Author Topic: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR  (Read 47255 times)

Offline SamDaMan

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Re: Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #140 on: October 24, 2012, 12:23:06 AM »
The End!   :))
awaa :'(  thanks for the TR was awesome.  We need more TR like this!!
But I'm still proud to be from clev!

Offline DrDanny

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #141 on: October 24, 2012, 01:56:45 AM »
Amazing TR you have me thinking about planning my own trip to the Himalayas btw did you know the other hikers before you left?
How did you network?

Offline L'Chaim

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #142 on: October 24, 2012, 02:29:11 AM »
Amazing trip report! I wish it would just go on forever...

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #143 on: October 24, 2012, 08:19:36 AM »
did you know the other hikers before you left?
How did you network?
They were a group of older guys (with some money.) and needed a guy on the ground there to take care of the Kashrus aspects before they came, I was a Bochur in need of adventure. A mutual friend hooked us up.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #144 on: October 24, 2012, 08:22:19 AM »
They were a group of older guys (with some money.) and needed a guy on the ground there to take care of the Kashrus aspects before they came, I was a Bochur in need of adventure. A mutual friend hooked us up.
you went for free? were you actually necessary? how long were you there beforehand?
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #145 on: October 24, 2012, 08:30:22 AM »
you went for free? were you actually necessary? how long were you there beforehand?
Yes and Yes, as mentioned in the beginning I spent alot of time with the guys from the company, teaching them Hilchos Kashrus, shopping for food and getting them used to Jewish Meshuga'asn in general.
i was there for like a week before.

Offline shmuelb

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #146 on: October 24, 2012, 09:07:11 AM »
Amazing!! Thanks so much for taking the time and sharing. I was able to get the feeling a bit of the atmosphere, ma rabu maasecha Hashem!
siyag lachachma :-)

Offline SGF

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #147 on: October 24, 2012, 09:02:39 PM »
Wow, truly amazing TR.
I thought I had done this stuff already by climbing up volcano Villarica in Chile, we hiked up 1 Km took 5 hours to get to the top about 3,000 meters above sea level. Really steep, no trees and lots of snow, really beautiful...
After reading this I realized I haven't experienced anything close to the real stuff.

Your trip report is very tempting....though I'm not sure about the 'not taking shower' part of it.

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #148 on: October 24, 2012, 10:35:30 PM »
Your trip report is very tempting....though I'm not sure about the 'not taking shower' part of it.
LOL that's what turns most people off (including my wife while i was dating :) ) but truth is it's not as bad as it seems; every morning and afternoon when we arrived at camp they would give us a bowl of hot water, we would take towel baths (at least the first few days when we were spoiled and the temperatures were safely above freezing).

Offline Fan of Dan

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #149 on: October 24, 2012, 11:15:58 PM »
Ok you finally made it!! A job wel done! So funny to think back to when you were just starting your TR!

Did you have notes or do you just have an amazing memory?


Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #150 on: October 25, 2012, 08:23:39 AM »

Did you have notes or do you just have an amazing memory?


It's mostly memory jogged by my photo albums and a travel brochure for technical details (e.g. place spellings and altitudes)

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #151 on: October 25, 2012, 08:48:44 AM »
And Re: the showers: If there was one thing I learned on the trek (and I heard this from many people) it is how spoiled we are. Think of what we consider necessities: A hot shower once in a while, electricity, reliable access to DDF. You name it I've met people who never heard of it
People in these areas (and believe it or not these aren't the most remote areas in Nepal, the area of mount Everest is considered "Touristized" (excuse my making up of a word)), the only hot water they have is the water they heated on a stove (for which they had to collect the wood/Yak dung themselves), for whom "going shopping" means taking a 4-5 hour walk to the other village where there is a market day (never mind they have to shlepp the shopping bags back home too) and if you start complaining that your phone isn't giving you 4G reception they will have no clue what you are even talking about.
I'm not saying it changed how I act in my day to day; since I came back I haven't missed a shower and i sweat through a 3 day Yom Tov like the rest of'em, but it did make me pause every time I hear someone say "I need X".

