1.31.2018

My solo trekking in Langtang fundraising for Child Rescue Nepal 6. From Kyangjin Gompa back to Lama Hotel and New Years Eve

Image may contain: sky, cloud, mountain, outdoor and natureIt's supposed to be a lazy day. The golden sun light reaches the top of the mountains and I jump in my shoes to run taking some pictures. It's cold. Warm and confortable in the kitchen, where we eat our chapati. But the honey is frozen in the bottle so Jaya has to put it in some boiled water!
Image may contain: mountain, cloud, sky, outdoor and natureMy legs are still sore when we start walking . I look up to the view point we reached the previous day and I'm surprised  because it seems so close... It's just... ehm... VERTICAL. We see the cheese factory again, the monastry, the stupas and chortens, some yaks. 
Image may contain: mountain, sky and outdoor"I want to wash my hair" I say. And I do in Mundo, where we stop for lunch. The water is very cold, with ice pieces in it, but in the sun it's warm enough. Not enough to melt the frozzen water from a basin though... I dry my hair sitting in the sun, chattering with talking to Jaya and waiting for our dhal baht. Life is good. It's just a pity that we have to go down already, back to the valley and to Kathmandu.
Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and natureWe take our time, we pass Langtang, where the villagers are holding their assembly, and the big landslide. It's very early when Jaya says we are arrived and I suggest we can go further. "Ok, let's go sleeping in Lama Hotel again then, and back to Kathmandu one day earlier." It's fine. We descend by the river, in the forest, and now I'm tired and looking forward to the dinner... but it was my choice so shut up and keep walking! In the end I'm happy with it.
Image may contain: outdoor and natureWe arrive to Lama Hotel at dusk. The big lodge is closed so we take a room in a smaller one, where we find again the Canadian trekkers. "It's New Years Eve! We are going to celebrate!" their guide says. "But for you the year begins in April" I reply, "In Nepal we celebrate anyway", "Oh yeah! In Nepal you have more holidays than work days in the calendar!" I joke... but it's true, as they celebrate as a national holiday the holydays of every religions. 
Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and natureWe have our dinner, some cups of roksi (the local grappa), the owner turns the music on and we start dancing in the small kitchen, a little tipsy. More roksi! ahah! I'm getting drunk! it isn't very alcholic compared with European drinks, still after three or four cups it works also for me. It's a lovely night and when we go to bed, relatively late, the full moon is shining in the sky...
...............................................................................................

TO BE CONTINUED

Image may contain: sky, mountain, nature and outdoorRead also Part 1 HERE part 2 HERE Part 3 HERE Part 4 HERE and Part 5 HERE

Remember that you are still in time to DONATE to Child Rescue Nepal at this link HERE

And have a look to Jaya Rai fb page HEREImage may contain: outdoorImage may contain: one or more people, sky and outdoorImage may contain: sky, mountain, cloud, outdoor, nature and waterImage may contain: mountain, outdoor and natureImage may contain: outdoor

1.28.2018

Nanga Parbat: the humans and the death. About Tomek Mackiewicz, Elizabeth Rovel, Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko.


Image may contain: sky, outdoor and nature
One years ago on this mountains Mariano Galvan and Alberto Zerain disapeared. Not the first not the last ones, because humans' love for hard things is a part of their humanity. 
Now Tomek Mackiewicz. He probably got to the summit this time, together with Elizabeth Rovel. They had tried several times. Or maybe they failed again. So far it isn't sure.
Sure in human life is only the death, and we shouldn't be sad when it comes if we didn't give up on our dreams and fully lived our life.
Facts, they are in the news, for example HERE. The most touching words I found belong to mountaneer Mirza Ali who wrote on his fb profile:
Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and shoes
Elisabeth Rovel arrives in Skardu after rescue
"#Nangaparbat rescue mission concluded with mixed feelings !!! With grief, sorrows with Polish #Tomek and his family. Since, he couldn't be rescued due to bad weather and higher altitude, and on the other hand French lady mountaineer #ElisabethRevol survived,the words of admiration for #PolishK2 Team is indeed wonderful, respected the heights level and must be cheered for their fantastic volunteerism undertaking the most dangerous rescue mission, reaching Elisabeth at 6000m. 
However, for me #ElisabethRovel is a woman, who can't be described in words, she is a woman of steel nerve,she has extra ordinary courage the feat of bravery may not put in words, she attempted Nanga Parbat multiple times during winters and mostly with Tomek. She never gave up despite the extreme harshness of the mountain, most of their attempts were non supported and climbed alpine style, Elisabeth and Tomek summit push turned out to be a nightmare, not sure what happened. Elisabeth can speak about it either summit or not but above 7400m After Tomek had trouble health ,beyond words of wildest dream Elisabeth helped her descent, put her tent. Perhaps, when she realised she can't help him more, her life is also at risk, she solo descended 1400m most difficult part of the mountain, without rope and without partner and reached 6000m. I applaud, appreciate and Salute Elisabeth Rovel and her extreme feat. 
I really wish Gilgit Baltistan Govt on urgent bases form a mountain search and rescue team and make it part of Rescue 1122/NDMA these people should be highly trained and qualified high altitude mountaineers. Its shameful that we don't have search and rescue team in the country, the search and rescue team should be equipped with all necessary equipment, including a helicopter! 
Dear Tomek, Mountain wanted more than the people around you, you loved this mountain and it hold you forever!"


