Proud to play a small role in their especial trip- Alexandre & Noemie
Gokyo, Kalapatthar and Everest Base Camp Trek is an ultimate trekking adventure, that takes to you to the lap of Mt. Everest traversing across the high Cho La Pass 5420m. It is an opportunity to trek to the summit of both Gokyo Ri 5340m and Kala Pattar 5554m for experiencing the magnificent views of the mighty Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu and Cho Oyu. In addition, the glacial walk to Everest Base Camp will give you an opportunity to savor the glimpse of “The spectacular Khumbu Icefall”, which is a lifetime experience for trekkers. Diverse landscape, floras and faunas of the Himalayas, Sherpa people and their culture are another exciting experiences offered during the trek.
This March Alexandre Wirth and Noemie Pomart had Gokyo, Kalapatthar and Everest Base Camp Trek with us. After the completion of their trek, they had a short conversation with us.
Have a look.
EH: How was your trek?
Alexandre: The starting of the trip was a different experience within itself. Landing at the Lukla airport was one of the most exciting things I have ever done.
Noemie: The overall trip was a very fantastic experience for both of us. Every day was very special, and the magnificent landscapes in every turn were pretty amazing and breathtaking. The first glimpse of the mighty Everest was just “Fabulous”.
The thrilling airstrips of Lukla
EH: How was our team assigned to cater services during your trek?
Alexandre: The crew and support team of Explore Himalaya was very good, especially our guide Sanu was a fun to be with, joking and smiling all the time.
Noemie: He took very good care of us.
EH: What did you like about the people and place?
Alexandre: The streets are particularly for us, it’s like jungle, but very colorful and exciting. People are very friendly as well. And we love the place…
The smiling Sherpa kid of Khumbu
EH: What is the most memorable moment of your trek?
Noemie: The whole trip was very special for me because, when we reached Kalapatthar, my boyfriend asked me to get married. “That was a big surprise”…
EH: Proposing a girlfriend at 5545m is a very good idea, isn’t it?
Alexandre: Just to make sure she says yes.
EH: Describe the whole experience in one word?
It has been 12 years that world’s best photographers and photographic wildlife safari leaders teamed up to facilitate photographic tours in the world’s most fascinating photographic destination- Orxy Photography is one of the best to travel with on the photography tour. One of the award winning photographic leaders Marius Coetzee was recently on a FAM Tour to Nepal with Explore Himalaya. He calls himself a cultural freak and he never researches about the place he is visiting the first time on an educational trip. “Any bad experience of a particular traveler shared on travel sites doesn’t make that destination awful so I ignore the travel reviews posted in any site in order to have an open mind about a destination and ensure the best possible future tour for my clients” say Marius Coetzee. Marius and Alan during a short conversation with us after the completion of the FAM Tour shared their experiences of Photography FAM Tour to Nepal 2014. Here we have a shorter version of the conversation with Marius Coetzee photo gallery on Nepal Photography Tour.
EH: How was the tour?
Marius: Its been incredible. To be fair, I knew it was going to be great but it has certainly raised my expectation. The country was great. Alan had an emergency incident at Chitwan but the medical care was excellent. We could not have asked for more. You guys have been great and Bishant [Tour Guide] was great. All in all its been a first class experience in a country that is on many people’s wish-list.
EH: As you guys were on a photography tour, do you think Nepal is a potential destination for photography tour?
Marius: Without a doubt, Nepal is a great destination to tour and photograph. Cultural aspect of the country is amazingly out of the world. For me Nepal is an incredible country that I can sell with the close eyes.
EH: What do you say about the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu?
Marius: Kathmandu is completely unique. It is just giving so much that there are plenty of stuffs to see and photograph here in Kathmandu.
Alan: Unlike any Indian city, Kathmandu is beautiful. It is full of hidden gems. You could walk pass places and not know where you are. You go down the passage way and you find fantastic temples and fantastic colors. It is a superb city.
EH: How do you rate the services you guys experienced during the tour?
Marius: Everything was great. Whenever people are on the tours to new places, food is one of the major concerns. Everywhere in Nepal the options of food were plenty. We had western food throughout the tour. Food services, hotels, transportation, guides and everything else were just great.
Jim and Cindy Beckman at the Airport with our Quality Control Officer Mr. Amar Rai
Cheepers Birding Tours led by the members of Board of Directors of Dayton Audubon Soceity Jim and Cindy Beckman offer remarkable birding tours around the world in relatively lower prices. Jim and Cindy led a team of birders this year to Nepal and their birding tour in the major birding destinations of Nepal was organized by Explore Himalaya. We had a short conversation with Jim and Cindy on the Birding Tour right at the airport terminal before their departure back home.
Jim and Cindy Beckman on Birding Tour to Nepal
The tour was great; everything went smoothly without a hitch anywhere. We enjoyed the trip so much.
Memorable part of the birding tour
The tents in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve were adventurous enough to stay. We knew it was coming and we really enjoyed it. Birding at Fulchowki, especially the Upper Fulchowki has been our favorite birding destination so far.
