Three weeks in the high altitude of Himalaya

Posted in 17th Nov, 2017

Together with two friends, I had been planning a 3-week trek in the Himalayas for some time. We wanted to hike The Three passes and we wanted to start at Phaplu to include a visit to Junbesi and the KPHMN Health Centre with some days in the nice valleys proceeding the mountains.

In the middle of October‘17, we landed in Kathmandu and were met at the airport by Ang and his friendly crew. Later the same day I had made an appointment with the Norwegian Ambassador in Nepal, and Ang joined us to this meeting. I am the Chairman of The Norwegian Junbesi Group (NJG), one of the donor groups to the KPHMN Health Centre, and I wanted to inform the ambassador about the health centre and the financial work of NJG.

The next morning Ang woke us up earlier than agreed – what is going on? Ang smelled massive ques and problems at the airport, due to yesterdays cancellations and the fact that Lukla would have the priority to our destination Phaplu. To avoid a day or two with just queuing up and waiting, Ang provided a brilliant solution for us, a helicopter trip to a decent price…

After just some minutes waiting the helicopter lifted off in the direction of Phaplu. One hour later we were trekking. We had a marvellous 3 weeks, both in the ‘lowlands’ up to Namche, and of course in the mountains above. It started with a wonderful ceremony at KPHMN Health Centre in Junbesi, it continued with breathtaking sightseeing at the Thupthen Chulong Monastry close by, and with nice moments in and between all the small villages along ‘The mule highway’ passing Nunthala, Surke, Bupsa and Pakding up to Namche Bazar.

The mountain trek above Namche together with our brilliant guide Pratap became as fantastic as we had dreamed of. The mountain sits selves, the giants of Himalaya, suited for the most beautiful sights one can imagine. And guide Pratap suited for the rest! For our safety, for keeping down our pace, for inspiring us when needed and for continuously boosting the atmosphere with his jokes and positivity! Not an average man, but an out-of-this-world superhuman! What an experience, from our path along ‘The Three Passes’ we could be close to the giants – to Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and of course – to Mt. Everest, all the mountains we had read about and admired in the Himalaya literature. So close that we felt like touching them!

None of us felt any kind of high altitude sickness during the trek. The KWN Plan for acclimation was brilliant. 3-600 meters a day, slow race, some resting days that were used to reach a summit close by and gain height and then walk down again for rest and sleep at a lower altitude. High in the day time, lower at night – a well-working prescription! I also have to emphasis out guide’s care taken when one of us became sick. With professionalism and emphatic care taken and in no doubt what to do, this was handled in the best way. Always focused, always caring, always with a smile in his eyes.

So a big thanks to Keep Walking Nepal for great moments and a lot of fantastic memories from the Solukhumbu this autumn.

Per Tronsaune