I agree: Adam Bielecki and Denis Urubko did something incredible. You can find all dettails in the news. But Elisabeth Revol has been amazing. She's alive and looking good. Tomek Mackiewicz is probably dead. 
Who criticised the decision of the rescue team don't know what they are talking about and just show their inconsistency. It's true that the Pakistani authorities must urgently create a search and rescue team. In another post Mirza Ali said:
"Recent #Rescue mission on Nanga Parbat of Polish #Tomek French lady mountaineer #ElisabethRovel has opened two topics to discuss seriously, #1 Govt of Pakistan has failed in 70Yrs to allow private heli rescue services. Since, Army has many operational tasks to perform, therefore private sector must be encouraged. In the years, to come such incidents will happen due to increase in domestic adventure expeditions. #AskariAviation evacuation cost is very expensive and locals may not afford. Also, in NDMA a mountain search & Rescue section should be set up, because many domestic tourists also going on dangerous treks these days, for search and rescue missions you can not always look for expert people to team up at 11th hours. In order to take dangerous undertakings to form a search and rescue team, it takes plenty of time. under Govt. supervision "provincially"a highly experienced team should exist and should stay on standby all the time, either its search or rescue or during natural disasters.

#2 All tour operators must make necessary arrangements for such adventurous trips, must not sell cheap expeditions and cause difficulties, also ensure the clients have insurance that is enough for such costly evacuation, proper communication arrangements, use of GPS ,sat phone etc."
The death is a part of human life and life can't be spent avoiding to die. And still the risk involved in activities like mountaineering must remain a calculate risk. As Alpine Sange Sherpa told us: "The mountain will be there again and you'll have another chance... if you are alive". 

1.27.2018

My solo trekking in Langtang fundraising for Child Rescue Nepal 5. From Mundo to Kyangjin Gompa

Image may contain: mountain, sky, cloud, outdoor and natureThe sun is rising from beyond the high mountains at the end of the valley, where we are going to climb today:  Kyangjin Gompa (3740m). In the kitchen we observe the making of our chapati
Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, people eating, indoor and foodIt's still cold when we start and the elevation is moderate so it takes longer to warm up. In add it's very windy. Pastures and the glacial moraine took the place of the forest, the path runs by Mani walls and chortens. Yaks are quitly grazing.  In the distance, an ancient monastery, its door open so that I can see the prayers wheels inside. Smaller prayer wheels are built over the river and work like mills, incessantly moved by the strength of the stream. There is a cheese factory, but it's closed, as well as the most of the guesthouses in the high valley, interested by maintenance work and enlargement. 
Image may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoorKyangjin Gompa is a big village surrounded by high mountains covered in snow and steep hills. Here it's definitely cold but also sunny: the daylight is so fierce that for the first time I have to wear my sunglasses and put on a cream. The clothes hung to dry are frozen. We can't wait too long: we drop our backpack, we eat our dhal bhat - in the kitchen, in front of the fire - and we start climbing to Chorkari Ri (5050m).
Image may contain: indoorThis is probably the most demanding part of the trekking. The path is very steep and in few kms we gain a big elevation. I feel exhausted but I don't want to give up: "I can do it" I say, "You MUST do it!" Jaya replies. He never stops to encourage me and slowly slowly I go up. The last stretch is more climbing than hiking, finally I'm there, among the coloured prayer flags waving in the wind, in front of the majestic view of several peaks glittering in the sun: Langtang Lirung, Gyanghempo, Langshisha Ri, Yansha Tenji and Nayakang.  "Congrats!" This is my summit and I'm proud of myself.
Image may contain: outdoorThe sun is setting while we descend, cautiously, admiring the glacier from where the Langtang river springs and the remote beautiful places I will never reach... 
In the guesthouse there are two new guests: son and father from Canada, suffering from the altitude, sadly decided to go down earlier than expected. The son is in Nepal for his studies and the father is visiting "...but he got sick of Kathandu, so we came hiking, but it feel bad here, we both have headache, nausea...  and I feel a pain in my chest..." I almost feel guilty that I'm absolutely fine! "I think I suffer from Low Altutide Disease" I joke. Drying my socks close to the stove I look at Jaya who is playing cards with the Canadians' guide and porter, trying to understand the rules. 
Image may contain: sky, cloud, mountain, outdoor and natureI'm tired tonight, my legs are sore for the long climbing and I feel cold. After dinner we all drink a cup of roksi, the local grappa... and we go to bed.
...........................................................................................

