemba races to and from the airport ushering members to their many and various flights. The trip has been 2 or 3 years in gestation and flourished in the field for 5 week but now everyone is either safely back in Kathmandu or already on their way home. 

We are feeling huge relief that everyone is safe but already have some pangs of nostalgia for a great Expedition with some wonderful people and staff to a fantastic destination. 

Already there is talk of "what's next?" but, for the time being at least, we are staying tight lipped. One thing is for sure it will be hard to stay away from this magnificent country, its people and its mountains for too long.

So, for now, this is the last blog. We have had 10,500 page views over the last 2 or 3 months and I hope you have enjoyed following it.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Safely off the mountain

All members are safely back in Pokhara and chilling out in the various bars and cafes. The weather, however, steadfastly refuses to behave like the peak of the trekking season with a deluge most days! See pictures of Pokhara in a cloud burst.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Bimtang to Goa

In case we haven't mentioned it it has been the snowiest spring in 40 years. We arrived in Bhimtang in the driving snow having slid, slithered and slung ourselves down from basecamp. ( don't worry no broken bones and only one burst barrel).

For the first time the hardy group 3 chose to stay in a lodge, many of the other groups have already experienced this mixed blessing. On the one hand you can stand up in the rooms, on the other hand there are potential fleas. We in group 3 had always been staunch campers but after a drenching walk and 5 days in the snow at basecamp we happily settled into our bright yellow chalets and ate dinner in our beautifully carved wooden hall. 

We woke to a beautiful morning and a wonderful view of the mountains that had been invisible the night before. All groups and porters set off together for a stunning walk which changed from winter to spring as rapidly as Narnia. Soon thermal tops were coming off as we walked through flowering rhododendrons and wild strawberry flowers. 

Lunch was a picnic near a lodge under construction where we could admire the local craftsmen planing and sawing and building chairs and tables in the sunshine. Then our route continued along a new river gorge with multiple rock falls and broken trees to constantly remind us of the force of nature arounds us. 

Finally group 3,4 and 5 pitched up in the nirvana of Goa while groups 1 and 2 chose to push on to Tilje. 

2 days till civilisation, let's see if we cope with the smell until then. 

Bye for now


Friday, April 17, 2015

Hello from group 4!

Picture shows Chris and Neil at the summit of the pass 5160m in poor weather conditions.

This trek has been beset by bad weather most of the time with the locals on the trail saying this has been the worst for 12 years. Consequently Group 4 spent extra rest days on the way to Base Camp to give the earlier groups time to set all the research up!

We finally made it to Base Camp on Tuesday 14th April with the whole group in good spirits after a hard walk in heavy snow. There was a wonderful welcome from the gang already there.

We spent the next day and a half participating in the research and it has been a great achievement to get everyone to Basecamp and to complete all the tests. On Thursday we helped pack up all the research equipment and fortunately we had glorious weather which was a bonus! The mountain views in clear weather were stunning.

On Friday morning, the 17th, we woke to poor weather and left Basecamp in a complete whiteout. It was an arduous trek over the Larkya pass and down to Bimthang in icy conditions. Thankfully everyone has made it safely down and we are now drying out with another three trekking days down the valley to the roadhead.

Group 4

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Farewell to Base Camp

Despite the hardship of living at a snowy camp at over 5,000m it was sad to pack it up today on a sparkling morning. The picture shows our entire team and staff and members posing below Larkya Peak before we began packing. All research now complete our kitchen staff carried the research gear down today and we follow tomorrow morning. Farewell to Base Camp. Ahead lies the promised land.