Everest Base Camp Trek Batch 1 Updates

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Mt. Everest… the highest mountain of the world… Trek to the base camp of Everest – EBC is the most popular trekking destination in the world.  The trek begins at Lukla and passes through cascading waterfalls, beautiful villages, terraced farmlands, lush rhododendron forests, and amazing mountain vistas before reaching the base of the mighty Everest. Team of 30 adventure lovers have participated in Everest Base Camp trek organized in support of Giripremi’s Dhaulagiri Cho Oyu 2016 expedition. Here is their journey as they proceed to their goal “Everest Base Camp”

03/05/16 - Success @ Everest Base Camp

After long and hectic walks of Tengboche to Dingboche then from Dingboche to Lobuche and Finally Lobuche – Gorakshep – EBC, the team successfully reached Everest Base Camp 17500 ft. They had to walk in heavy snow, winds, white out but everyone was determined to achieve the Goal. They are now on their way back to Kathmandu.. just praying for Lukla weather to be good and flights fly as per schedule.

Big Congratulations to the entire team!!! and lot of thanks to Peak Promotion Team for their support and care. 

Following are the highest points reached by the team members.

  • Ms. ANUSHKA DESHPANDE – EBC
  • Ms. ALKA VAIDYA – EBC
  • Ms. DEEPALI M. SWAMI – EBC
  • Ms. VAIBHAVI BHATT – EBC
  • Mr. AVINASH GADEKAR – Dingboche
  • Mr.RAMESH MIRAJE – EBC and Kala Patthar
  • Mr.PRAVIN JATHAR – EBC
  • Mr.OM JATHAR – EBC
  • Mr.JAGDISH VYAWAHARE – EBC
  • Mr.ADITYA VYAWAHARE – Dingboche
  • Mr.VASANT KULKARNI – EBC
  • Mr.VARAD KULKARNI – EBC
  • Ms. MRUNMAYI GADEKAR – EBC
  • Ms. SHIVANI MIRAJE – EBC
  • Mr. SUSHRUT KHALADKAR – EBC and Kala Patthar
  • Mr. ROHIT IJANTKAR – EBC and Kala Patthar
  • Mr. AVINASH SAWANT – EBC
  • Mr. BHUSHAN KHALADKAR – Namche Bazar
  • Ms. SAIYAMI TAKALE – EBC
  • Ms. PURVA SHINDE – EBC
  • Mr. KAUSTUBH THORAT – EBC
  • Mr. MILIND JOSHI – EBC
  • Mr. DEVASHISH TAGARE – EBC
  • Mr. SHIVRAJ TAGARE – EBC
  • Mr. ABHIJIT TAGARE – EBC
  • Mr. PRASANNA UPADHYE – EBC
  • Mr. PRASHANT WAMAN – EBC
  • Mr. RANJEET MENON – EBC
  • Mr. CHINAR M. SWAMI – EBC
  • Mr. NARENDRA JOSHI (GGIM Trek Leader) – Dingboche
  • Mr. DINESH KOTKAR (GGIM Trek Leader) – EBC and Kala Patthar
  • Mr. VISHAL KADUSKAR (GGIM Trek Leader) – EBC
  • Mr. Ngawang Phuri Sherpa (Peak Promotion Guide)
  • Mr. Ang Dawa Sherpa (Peak Promotion Guide)
  • Ms. Dikki Sherpa (Peak Promotion Guide)

Some snaps en route EBC and from EBC…

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29/04/16 - Team Leaves Tengboche and starts trek towards Dingboche

After spending two nights at Namche Bazar and acclimatizing well, team reached Tengboche yesterday around 4.00 pm. They had their Lunch at Funki Thanga, a small place at the banks of river Dudh Koshi. The weather is good and all seem to be fit and enjoying their journey…

