Our Good Karma Trekking Team met up in Katmandu, and began the life-changing journey of traveling through the Himilayan mountains, lodging in tea houses, climbing peaks and reaching our ultimate destination, Everest Base Camp.
"A person does not climb a mountain without bringing some of it away with them and leaving something of themselves upon it" ~ M Conway
One of the places first on my list to visit was Durbar Square, a world heritage site, that sits in front of the old royal palace of the former kingdom of Katmandu. It houses temples and palaces and a very interesting and historical attraction, the Kumori Chol. This gilded cage contains the Raj Kumori, a girl chosen through an ancient and mystical process to become the human incarnation of the Hindu mother goddess Durga. She is worshipped during religious festivals and makes public appearances at other times for a fee paid to her guards.
Although there was evidence of the earthquake; some temples gone completely with only a sign and photo of what used to be there, in general Durbar Square was intact and I was happy to revisit this amazing piece of Nepal history.
It all began with an amazing (and epic) flight from Katmandu to Lukla, where the trek officially starts.
Passing Mani Walls and numerous prayer flags, we crossed the Dudh Kosi River and traversed across suspension bridges, passed through small villages, stayed in tea houses and arrived in Namche on October 23rd.
Namche is located in the Khumbu area and sits at 11,286 ft. Many Sherpa who are in the tourism business are from this area and this is the main trading center and hub for the Khumbu region. The views, bakeries, shops and charm of this area is what make it a favorite for trekkers and visitors!
It is also where we get our first glimpse of Mt Everest!
Children in Nepal are curious and playful and love to play with, wave to and give high-fives to the trekkers who pass by their homes.
When I guided in March of 2015, Gokyo lakes were covered in snow. This time, given the different season, we had the pleasure of seeing the amazing turquoise color of the Lakes as well as the unique rock cairns that travelers create as they pass through. The word magical comes to mind!
"The wilderness holds answers to more questions than we yet know how to ask" ~ N Newhall
Although tired from a long day of trekking, our team got a second wind after settling in at the tea house there and pushed on to make a successful summit of Gokyo Ri, reaching an elevation of 17,575 ft.
We were elated! The 360 degree view is spectacular with clear views of Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and many other Himilaya peaks.
The Summit of Gokyo Ri 17, 575 The Good Karma Trek with our Sherpa Mountain Adventure Family!
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the things you did do." ~Mark Twain
One of the things that make our trekking adventure so unique and different is that Karma Sherpa, the operator of Sherpa Mountain Adventures who is from the Khumbu region, is a resident of Colorado and has been for over 9 years. He works hard to provide the best quality experience possible for every participant. He is vigilant in his efforts to provide a safe, enjoyable experience for everyone. He is well-connected with the locals in Nepal and coordinates even the tiniest details of the trek. One of those details is keeping our trekkers healthy by having our very own cooking staff to prepare our meals! Meet Tilaraj Ri, Asis and Pasang...
I'm always impressed with trekkers! Long days of hiking in a country half-way around the world is a challenge! Taking time off from work, being away from family and friends, leaving the known comforts of home is not always easy. Our team quickly bonded and had an amazing way of supporting each other and staying positive even on days when people were fighting colds and feeling less than energetic. Each morning started with quotes that we shared. Each evening we had opportunities to chat and grow closer. Each day provided opportunities to reflect on life, prioritizing what is most important and what things are really not such a big deal. The Sherpa and Nepalese way of life has a way of rubbing off on you!
I am excited to be heading back for my third year to lead the 2017 Good Karma Trek in October.