TO BE CONTINUED

Read also Part 1 HERE part 2 HERE Part 3 HERE and Part 4 HERE

Remember that you are still in time to DONATE to Child Rescue Nepal at this link HERE.
Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and nature
And have a look to Jaya Rai fb page HEREImage may contain: mountain, sky, cloud, outdoor and natureImage may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and natureImage may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and natureImage may contain: mountain, sky, cloud, outdoor and natureImage may contain: cloud, sky, mountain, outdoor and natureImage may contain: 1 person, mountain, outdoor and natureImage may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor, nature and waterImage may contain: sky, outdoor and natureImage may contain: 2 people, people sitting, table and indoor

1.21.2018

My solo trekking in Langtang fundraising for Child Rescue Nepal 4. From Lama Hotel to Mundo

Image may contain: sky, cloud, outdoor and natureA cold early morning, and the path is all in the shadow, following the river across the forest, penetrating in the upper part of Langtang Valley by steep stone stairs and offering the first view of the high peaks covered in snow. The voice of the river is loud while we walk along its flown, dotted of huge rocks, rapids and waterfalls. The roaring becomes a whisper when the path takes a detour in the forest to baypass an arduous point. 
Image may contain: sky, tree, cloud, outdoor and natureSuddenly the landscape changes, the vegetation is sparse, made more of bushes than trees, the mountains rise in front of us, superb, and I can clearly see the big landslide. Actually, I'm walking on it, on a barely visible path cutting the messy mass of rocks, gravel and dirt. I look up, from where it fell down, keeping walking, and I look down to the river, white of foam and intense blue...
Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and natureThere is a tea house just after the landslide and here we eat our dhal bhat. There is a boy, 19 years old, coming from the Solukhumbu to work as a cook in the trekking season, that's almost over. Rai round faced, dark haired and almond eyed, with pronounced cheekbone and a white large smile, he looks like Jaya. 
Image may contain: one or more people, mountain, sky, outdoor and natureAccording to my schedule this should be Ghora Tabela (2970m). We climb a little more and we reach the place of the old Langtang village. The new one has been built a little further and I can see it, just beyond the huge tongue of debris that's the tomb of more than 200 people. The earthtraque happened at midday, when families were gathered for lunch: several strong shakes, no time to react. "We are sleeping in the next village if you don't mind, ten minutes away" Jaya says "there is a brand new guest house, really beautiful and confortable." At night he will confess he doesn't like sleeping in Langtang, "over the deads". 
Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and natureThe sun is shining, bright and hot. A mules convoy passes rising the dust, urged by the rude yells of too young caravan boys who ignore our greeting, apparently unhappy, probably sad. It's a hard life, that hardens the soul.
Image may contain: sky, mountain, cloud, outdoor and nature  Langtang (3430m) is the headquarter of the Langtang National Park so I get my trekking permit checked and stamped. The official comes from the South of Nepal, Indian border: he's darker and looking like a Bengali. He's sitting ouside the office listening to the music diffused by a smartphone, and it isn't a typical Nepali song but something like Pakistani. The moon is already shining in the sky, the sun is setting when we arrive in Mundo and I'm glad to sit by the fire in the cosy kitchen.
Image may contain: shoes, outdoor and natureThe Golden Holiday's Guest House is really beautiful, Jaya was right. After the earthquake all buildings had to be fixed and many were completely destroyed, but Langtang people didn't give up and now they offer some of the most confortable lodges in Nepal. This one is relatively small but the rooms are very large and with attached bathroom: something priceless in the cold himalayan night! It's very clean also and well organised, with a large dinning room, the food is delicious and the view is stunning. Moreover Sonam Tamang and family are absolutely lovely. If you plann a trekking in Langtang you should definitely stay here! They don't have a site or e-mail but their phone number is 009741414900... or you just ask your guide. 
Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor and natureSitting in the kitchen by the fire I observe the misstress who's working on a wooden scarf with four crochet hooks. "We use only two!" I say, "With two it's too easy!" she proudly smile. Meanwhile her housband is cooking some potatos for the family dinner and I suggest we can just eat the same, as we are the only guests. And so we do. Before we go to sleep we drink some cups of tea chattering and looking at the making of our breakfast: chapati dough get prepared and wrapped in a blanket, ready for the next morning.
Image may contain: one or more people, child, outdoor and nature.....................
TO BE CONTINUED

Read also Part 1 HERE part 2 HERE and Part 3 HERE.