Tengboche

26/04/16 - Phakding to Namche Bazar

Today was our first official day of waking up really early & walking in the super cold weather. Even washing our faces was a nightmare as the water was freezing cold. After a heavy breakfast and happy tummies, we started off from Phakding (2645 Mtr)  past 6:30. The walk was very cool, calm & serene. It was a pure delight watching the nature and clicking photos of all the beautiful things we came across. We had lunch at a small beautiful local restaurant in Jorsalle. Dal Bhat Tarkari is one of the most yummy and filling meal to eat in these terrains. Post lunch we started off for Namche Bazaar. On our way we came across the Tenzing Bridge which is very famous as we have all seen in the movie Everest.  We came across several foreigners from countries like Germany, England, Florida and many more. Seeing the kind of excitement they have towards the mountains and just by looking at the delight on their faces is something we all should learn from them. I also realized looking at the Nepali people how lucky and pampered we are by the kind of luxuries we are provided. The people here live a very tedious lifestyle yet they seem so content and grateful.

Now let’s get to the terrain part. I had heard from several people and also read in many many blogs about how difficult the route to Namche Bazaar is. Well…I honestly didn’t feel so. It is true that the walk was never-ending, and no I am not at all exaggerating, it was an entire 5.5 to 6 kms uphill walk. I personally feel with proper training and workout schedule one can manage to climb without feeling drained out. Although there were several people who had a really tough time throughout the trail facing problems of breathing. After lots and lots of walking we finally reached Namche Bazaar. My first reaction upon seeing the city was like “Wow!” It’s beautiful and I definitely won’t be able to get enough of this. So basically here we are sitting in our awesome Namche Bazaar restaurant enjoying every single bit of this moment….

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25/04/16 - Kathmandu - Lukla - Phakding

Will upload pics soon…

23/04/16 - Welcome at Kathmandu

Will upload pics soon…

Everest Base Camp Trek..More than just a trek

Mt. Everest! The name itself is enough for most commoners to miss a heart beat and feel a bit of anxiety in mind. Nothing less than the testing grounds for strong, skilled and immensely powerful mountaineers, who every year flock to the base of this giant,with only one hope. 8850 m.

But these days, the idea of Everest Base Camp trek is not only just a usual arduous trek to reach the battle fields for those seeking the summit, but is also a spectacular destination that connects us to the awe-inspiring wonders of Himalayas without much of an exertion.

Team GGIM is rolling out it’s first EBC trek on 23rd Apr 16 and one of our participants, Saiyami, who is extremely excited for her first ever trek, has some really cool things to share before embarking on her voyage.

meet Saiyami.

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She is the one who has been training for EBC far more seriously than those who are preparing for Everest Expedition. She’d climb Parvati steps 10 times!! Damn! All I can say is

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Only after trek leader’s request, she decided to quit this quest of climbing parvati and focused on something which could add more colors to her trip.

So, her indefatigable excitement wasn’t over. Having done excellent physical preparations, she decided to work on ‘to-do-list’ during EBC trek, other than trekking. And guess what, after a significant research, she has compiled a huge list, which if one tries to explore 60% out of it, I bet will not only have the enjoyable trek but experience the whole journey with a series of incredibly memorable events.

Here’s what she proposes.

Day 1 & 2– Arrive and prepare in Kathmandu. First thing to look for is tourist attraction in Kathmandu (Well, seriously?? I thought it was meant for trek preparation!)

Durbar Square:

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Most visitors are surprised by the sheer number of temples surrounding the square, and the two adjoining squares, some dating back to the 12th century.The jewels in the crown are the Hanuman Dhoka itself (the complex of royal palaces), the magnificent Taleju Temple (built in 1564 by Mahendra Malla, standing on a 12-stage plinth, and reaching 35 metres in height), and the Kumari Bahal (an intricately carved three-storey structure built in 1757 in which the ‘living godess’, a young girl selected from the Kathmandu valley, still lives).

Other must-sees are the Kasthamandap (aka the ‘Pavillion of wood’, the building after which Kathmandu was named and which, legend has it, was constructed using a single sal tree) and the Maju Deval (a triple-roofed Shiva temple dating from 1690, built by the mother of Bhaktapur’s king Bhupatindra Malla)

Shopping in Kathmandu

 

6      Kukri?? Her first choice! Oh dear!! stay away from this girl.

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Necklaces of typical Nepali style

2If you go to Nepal and miss these singing bowls, then you are missing something  really amazing.

