By: Kim Bo Larsen
Hey everyone. Kim here.
I’ll be writing a day by day blog of this years Everest Skydive Expedition.
This years team consists of Paul-Henry (PH from France), Greg Rau (USA) Anton Gilev (Russia), Nadezda Solovyeva (Russia), Yurok Vion (France) and my self Kim Bo Larsen (Denmark) next week Wendy Smith (New Zealand) and Omar Alhegelan (Saudi Arabia) will join us for the second part. Along with us Bibek Pandey (Nepal), Bhuwan (Nepal), Bipin (Nepal), Samir (Nepal) taking good care of us.
Our clients for this week are two solo-skydivers from Kuwait, Aliaa and Osama, who are part of our team as well, and are both very excited about our expedition. I’ll tell more about their amazing stories within the next couple of days.
Today we set of from Kathmandu to Lukla after the whole team got together yesterday. We had a pleasant flight to Lullu, which for most of skydiving team was a new experience. A beautiful flight with great views of the mountains and valleys.
After sorting some logistics for a few hours in Lukla, we got on the trail. Today’s trek was easy and spirits high. People walked mostly in one group, some were busy singing and telling jokes, others filming and taking photos. I think everyone got a chance to talk to everyone, which is great. A few days from now, we need to perform as a solid team to make the skydives happen.
From Lukla we walked a bit down towards Phakding where we are staying tonight. On the way we got to see views of the Dudh Koshi (milk river) that flows down this valley. It’s white from silt, hence the name. We also saw monkeys playing around in the trees, and donkeys and yak hauling food and gear for Namche and beyond.
The weather today was mostly light rain, so views of he valley were few, but everyone had a great day. Although we are only at 2680 meters, everyone can feel the thinner air when walking up. It was a bit of a surprise for some.
We are now in Phakding resting, drinking tea and talking. Everyone on this team are experienced adventurers, and the stories being told these days are fantastic. For myself I can say, that my lift of things I want to do, and places to see is growing by the hour these days.
We are all very proud and grateful to be part of this team, making a dream come true for our clients and bringing skydiving to such a fantastic and spectacular part of the world.
Explore Himalaya Travel & Adventure conducted a day’s first aid training to its trekking guides in collaboration with CIWEC Hospital on 12 Sep 2019. The training which took place at the onset of tourist season was attended by 17 guides. The training was conducted by experienced doctors & nurses of CIWEC Hospital, one of the most reputable travel medicine centers in the world. This training was designed to meet the needs of high altitude guides, trip leaders and outdoor staffs working in remote mountain environment. The training covered a broad range of essential skills required during medical emergencies through theoretical and practical demonstration. The training content included courses on Cut & Wound Care, Burns, Fractures & Dislocations, Spinal Injury, Hypothermia, Altitude illnesses and First Aid Tool Kit. The session also included emergency and risk management skills and confidence needed to make informed medical decisions. After the training, a pre-season “Best Practices for Guides” session was also conducted in Explore Himalaya office in which General Manager Anuj Pandey reviewed about past weaknesses and oriented about the ways of addressing the issues to provide flawless and responsible services in the upcoming season. The session was focused on the principles and practices related to guide behavior, guest handling, guide ethics and sustainable practices to be followed by Guides while on the trail. Manager Kedar Khadka and Operation Manager Bharat Raj Puri also addressed the session. Explore Himalaya, as a travelife certified company, regularly does such training to enhance, excel and empower its team for the utmost care, safety and satisfaction of its travellers. The session was followed by lunch in Marcopolo Restaurant.
Everest Base Camp Trek,
The mind is everything. What you think you become. — Buddha
One of the greatest truths Buddha has spoken clearly attests the importance of our mind in our deeds. Our mind’s underworking does impact hugely in whatever we do or what we make of ourselves. The prominence of mind is even more pertinent if we are undertaking an adventure like Everest Base Camp Treking, which can be both apprehensive and overwhelming at the same time. Normally people focus on physical fitness only when they think of such adventure, but it’s equally important, or even more, to be mentally prepared to go out of your comfort zone and push your limits.
It is generally considered that mental fortitude is something one is born with. But mental fitness is just like physical fitness that can be developed and maintained. You can adopt some strategies to rely on when you are not in your element, especially when the trek gets difficult and you start feeling your inner self shaking. Below are a few ideas that will help you before and during Everest Base Camp Trek:
Be clear about your adventure thoroughly. You also need to understand why you are doing this and what it means to you. Though the adventure is same, people have their own purpose of doing it. Knowing about your trip and your objective prepares you for what to expect. You will be in alignment with your convictions. This way, whatever comes next won’t be shockingly surprising to you. Do a bit of soul-searching interview with yourself. Remember you will be counting on yourself, and no one else!
Just now, we have agreed to think but it doesn’t mean you need to think it over and over. Stop over thinking! It’s ok to be excited about your trip but being anxious or obsessive will just rob you off your peace of mind and you will be tired and drained even before you start your trip. Even during the trip at the time of challenging moments like longer trails, high passes or sheer descent, stay focused and seize the moment but don’t carry the burden of challenges in your mind all the time. If you feel the strain is too much, let your mind relax and wander and think about pleasant things you have done – there is no harm in being a little escapist!