Remember that you are still in time to DONATE to Child Rescue Nepal at this link HERE.

And have a look to Jaya Rai fb page HEREImage may contain: one or more people and people sittingImage may contain: 1 person, sitting and indoorImage may contain: one or more people, people sitting, drink, kitchen, food and indoor

1.18.2018

My solo trekking in Langtang fundraising for Child Rescue Nepal 3. From Syabrubesi to Lama Hotel

Image may contain: mountain, sky, tree, outdoor and nature
The river is in the shadow of the mountains
All packed again, the small room looks bigger and tidy. I eat my chapati with honey aegerly sipping my hot mint tea but I'm still cold when we start walking toward the bridge, just outside Syabrubesi. It's early in the morning and the small shops selling food, clothes and trekking gears are just opening. The river is in the shadow of the high mountains we are going to climb, green and white, still wrapped in desire like a gift. 
Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor, nature and water
Langtang Khola
On my schedule I read: "We hit the Langtang-Gosainkunda trail, and our destination of the day is the Lama Hotel dwelling beyond the Langtang Khola. It would take about 6 hours as we hike our way through Doman (1685m), and then across the Landslide Lodge (1810m), past the Bamboo and then across the suspension bridge over Langtang Khola, which opens up to Rimche (2400m) and then finally to Lama Hotel (2470m)." The path immediately rises and after few  steps I have to stop and to take off my jaket. Up we go chattering like old friends, amongh thick forests of oak, rhododendron and bamboos. "What's that?", "They are beehives. Huge ones." I know because of the film "The last honey hunter"... but it's amazing to see it in real! imagine climbing there by bamboo ladders and ropes to collect the honey...! OMG. No words.
Image may contain: outdoor and nature
Beehives!
In a tea house by the way we meet an Italian couple with their guide and a porter, at night we will meet again in Lama Hotel, almost the only trekkers in these off season days. 
Image may contain: sky, outdoor and natureI'm happy because I'm walking well, on a good pace and steadily. We stop for lunch in Bamboo - dhal bhat of course! - and Jaya finds me a wooden stick to replace my trekking poles, that I forgot. A woman is weaving at a traditional loom. I ask permission to take a picture and she's happy to show me how it works.
"Look there!" he says pointing at the  forest, "There! a monkey!". Rather big, a furry white head and a long tail, the monkey is sitting on the brunch of a tree. "There! another one!" Jaya starts making a sound and the monkey replies. We can't avoid to laugh: how funny! and we hurry up toward Lama Hotel.
Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and outdoorThis is a large guests house, very confortable and well furnished. I eat some of the best momos ever. The owners are Buddhist as the name suggests, like the most of the Langtang valley inhabitants, and in the dinning room there is a kind of altar hosting a big picture of the Dalai Lama. 
Image may contain: one or more people, people standing and outdoorAnother picture, smaller, featuring a young man, is placed just below, incense and candels are devoutly burning while the mistress loudly repeats her prayers. The young man is her elder son, died during the 2015 earthtraque, when a huge landslide wiped out the Langtang village, burying about 200 persons under meters of mud and rocks.
Image may contain: sky, cloud, mountain, outdoor and natureThe story is told by a little girl from Nuwarkot. She's here working to help her family, a very poor one. The Italian couple is visibly shocked listening to this series of dramas, including too early marriages, numbers of children and stillborn babies, but the little girl says: "It's ok, I'm always happy, always smiling". That's Nepal. 
The night is cold. I think: "Yeah, that's Nepal, but Nepal is moving forward.". Still, it isn't easy to fall asleep...
..................................................................................

TO BE CONTINUED

Read also Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE.

Image may contain: tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature
Can you spot the monkey?
Image may contain: sky, bridge, tree, outdoor and natureRemember that you are still in time to DONATE to Child Rescue Nepal at this link HERE.
Image may contain: mountain, sky, nature and outdoor