2.  Boudhanath Stupa

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The Boudhanath stupa is one of the holiest and most recognisable sites in Kathmandu.

Assigned UNESCO world heritage status in 1979, Boudhanath (aka the Boudha, Chorten Chempo and Khasa Caityais) has a diameter of 120 metres, making it the largest temple in Nepal.

The stupa is built on an octagonal base, is surrounded by prayer wheels, and has colourful prayer flags draped from its 36-metre central spire.

Boudhanath is rich in symbolism: it has five statues of Dhyani Buddhas, representing the five elements (earth, fire, water, air and ether); nine levels, representing Mount Meru (the mythical peak at the centre of the Buddhist cosmos); and 13 rings from its base to its apex (representing the steps to enlightenment or Nirvana).

Boudhanath is the religious centre of Nepal’s Tibetan/Buddhist community, and is surrounded by around 50 monasteries and shops settling Tibetan artefacts. About 15% of the population are Buddhists.

Look out for Tibetan monks, with shaven heads and maroon robes, and pilgrims spinning prayer wheels and buying yak butter and tsampa (roasted barley flour). Be careful to observe Tibetan custom by walking around the stupa in a clockwise direction.

There has been a stupa on this site since Tibetan king Songsten Gampo converted to Buddhism in around 600 AD.

3. Pashupatinath Temple

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Built in 1696 on the orders of King Bhupendra Malla, Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most important Hindu temple.  Constructed in the pagoda style of architecture, Pashupatinath stands on the banks of the Bagmati river, has a distinctive gilded rooftop, intricately carved rafters (featuring members of Shiva’s family) and four silver-plated main doors surrounded by statues of deities. Pashupatinath reaches a maximum height of 24 metres, and is presided over by piests called Bhattas and achief priest called Mool Bhatt or Raval. Non-Hindus are not allowed inside the temple, though a glimpse of Shiva’s bull, Nandi, can be caught from outside the western entrance. Whilst the ‘ghats’ in front of the temple were reserved for the cremation of royalty, four other ghats to the south of the nearby bridges are in regular use. There is often a cremation in progress, with a shrouded body lifted on top of a log fire with surprisingly little ceremony. Cremations are followed by ritual bathing in the river.

4. Royal Botanical Gardens 

The Royal Botanical Gardens, found 18 kms south of Kathmandu in the foothills of Mount Phulchowki, are a site of outstanding beauty.

Opened by King Mahendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev in 1962, the Botanical Gardens—the only in Nepal—now hold over 500 species of plant in 82 hectares. Highlights include the decorative Coronation Pond, visitor centre (with interesting exhibits on Nepal’s flora), greenhouses, and collections of rhododendrons (Nepal’s national flower), lilies, orchids, cacti and ferns. Spring and autumn are the peak flowering seasons and therefore the best times to visit.

The Godavari Spring, found 200 metres from the Botanical Gardens’ main gate, is also well worth a look. This freshwater spring spouting ice-cold water from the Gadavari river is reputed to have been created when the Buddhist Mystic Padmasambhava struck a rock (in order to demonstrate that the ultimate truth is clear and will fulfill the people’s thirst); unsurprisingly, the Spring is a popular Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage site.

Those with more energy will enjoy a hike to the top of Phulchowki (2715 m), the highest hill in the Kathmandu valley, to take in the views and a small Buddhist shrine at the summit.

Day 3 – Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla & trek to Phakding (2610 m)

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                                  A short flight journey with a pack of 15 fellow hikers.. across the magnificent mountains..

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And then the trek to Phakding.

Day 4 & 5– Namche Bazar (3440 m)

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Places to Visit

Sagarmatha National Park Visitor’s Centre, located at the top end of the village off the Tengboche trail (right side of village when looking up). Offers information on the wildlife of the area. There are some interesting photographs.

Museum of Sherpa Life, located above the village off the Tengboche trail. An introduction to Sherpa culture and the fauna and flora of the region

Museum of local medicinal plants and Tibetan herbal medicineat the Healing Centre . Offers an introduction into the world of Tibetan medicine through posters and artifacts. It also has a small gift shop, the profit from which help maintain the clinic up stairs.