Number of Species of Birds Spotted
Almost 370 species of birds were spotted which included few species that we spotted in India. We spotted around 200 species of new birds in Nepal.
Service of Explore Himalaya
We came here last year on a FAM Tour. The reason we came back is because, we know how well you plan things. We knew very well that, all the transitions during the Birding Tour are smooth enough that, we don’t have to worry about anything while traveling with Explore Himalaya. All we can do is put a number in the pocket and call you guys whenever there is a problem. I know you will help us with whatever problem we have. Traveling with Explore Himalaya in Nepal takes the fear out of traveling in a strange country like this. It’s a comfort traveling with you guys. Besides, the people at Explore Himalaya are just like other Nepalese we found, during the birding tour who were very friendly and kind.
Ways to improve birding tours in Nepal
Well Nepal is an ideal destination for birding. However, the birding culture in Nepal has not been flourished yet. I am sure Explore Himalaya can make it happen. There only one thing, the birding guides need to be trained well. The guides are enthusiastic and are very good guides with the resources they have. Let the birding guides explore the woods with the better optics and tape recorder. Let them experience- they will learn by doing it.
33% of oxygen in the air, extreme physical and mental exhaustion- yet Everest is a passion for millions of mountaineers across the globe. The highest point on earth where, the climbers can leave their footprints is Everest summit. Literally, the heads of the Everest climbers and Everest skydivers are in the space. The veteran Everest climbers/skydivers whose heads have felt the space speak on Everest.
“Strong motivation is the most important factor in getting you to the top” — Edmund Hillary
Sir Edmund Hillary is the first person to climb Everest with Tenzing Norgay Sherpa on May 29, 1953. A Kiwi National, Hillary is adorned with awards like, Knight Commnader of the Order of the British Empire, Fourth appointee to the Order of New Zealand, Knight Companion of The Most Noble Order of the Grater, Padma Vibhushan (India) Polar Medal (for Trans-Antarctic Expedition), Order of Gorkha Dakshin Bahu 1st Class (Nepal) and Commander’s Cross of the Order of the Merit of Republic of Poland among others.
“It has been a long road … From a mountain coolie a bearer of loads, to a wearer of a coat with rows of medals who is carried about in planes and worries about income tax.” Tenzing Norgay Sherpa
A young Sherpa who began his mountaineering career as a High Altitude Porter in 1930s, Tenzing was a member of several expeditions to Everest before he made the first ever ascent of Everest in 1953 with Edmund Hillary. Born in the far-flung village, Tengboche of Khumbu Nepal, Tenzing is honored with the awards like Geroge Medal and Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal by Queen Elizabeth II, the other honors like Order of Star Nepal, Padma Bhusan (India). Times Magazine enlisted him as one of the 100 influential people of the 20th century.
“I can’t understand why men make all this fuss about Everest — it’s only a mountain” — Junko Tabei
In 1975, Junko Tabei followed the route set by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay and became the first woman to summit Everest. Prior to her success she was buried in snow for a while, before she was dug out by a Sherpa guide. At 6,300m, during the Everest Expedition an avalanche struck the team and hence the incident happened. However, Japanese mountaineer, Tabei survived and 12 days later she accomplished the feat.
“Everest? Don’t forget it’s really just a big pile of rocks” —- David Breashears
David Breashears was the one who guided Richard Bass to the Everest summit, thus Bass completed his feat of climbing the highest summits of all seven continents. Five times summiter of Everest David Breashears is an avid cinematographer who has worked in the feature films like Seven years in Tibet, Cliffhanger and Red Flag over Tibet. First American to summit Everest twice is also a four time Emmy Award Winner.
“Everest for me, and I believe for the world, is the physical and symbolic manifestation of overcoming odds to achieve a dream” —- Tom Whittaker
After the amputation of his right foot in 1978, his passion to summit Everest became stronger hence he made his first attempt to summit Everest in 1995. First disable person to climb the Everest, Tom Whittaker accomplished the feat in May 27 1998.
“You’ve climbed the highest mountain in the world. Now what’s left? It’s all downhill from there. You have got to set your sights on something higher than Everest.” — Willi Unsoeld
Honored with Hubbard medal by John F. Kennedy, Willi was the member of first American Expedition Team to Everest summit in 1963. Willi Unsoeld and Tom Hornbein are the legendary names of mountaineering as they were the first one to summit Everest from its west ridge. Willi died in an avalanche while climbing Mt. Rainer.
Also, Everest Skydive have created the possibilities of experiencing the space during the yearly event Everest Skydive which takes place in the Everest Region, during the autumn. Here we have two bonus experiences shared by the veteran Everest Skydivers.
“I hope my action will inspire others living with this illness. I hope many more will follow in my footsteps,”– Marc Kopp
French national, Marc Kopp, successfully completed a tandem dive with his friend, champion skydiver Mario Gervasi setting a record of first disabled to skydive over Everest during the Everest Skydive 2013. The 55-year-old Kopp, living in Longwy northeast of Paris, has suffered the degenerative disease of the nervous system for more than a decade.