Offline Achas Veachas

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Offline Yaalili

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #153 on: October 26, 2012, 03:57:18 PM »

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #154 on: October 26, 2012, 04:29:23 PM »
Nope this was on the Anapurna circuit trek, the one most Israelis go on.

Offline SuperFlyer

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #155 on: October 27, 2012, 07:28:34 PM »
Once again, very nice TR.

Puts mine to shame.

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #156 on: November 12, 2012, 09:25:13 AM »
Had some spare time the last few days so here goes:

Appendix
Bungee jumping

In the chapter about Kathmandu I wrote that there isn’t much to do IN Kathmandu, however there are quite a few day trips you can take such as rock climbing, rafting canyoning etc. one of the more popular ones is bungee jumping, something that has been on my bucket list for a while and the bungee jumping in Nepal is truly spectacular. The jump is from 160m bridge over a canyon with a raging river beneath.

I arranged it through an Israeli agency that works in Kathmandu called Swissa. IIRC the cost was 65USD and that included transportation (it’s 4 hours from Kathmandu), 1 jump and a hot lunch (not Kosher obviously). Each additional jump is 25USD and if you purchase 3 jumps the 4th is free. The price does not include the video which is an additional 40USD (as if you can afford NOT to buy it).

We were told to meet up at 7 the next morning in front of a certain guesthouse in Thamel (the tourist neighborhood), if I thought a bus would come through the narrow Thamel streets yeah right, at 7:30 a representative from the resort came by and told us all to follow him. Together with me there were about 20 Israelis and 3 Germans. We walked for 10-15 minutes till we came out of the Thamel where our bus was waiting; we boarded and started our 4 hour drive.

During the drive there was much good natured conversation with the Israeli Chevreh, they kept teasing me (as the only obviously Frum boy there), and when I took out my Teffilin to Daven Shacharis there were shouts of וואלה הרב מפחד. I of course answered that if they want to make it off the bungee cord alive they better put Teffilin on, of course they all laughed but quite a few of them came over and put them on.

The drive was pretty nice once you got out of the city. We drove along a river and the bans kept getting higher and higher until we found ourselves driving at the bottom of a deep canyon. After driving for a few hours the road started heading up with our old bus chugging along till we made it to the top of the canyon, and after another 10-15 minutes the bus stopped.
We got off the bus and found ourselves by the edge of the canyon with a long hanging bridge going to the other end. We were told that the resort was on the other side of the canyon and we should head there. We started crossing and at some point in middle I realized that THIS was the bridge we were expected to jump off of, now I looked down with a whole new appreciation. The view was breathtaking; mountains all around and right under us, about 500 feet down was a raging river. In middle of the bridge there was a platform sticking out with equipment to secure ropes attached.

We somehow made it across the bridge and were told to go to this covered area, where the jumping guide gave us a rundown of what would be happening. Basically they have 2 kinds of jumps: Regular bungee jumping; where you jump off head first while your feet are tied to a bungee cord. Then they have something called The Canyon Swing, basically like the “Sky diving” they have at amusement parks –on steroids, you’re attached to a rope that is attached to the other side of the canyon you jump off and free fall for 7-8 seconds then you swing back and forth for a while enjoying the scenery rushing at 200kmh beneath you.

Originally I only paid for 1 jump, but I wanted to try out both so after the speech I went over to the guy and shelled out another $25 for a second jump, then I realized that if I would pay for 1 more jump I would get the 4th jump free. I was about to do that but the jump guide told me to wait and see how I felt after the first 2 jumps before rushing in for 2 more (he turned out to be right).

After the speech came the “March of Shame”; we were all called up 1 by 1 to go on a scale and have our weight announced to all present (mind you this is a week after Pesach :P ), and if that wasn’t enough, the guy took a permanent marker and wrote down your weight in Kiddush Levanah letters on the back of your hand so you would have nowhere to hide it.