Namche Library. A small library with a big heart – good selection of English books, though they cannot be taken off the premises.

Namche Monastery, located off the Thame trail (left side of village when looking up). A small monastery in the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. It has pleasant courtyard and some traditional frescoes on wall of the main shrine.

What to do?

Namche market. As the name of the village suggests, Namche Bazaar has a market. Every Saturday morning, Sherpas from the surrounding valleys spread out their agricultural products and electronic goods carried from Kathmandu on land above the main path into town. While the goods themselves may not be interesting to tourists, the market itself is certainly worth wandering around and is a good place to get some souvenir shots of “Khumbu life”. Check out the ýak “parking area” above the market – though don’t get too close. Yaks are notoriously ill tempered.

What to Buy?

Handicrafts. The main street into the village is lined with Tibetan run handicraft stalls and stores. Most of the goods are available in Kathmandu, but certain woolen items are made locally. Also, check for anything special that has been carried over from Tibet.

Books. New and second hand books are available at several places, and a store with one of the best selections is located in front of Namche Hotel.

What to Eat?

Namche is really geared for the ravenous tourist, and offers all kinds of delights. Namche’s bakeries are quite famous in Nepal and, considering that the town is a six day walk from the nearest road, they bake up some amazing pastries. None of the bakeries are open during the tourist “off-season” from June until September. All the hotels have dining facilities open to non-residents. Again, during the off-season, not every hotel in Namche remains open.

Herman Helmers Bakery, located on the main street into town, has great apple pie and chocolate cake. The other Bakery items are delicious too.

Namche Bakery, located just down from the main intersection, really excellent, freshly made pizza and delicious Coffee

Traditional Sherpa dishes include:

Rigi kur – potato pancakes, which are delicious eaten straight off the griddle and covered with dzo (female yak) butter and a sauce made of mature cheese and spices called sorma. Due to the effort involved in making rikikul, they are generally not listed on lodge menus. However, most places will oblige if you order well in advance.

Tzen – a heavy pate made from millet and flavored with spices.

Thukpa” – noodles with soup. Perfect for a cold day.

Additionally, be sure to try the delicious Nak-cheese, that can be bought in most of the stores and costs around 100 Rs per 100g.

What to Drink?

  • Coffee blends such as cappuccino and latte are served at the bakeries.
  • Tea is available everywhere and is mostly served sweet and with milk. Salty, butter tea is also available, though not as common.
  • Herbal teas are made from Khumbu wild flowers and produced locally. They are available at most of the hotels, and tea-bag packets can be purchased at the Tibetan Healing Centre.
  • Cafe de’ 8848,namche bazar (behind namche bakery). Cafe de’ 8848 is a new cafe in town.They serve illy coffee and few selection of cake of which chocolate cake and brownies are trekkers favourite. Cafe de’ 8848 has a good selection of food menu.You will find pork chop,bangers and mash, fish & chips,steak sandwich and club sandwich. Everyday they show movie called SHERPAS true heroes on Everest. rs 100-rs 700.

While as you go beyond Namche bazaar, you start entering into more remote regions of higher Himalayas and you better stick to the laws of nature and let your taste buds crave until you achieve what you had come for. My suggestion to our readers is not to eat meat during the trek as its highly likely that you will not get the fresh one. Doing multiple trips to toilet would be a last thing you would ever want on a trek route.

Once you are back from successfully reaching the Everest base camp, then  there are plenty of things awaiting for you in your return journey. Here’s a glimpse into some of those.

NEPALI CUISINE

Momos

The dish is believed to be of Nepali origin. Since this dish was initially popular among the Nepalese community of the Kathmandu Valley, one prevalent belief is that traveling Newar merchants brought the recipe and the name momo from Kathmandu, Nepal where it was a traditional delicacy for centuries. They modified the seasonings of the dish with available ingredients, such as water buffalo, and kept the same name

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Typical Pahari Meal

Pahari food, is a little known cuisine, that can be traced back to the state of Himachal Pradesh in India. But even in Nepal, you will get it on mostly all the trek routes.