“Everest Skydive, the Himalaya is absolutely unique. It is the top of the world and unique to respect or appreciate trekking and acclimatizing to get to the destination where we take off from.”– Wendy Smith
The first skydiver to take the highest free fall during Everest Skydive 2008 Wendy Smith, is very talented photographer and an experienced skydiver with more than 20000 skydives. Kiwi Sky Angel, Wendy is a well known figure in the adventurous world who is also a winner of Emmy Award. Coordinator of the Everest Skydive since 2008, Wendy fell in love with Nepal long time ago.
Three solo skydivers were interviewed in Hotel Malla after their dives during Everest Skydive 2013. Weather, because of the Cyclone Phailin in India, the entire sub-continent was affected and hence the Everest Skydive. Because of the unfavorable weather conditions some turned to be lucky being able to jump beyond 20000m and few were unfortunate. Marc Kopp, set a record of being first disable person to skydive during this year’s Everest Skydive. Here, we have an interview of David Philips, Alexander Zadirov and Patr Zadirov on their skydive experience.
EH: How was your trip to Nepal, do you like Nepal?
David: What I have seen so far, Nepal is amazing, totally amazing.
Zadirovs: We like Nepal very much. It was a great experience, people were nice and we had an amazing holiday. We enjoyed a lot.
EH: The Everest Skydive begins with the trek to Syangboche, how was your trek?
David: The trekking was amazing too.
Zadirovs: There were two main parts of our trip, trekking & skydive itself. The trek part was perfect. It was interesting, nice people guided us through. Lot of beautiful places and everything was just great. It is our first time in Nepal. We have been too many countries before. The capitals of many countries are very specific. The countrysides here resembled to the countrysides of our country. The trek was fantastic.
EH: How was your skydive?
Zadirovs: The team of Everest Skydive; divers and crew in the drop zone were professionals which we would rate very highly. The great team, great people and perfect atmosphere; everything was great. Except for a thing which is beyond the control of Explore Himalaya and the crew, was altitude. We planned two jumps from a lower heights and one jump at a same time from 20000m+ altitude. But, perhaps the bad weather restricted the pilot of our helicopter to fly beyond 10000m. So, we had jumps from the heights not exceeding 10000m. Some guys did 23,000m. We must say, we were unfortunate. Everything else was perfect.
David: I got to dive from the altitude of 22000m and it was truly amazing. People there were some of the best I have ever met. They were professionals, and they helped you for everything you needed. They were right there for you. I did my 1000, 1001, & 1002 jumps here in the Everest.
EH: How would you recommend the Event back home to the interested skydivers?
David: I would just tell them, this would be one of the most amazing experiences that they would ever have in their life. This is the pinnacle of skydiving for me. This is top; the only other place from here is the space
Zadirovs: We already have people who are interested in this trip back in Russia. Besides, what we highlight is the positive aspect, the team and the trek. Only thing required is, attention shall be granted. Besides, this it was a great experience. We would recommend anyone saying that they would have a great great time. But, we are not in the position to guarantee the elevation of dive. We loved the trek part, enjoyed time with the guides and views were outstanding and the crew of Everest Skydive was wonderful.
EH: How were the hotels you stayed in?
David: Great, everything went smooth and service in the hotels was fantastic.
Zadirovs: Hotel in the city was great. We were shocked with the services in the hotels beyond 3000m. The facilities of hot water, amazing service, mobile networks; anything we needed was available. We admire the system of Nepalese Tourism working so hard to facilitate the trekkers so well in such tough conditions.
EH: How do you rate the service of Explore Himalaya?
David: To me, I would rate 10 on 10. Everything has been amazing.
Zadirovs: We would rate it very highly everything was organized without hiccups and all we have to do is, just followed the instructions.
EH: Do you have any recommendations, so that Explore Himalaya can exercise to make this Event better in the coming years?
David: Nothing specific but if there is a space to work on elevation factor that could be great.
Zadirovs: Only one recommendation; elevation. Otherwise the team and everything was perfect. We totally understand weather is beyond control however, this event lasts for two weeks and if there is any space Nepalese Government can slightly consider in Traffic Control Rules particularly for the Event.
EH: Do you think the Event has potentiality to attract more skydivers in the coming years?
David: Yes, absolutely. It has the abundant potentiality to do so.
Zadirovs: Why not? Even, a high official of the Russian government who is also a skydiver is planning to come to Nepal for the Everest Skydive next year. If the Event is promoted well it has a huge potentiality.
EH: Thank you so much for your time.
I had dreamt about this trip my whole life. My dream was realized during these 15 days. This was one of the most important events in my life! Thank you!
We work with the motto "Tourism for Development". Explore Himalaya Community Service Project was conceived to empower underprivileged segments of Nepal.