Let’s say the symptoms of spring fever suddenly flare up on you when you’ve got a free day. You dig into the back corner of your closet where you last remember seeing your boots and hiking gear, and lace up and cram in a few things into your daypack. At least here the snow has just cleared and the air and soil share a similar soggy quality. It’s not a terrible idea to get an early start conditioning to up for hiking, but then the weather conditions are still going to take some serious consideration for safety. The thing about those of us living inland and up in the mountains is that we base clothing levels on a skewed relative perspective on the outside temperature. I was reminded this winter that it get’s really cold here with a relentless chill to the point that it eventually seems normal.(more…) cold weather hiking boots landslide safety spring trekking weather winter
Happy New Year and be safe!
I know it may seem I’m repaving the old pathways up through the Khumbu trek with my review of the villages and sights from last October. Yes, it’s entirely true that I’m passing through all of the same trails in my mind and mentioning a lot of familiar areas and ideas from before, but consider that this is now the time to look back on the experience and draw out deeper impressions of our experiences trekking in Nepal and perhaps to remember it more the way I want to rather than how it really happened. In any case the real benefit is just to make sure I adequately covered all the angles and experiences to bulk out the overall coverage of this blog and to give a complete collection on the topic to keep the search engines fully engaged in this site. If I repeat myself enough times I’ll get the details right and the site crawlers will finally figure out this is a blog about travel in the exotic land of the Ghurka tribes and has nothing to do about alcoholism counseling. I mentioned alcohol in one entry and for a month I was drawing ad slots about booze and interventions and mormon.org. Anyone following me during that time may have wondered why I wrote “Trekking in Nepal! Trekking in Nepal! Trekking in Nepal!...” for days on end. I was sending a subtle message to try to place myself in the travel listings instead of among the 12-step program industry.(more…) hiking landscape lodge mountains safety Sherpa society travel Trekking in Nepal
The frigid winter season is upon us and all I can do is daydream about palm trees gently swaying in the warm breezes somewhere south of here. My car, born and raised in Southern California, has no idea what to think of the snow and ice. Of course for others this is the season that they dream of all year to challenge the forbidding back country high in the mountains. By now a good deal of fresh snow has accumulated on top of some older ice and the threat of avalanches is mounting. Why do we find it necessary to take this sort of risk? Maybe because we got bored with our other hobby of Russian Roulette. For mountain climbing and skiing in the remote, pristine landscapes you go with the assumption that you could fall victim to a slip in the snow pack and you might be buried alive under tons of snow and debris. With that assumption there is training and equipment that will improve your odds of surviving an avalanche. First of all you should be out there alone, and second every member of your team must have a solid understanding of the techniques for dealing with the catastrophe. If your group is hit by an avalanche it’s not possible to know who is going to be left to rescue everybody else.(more…) avalanche avalanche beacon exploration hiking landscape mountains radio safety skiing weather
Shopping in Nepal is hit or miss, and I’m referring to actually useful items instead of tourist trinkets. When we arrived in Kathmandu I wanted to get out and explore the city to track down some specific electronic gear (a PDA with keyboard) to take with me into the mountains. Kathmandu is really a large, bustling city, but I forgot that it is not as tidy and organized as some other cities. There are no department stores or even any mega-superstores in which to leisurely stroll around get a good view of the myriad choices. Instead there is a random pattern of small shops hidden away in winding alleys, and unless you know where you’re going you’ll get lost and trampled by all of the traffic. I asked Pema to take me shopping for computers and he said he knew just the place. Of course if you’ve been following my story you will remember the ordeal I had clawing my way through the jammed streets and alleyways to find a scant few electronics shops, but nothing I could use. Shovan here in the office claims that if you know where to go you can find anything you want and that they can put together custom components. That’s starting to sound like the Russian black market or something, but I’ll take his word.(more…) Kathmandu nepal safety shopping travel Trekking in Nepal