Lukla and Namche — GUT BUSTERS


Getting ready to board at the #! most dangerous airport in the world!

Getting ready to board at the #! most dangerous airport in the world!

So we left Katmandu and boarded a plane for Lukla. Lukla is the location of the Number 1 most dangerous airport in the world. The flight is in a 15 seater and Feels loud a rickety. It takes about an hour to get there and the flight went well. Getting close, though, he was threading a needle through the mountain. I would say getting as close as 500 feet at times! The landing was pretty uneventful, but I can say I landed at the most dangerous airport in the world!




We took off from thee and headed for Phak Ding. It was going to be about a four hour hike. Supposed to be the easy day before the hard one. For me? Not so much. It was hard. While you lose altitude you go up a lot to do it. And I had way over packed my day pack Late in the hike, the Mani, my Sherpa of the day, took my pack and I continued on without it. It was tough going. Lots of stairs that go uphill and lots of very steep near-scrambling. At least that is my memory. I arrived at Phak Ding 10 or 15 minutes after my fellow trekkers. They are great, by the way. Every last one of them. The hike itself rambled through villages and fields and was really breath taking. But we ain’t seen nothing yet. Sorry no pics again, but the upload eats up all my time for blogging. I buy it by the usage. [edited in pictures]

Headed in. Permit required from this point forward

Headed in. Permit required from this point forward


This is supposed to be the tough day. I didn’t sleep at all during the night. Our accommodations were very nice, though cold. But I kept warm enough. my roommate is great and does not snore, but I was Sleepless in Phak Ding. I have not been able to eat a lot, though I feel great.  I was worried about the hike to Namche. How hard it is touted to be and how difficult the easy day was for me. We got our wake-up tea at 6:30. The Sherpa brings tea to your room and wake you up. An hour later you are to be at breakfast. I ate lots of mush and an egg for breakfast and we headed out. I was very scared. I had learned that all the elevation gain was in the end of the hike. We meandered back and forth across steel bridges across the river and each time there were steep rock steps to climb on both sides. Up, down, up down and then after crossing the last bridge, a huge down followed by steady, extremely steep hiking all the way in and gaining over 2k in around 3 miles. I was again assigned a Sherpa who again took my pack once we crossed that last bridge. I pressed on. I fought with myself about why I thought I could do this. But here I was so stop it and keep going! It was ugly. Real ugly. But on I went, all the time being treated extra nice by a man who could have run up the hill! I was passed time and time again by porters carrying 100 pound loads in sandals.   I drank 4 liters of water as told by the Dawa, the boss of the Sherpa. Finally, we get to the very edge of the town of Namche andI have to take another of the many rests I had taken. Suddenly I was sick. I just started throwing up off the edge of the cliff. Nothing there though so I simply sounded like a barking dog. One of the Sherpas early in the day had told me that I can trek my only problem is that I am FAT! He said it smiling and there was no negative meant by it, just the facts ma’am! Another point in the day an old hippie passed me on the trail and spit out. “Just go slow!”. several hours later he passed me again and said “you are still here! I am F!*$in’ impressed! I figured you would have quit a long time ago! That is GREAT!”  All I could muster was “there is no quit.” That along with a bucket of spit like a distempered horse!

The Sherpa suggested we stop at the Irish Pub and have tea before the last leg. I did and we had two milk teas as I looked around at the big mountains around me. I am here. In Namche. I did it. I did not quit. I am well…the tea hit the spot. Now I am simply going to take a shower after having a dinner of Shrimp chips, pasta with sauce, mashed potatoes, fruit, tea and Soup. I will write more later, but the shower and Big Agnes the sleeping bag beckon. Maybe next time I can introduce you all to Elvis the Yak!

Namche Bazaar

Namche Bazaar

About WhelanTrek

The mountains are in my blood and Everest has been a symbol to so many areas of my life. I blog about adventures and life in between.

Posted on March 31, 2012, in 2012 Nepal, 2012 Trek to Mount Everest Base Camp, Hiking, In Nepal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Oh! Karen – chills and tears as I read. So proud of you. I feel certain you will make it – you will get into the groove, find your pace and be able to finish. Praying for you every step of the way.


  2. OMG – I cried for you – both because it was so hard and because you are so strong and you did it! You DID IT! Hoping that you find your stride and the next treks before you will not be as physically difficult! I would’ve quit…but not you! Keep going Karen – you are going to deserve that tattoo when you get home!! Badge of honor!!


  3. Just remember “Don’t stop when you’re tired, stop when your done!” Way to go Karen I’m really proud of you.


  4. Good job! Milk tea? Was the Irish Pub out of Guinness?


  5. Karen, you are amazing, I am so proud of you, tears well up in me thinking of your hardships that you are enduring, but you are doing it!! Keep going, you can do this. I think of you always and pray for your journey each day, Keep on Trekking girl, as always be safe and enjoy!


  6. Jusus Karen! You are amazing! Congratulations on slaying that Dragon. You go girl!


  7. Great Job Karen, you said it, “Their is no quit” Take it slow and steady, you will make it, I know you will. Willpower is an all powerful thing.


  8. Karen, I am so impressed by you. I have tears welling up as I read this, I am so proud of you for contining on and not quitting, I am sure I would have quit. I know you can do this. Keep on trekking and stay safe.


  9. Steve Jovanovich

    I could write something inspiring here, but instead, (and it’s been my experience), that the real reason people hike and climb is because it feels so effing good when you stop!
    Yeah, well there’s the great scenery and such too.

    Good luck, pace yourself, and take some pics from Basecamp.


  10. This from the once 35-year old who could barely navigate the streets of that stinking hellhole known as Paris! 16 years later you’re hanging out with yaks and trudging up the Himalayas. Well done, little sis!!!


  11. Karen , you are something pretty special!


  12. Kathy Patterson

    We are so proud of you Karen! Stay in your bubble and enjoy the ride! I can’t wait to hear more about your exciting trek! You are so awesome and we love you girl! Hey, did you really sound like a “Barking Dog”….. (thanks for the plug)…. hee, hee….. Can’t wait to read more… :o)


  13. Your a very special lady Karen and we are with you mind and soul. Always try to think of postive thoughts and remember that you can do this! You’ve trained so hard and it will pay off in the end. Take your “mag” and keep trucking. Thinking of you daily!
    Dean and Deb


  14. We Looooove u!!!!!! Keep yer Irish up!!!!!!!!!!


  15. I am so proud of you Karen! Tears running down my face as I read this… you are amazing. I want to quit when challenged with that last set of lunges. Hang in there! Praying for you!


  16. Lukla is at 9300 ft ASL. So I’m figuring the hikes are taking you into the 11,000 ft ASL range. Don’t get discouraged, you are doing great! You have to consider you arrived there from a much lower altitude only days before. Keep up the good work, one foot in front of the other.


  17. Susan Nicaise

    Girl, you are kickin’it!! I am soooo proud of you for perservering!! You are digging deep and tapping into your strength and you WILL make it all the way! It’s great reading your blog, and I look forward to your pictures! You are an inspiration, my friend! :o)))


  18. Kim Oglethorpe

    I am so proud of you! You CAN do this. Find your pace and don’t give up. I can’t wait to see the picture of you at base camp. Love you and praying for you!


  19. Thanks everyone! It never gets easier because it always gets higher. Your support bolsters me!


  20. Well done lady! I am so envious! Is getting there really half the fun?


  21. WAY TO GO KAREN !!!! you are inspiring. like the others said, find your pace and stick with it, no doubt in my mind you will make it and I can’t wait to see the pic of you at the peak.



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