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Khaaja Roti

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Nepali Style Hot Chicken Chow Mein

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Sekuwa Kebab

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Yomari

Yomari, also called Yamari, is a delicacy of Newar community in Nepal. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as chaku. The delicacy plays a very important role in Newaa society, and is a key part of the festival of Yomari punhi. According to some, the triangular shape of the yamari is symbolical representation of one half of shadkona, the symbol of Saraswati and wisdom.

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Veggies & Eggs

Instant noodles with cabbage, egg and carrot pieces

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Millet Beer  (On a serious note, we strictly forbid any kind of alcohol during the trek!)

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Thukpa

Thukpa is a Tibetan noodle soup. It originated in the eastern part of Tibet. Amdo Thukpa (especially Thenthuk) is a famous variant among Tibetan.

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Dal Bhat Tarkari

Dal Bhat Tarkari is a traditional meal of Nepal that consists of Bhat, Dal, Curry, Saag (green vegetable) and Achar (pickle). Add some Ghyu (butter) for added taste. You can go to any Thakali restaurants to have an authentic dal bhat tarkari.

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Choila Set

It is a newari cusine where beaten rice is served along with different varieties of beans, spinach, potato, chwela and traditional liquor Thwon.

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Chatamari

Chatānmari is widely eaten as a snack, and has become popular among other cultures too. Many restaurants in Kathmandu serve chatānmari as an appetizer.

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 Chicken Choyla

Choila is served in almost every restaurant in Kathmandu and is prepared in many households.

25Sel Roti

Sel Roti is a Nepali traditional bread that is round in shape and sweet in taste which makes you feel yummy. This home-made ring shaped food can be eaten as breakfast or snacks. Mainly cooked during different festivals, it has become a symbol to Nepali festivals like Dashain and Tihar. It is a food for happiness and love. You will simply love it more.

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So, having come across such a mouthwatering list of Nepali cuisines, we hope that Saiyami will have a roller coaster ride in Nepal.

We, team GGIM wishes her a wonderful trek and safe return!

Happy Trekking! 🙂

Annapurna Base Camp Trek – Batch 1

15th April 2016:

Hurrey !!! All the team members reached Annapurna Base Camp on yesterday successfully!!

All are fit and fine and this morning they started the return journey.. They should be reaching Kathmandu by tomorrow.!!

Experience shared by team members ” We started today early at around 6:30 as we had a target for MBC and ABC. Team had a quick tea biscuits and started walking along with river bed and stunning views of mountains much early than sunrise. Valley was looking splendid and a bit misty in the morning. We encountered many type of flowers, butterflies and bamboo trees along way. Team took many snaps of river, cloud engulfing mountain tops and overall views were very enjoyable. After walking for around one and half hours, we reached at MBC. Few team members reached early to they had warm tea and with the rest of the team we headed to ABC. There was a lot of snow after MBC, team enjoyed walking in the snow. The altitude was showing its true colors and we were getting quite exhausted after every few steps. After an exhaustive walk of around two hours, we reached ABC. Along the walk, we enjoyed nice views but after reaching at the ABC, weather suddenly became bad and it was only clouds everywhere. We had quick breakfast and took snaps at the ABC and started our return. We got little snow fall followed by light and then moderate rain along our way to Deurali. Team had lunch at Deurali and we decided to move down to Dovan for stay. We took around 3 hours to reach Dovan. It was an exhausting day but we were generously rewarded by mother nature with splendid views of Annapurna, Macchepuchere and Annapurn South and Himchuli.”

Heading-towards-Pothana Heading-towards-Pothan

 

13th April 2016: 

The team reached Deorali this afternoon and greeted by rains. All the members are fit and fine and enjoying the trek thoroughly. Due to the rains and week network, they could send only few snaps. Tomorrow’s plan is to trek to Annapurna Base Camp and return to Machchepuchere Base Camp.