After that we were split into groups based by weight and we went to the bridge. The way it worked was that they alternated between the jumps, first a bungee jump then a canyon swing then a bungee jump etc. Being that not too many people were doing both, there wasn’t a long line for the canyon swing so I ended up being one of the first to jump. Obviously all the Israelis were really excited to see איך הרב קופץ. I got strapped into my harness, said my last words to the camera, walked to the edge of the bridge, blew a kiss looked down and jumped…

Now while 7-8 seconds doesn’t sound like a long time, while you’re in free-fall your mind goes in slow motion, so the way it
goes is as follows: for the first 3-4 seconds you’re thinking “Wheee I’m falling”, then the next 3-4 seconds you’re thinking “wow I’m still falling” then for the next 5 seconds your thinking “Holly $#!! Will I ever stop falling?” for the 5 seconds after that you just panic and your arms and legs start flailing around until you hit the bottom (I know the math doesn’t work out but that’s what it feels like).

Once you get to the bottom you start swinging back and forth a few times until you slow down. That part is quite fun actually. Eventually you slow down enough for the guy on the ground to throw a rope for you to hold on to and pull yourself over to the side of the river. Once your feet are on solid ground you have a half hour climb up the steep canyon wall (good training for your trek). So I started the climb up, throughout the climb you get treated to the spectacle of looking straight up and seeing an Israeli 20something dangling by his feet right above your head screaming his head off like a 2 year old (these are the same Israelis who teased ME for being scared  :D ). Around ¾ of the way up I started to understand why the jump master suggested I wait before I purchase 2 more jumps.

When I made it to the top I had to rest a bit before going back on the bridge, there was a break in the jumping so I sat schmoozing with the jump master; let me tell you, the guy has a hack of an interesting job. He regaled is with stories of guys and gals (believe it or not, mainly guys) who were so scared they almost pulled him down with them (he is tied to the bridge with a tiny cord, but if he slips it wouldn’t be pretty). I asked him if he ever had to push someone off, he said their policy is they do not push, you have to jump yourself (I saw when I was there, there were a few guys who were way to scared, yet he did not push, he coaxed and spoke to them but the jump has to be done by you).

After getting my strength back I headed back to the bridge for my bungee jump. The bungee jump is different in that you are tied by your feet so you have to jump head first (a few guys were too scared and they got a bad whiplash when they hit the bottom). The Israelis saw that I was coming for a second jump they immediately went crazy and started cheering me off. After getting bound by my feet (think the Akeida) and inching my way to the edge. I blew one last kiss to the camera and dove off. The bungee jump is not as long, you only free fall for like 3-4 seconds (also in slow motion) then you bounces up and down a few times, when you are done bouncing and you are dangling by your feet the guys on top start lowering you (not a very comfortable position). When I reached the bottom the Nepali worker asks me איך היה? (You know you’re in Nepal when the locals address you in Hebrew…).

This time I had to wait a while before starting the climb up; not only was I still a bit tired from last climb, hanging by your feet for 2 minutes causes all the blood to drain out and your feet get really wobbly, when I finally did make it to the top I realized there was no way I would be able to make 2 more jumps and gave up on that.

After everyone finished jumping a hot lunch was served (I brought along sandwiches from the Beit Chabad). After that we all sat around to watch the videos and got a chance to order them. Although we were told the video is $25 the crooks told me now that it's $25 per jump. I managed to haggle it down to $40 and you get a free T-shirt with the video so I got 2 T-shirts (one for the bungee and one for the canyon swing). Then we crossed the bridge one last time, went on the bus and started our 5 hour bus ride to Kathmandu.

On the way back the guys were schmoozing about the day, making fun of the scaredy cats and lauding the brave ones. Not to brag but all the Israelis were unanimous אחת ואחת קפץ כמו מלך.

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #157 on: November 12, 2012, 09:26:02 AM »
Views from the way

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #158 on: November 12, 2012, 09:26:36 AM »
View from the bridge

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Everest Base Camp trek - Nepal TR
« Reply #159 on: November 12, 2012, 09:27:14 AM »
Jump.....