Everest Base Camp trek is a long and challenging adventure, about 10 days’ trekking in the wilderness of the Himalayas. So it’s easy to feel lost or overwhelmed due to the enormity of the adventure. Breaking it into smaller phases will make things achievable. You can divide the trip into sections like pre-trekking, during trekking and post trekking, and even smaller sections while doing trekking. Just concentrate on the section you are doing that day. Like a Zen monk be “here and now”. This way, you won’t be succumbed to the pressure of the adventure.
Though slow and steady has been outdated now, it’s still the way of mountains. So, don’t attempt any quick fix as the trail is long and not easy. Don’t haste, learn the art of patience. As mountain life has its own pace, there is no sense in being carried away by your impulses and emotions. Adventure is not a race – Relax, Enjoy and Take Your Time!
Trekking is of course a kind of “me-time” but the plain fact is it’s not an indulgence or luxury. It could be a bit easier in other parts of the world, but in the Himalayas – adventure does come with price. Terrain is rugged, temperature is extreme, region is remote and life is difficult. So, naturally facilities are basic. Accommodation is in basic teahouses with basic food and amenities. And most of the time choices are limited. For a western traveller, you really need to stretch your comfort zone. So, be prepared to have a different kind of experience.
In the land of mountains, we go by their rules. Respect the mountains and people. Be open minded and shed your judgments. Cultivate child-like curiosity. This way you can let go much of the mental strains that can be caused by new environment. The thumb rule is “Wander and Wonder” – the rest will be fine!
Here is the way to make skydive in Everest
Effective date: August 20, 2019
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Everest Base Camp Trek is love at first sight! Whoever hears about it falls for it. But this beautiful package of adventure comes with some sort of challenges. That’s why whoever thinks of doing this trek asks one mandatory question “How fit do I need to be?”
Though the question connotes some sort of apprehension, the answer is simple “People of moderate fitness level can do it!” Ah such a relief! It is actually true that you don’t need to be super fit or in best shape with athlete physique. The trekking is not technical and you don’t need previous experience in altitudes. But the “moderate level of fitness” does demand some efforts from your side. After all you are covering 120 km (round trip) gaining approximately 300 m each day in one of the most extreme terrains in the world.
So, keeping fit does help a lot. But you don’t need to freak out! Trekking in the Himalayas requires some sort of playful seriousness. You should be concerned but without overshadowing the fun part. In short, with right preparation, right pace and right attitude, the mountains will welcome you wholeheartedly!
Here are some training tips we recommend you for Everest Base Camp Trekking.
Tip 1: Walk Walk Walk
All you will be doing in the trek is hiking. You will be walking for 9-10 days with an average of 5-8 hours (approx. 15 km) per day. Though the distance you cover doesn’t sound very challenging but you will be basically walking uphill on rocky terrain with your each step gaining altitude. So, importance of hiking practice is not an overstatement.
Practising hiking helps you to get used to with the pace. Begin 7-8 weeks prior to the trek with about 2 hours each day and slowly increase the duration up to 5/6 hours. The best thing to do is simulation hiking in wilderness carrying some weight. This way you will know the spot in your body you need to strengthen. Don’t forget to wear the hiking boots you will be using in the trek as new shoes can give blisters. The thought of it alone can give you a nightmare! Try the boots in some steep terrain and try to find trouble spots. Lightweight boots with good ankle support, plenty of toe room for long descents, a stiff sole to lessen twisting torsion are the best.
Tip 2: Cardio Workouts
Any kind of cardio workout is good for Everest Base Camp Trek. It can be simple jogging, swimming, cycling or even treadmill walking. Or you can take help from YouTube where you can get many great ideas. Just make sure that you experience deeper breathing and light sweating during the workouts. You can do it about 30-45 minutes 2 or 3 times a week. It helps your body to work hard and adjust your pace with less oxygen. Though fitness level doesn’t determine how easily you acclimatize, cardio workouts will optimize your endurance chances. It will allow you to enjoy the views and bask in the beauty of the region rather than you bending over and struggling to catch your breath.
Tip 3: Strength Training
Trekking is simply walking, a basic natural activity humans have been doing all the time. However we do it in low oxygen conditions, which makes our breathing a bit harder and we get tired much faster. So, it’s highly beneficial if you increase your endurance and work on the leg muscles. Though the above mentioned tips (hiking and cardio) will help you a lot, the strength workouts will definitely improve your trekking performance. So, you can include squats, pull ups, push ups, weighted step- ups and lunges in your regular strength routine, about 30-45 minutes 2 or 3 times a week. You can schedule cardio and strength alternatively. Don’t overdo it, take your time and schedule it comfortably.
Finally, the most important tip is you should always consult your doctor before taking trekking challenges. It’s really important to know your body. Though it’s your soul that takes the pleasure of the experience, your body is going to bear the whole thrust. However, let me repeat once again, physical fitness doesn’t guarantee acclimatization but your fitness level does make the difference on how you experience your adventure. So, be fit, the rest will be fine!
All the best for your adventure!!!!