What team members say – ” We started today sharp at 8 am after having a lavish breakfast from Chomrong. After a walk of two and half hours of down and steep up (lots of stairs :)), we reached Shinuwa. During this walk, we came across nice hanging bridge, scenic pathways full of beautiful bamboo trees and multiple flowers and butterflies. At Shinuwa, we had a small tea break. Team rested for some time and had tea/coffee and snacks, which we carried.  After Shinuwa, we headed towards Bamboo. It took us two hours to reach Bamboo. As the name suggests, route to Bamboo is full of bamboo trees at both sides of the trees. So far in our trek the weather was extremely cloudy and humid. Team was quite exhausted due to temperature and humid weather. Today’s trek was not as steep as earlier two days and at many stretches it was deep descend. At Bamboo we had stumptous lunch consisting of Pizzas, Minestrone Soup, Garlic Soup, famous Dal Bhat followed by hot tea. Team rested for about an hour after lunch and we headed to Dovan. It was a pleasant walk and we encountered a lot of small streams, bridges, bamboo trees, variety of beautiful ferns and butterflies. There were many flowerbeds along the route. It was quite scenic valley at the right hand side and picturesque mountains at the left and the only music one hear on this route is the song of the river. Weather soon became very cloudy and it was about to rain, so we increased our pace and reached Dovan, just in time. Rain started and lasted for 15 minutes when we reached. After the rain the views of the valley became slightly more clear. Day ended with a nice warm dinner and chit chat in warm clothes.”

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12th April 2016:  

Today we decided to start our day earlier, as we were thinking of reaching Chomrong instead of staying at Landrukh (as per the trek schedule),  we were already 2 hrs ahead of our schedule. With morning wakeup call at 6 everyone had their favorite breakfast at 6.30 & managed to start our Trek at 7.15 am. We headed towards Tolka and after a walk of around 3 hours we reached Landrukh. It was an easy walk  for the team as everyone was fresh after yesterday’s ample rest. It was approx 12 km walk. We took a small snacks break and had tea with our own stuff we carried which included dryfruit laddus, biscuits and khakras. After a walk of around one and half hours, we reached Nayapool. Now we were in a dilemma whether to stay at Nayapool or go to Jhinudanda. Our guide Ngwang suggested that we should go to Jhinu danda due to better accomodation options. After a steep & tiresome walk of one and half hours, we reached Jhinudanda. Since team was tired, we took a small tea break.  Our trainer & everester Ganesh motivated the team to head to Chomrong as for better acclamatization considering our future destinations and thats why it was better idea to reach Chomrong. Now it was a really grueling and extremely tiresome walk for the already somewhat tired team. But finally we made it and reached Chomrung after an hour and forty minutes. We walked around 24.16 km and 37817 steps (equivalent of 296 floors) Since our team was well practiced, we could skip in between stops and directly reached Chomrung.

dovan

10th April 2016:

Team reached Pokhara yesterday and trekked to Dhampus via Phedi. They could share their journey briefly “It was the first day for our small group of 6 from Pune. We started from Pokhra after a nice breakfast in Hotel Third Pole. We drove down till Phedi by car, it was a small drive of 25 min. Upon arriving in Phedi, our supporters Mr. Sonam, Mr. Ram and Mr. Jijma helped us adjusting our bags and they took the load on their able shoulders, few members bought lucky bands from old ladies in street and finally our trek started.

Ganesh and Ngwang briefed us about today’s schedule and basic do and donts. Initially it was a bit shocking to see the unending steep stairs but once we started climbing, it was quite manageable for the whole team, who trained hard in Pune for this very trek.

We walked among fields, narrow pathways, in varandas of private houses and huts and took frequent breaks for mini snacks, water and rest.

After walking for 2 hours we reached Dhampus, our today’s destination, much earlier than planned. We had lunch at Anu Restaurant. Team binged on dishes like Egg curry, Omlettes, chapati and dal rice, famous dish amongst trekkers. Since we reached early we took leisure time to finish lunch and rested for an hour and decided to move on to the next and final stop for the day.

After a walk for an hour and half, we reached Pothana-3, Kaski”

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9th April 2016:

Team arrived at Kathmandu and was received by Mr. Keshab Paodel, director – Peak Promotion Pvt. Ltd and Mr. Umesh Zirpe, Leader – Mt. Dhaulagiri Cho Oyu expedition. Today the team will fly to Pokhara and rest there. They will start the trek tomorrow early morning.

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