MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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April 23, 2012

Weather On The Way To Everest Base Camp

Mountain Madness Group 2 is on its way to Everest Base Camp!

We climbed to Namche Bazaar yesterday past large trees felled by the winter winds. Even now in the spring, weather is the most powerful force we have to contend with.

Buffetted about by the wind, our flight into Lukla had an extra dose of excitement, but we landed without any trouble and started hiking.   

By afternoon, a solid rain started, and we were lucky to already be at our lodge. In the morning, it was clear and gorgeous, but by night we had a heavy downpour. Fortunately, that meant blue skies and sweeping panoramas for our hike to the Everest View Hotel this morning.

Last trip saw a little snow, a little rain, a little hail, a little fog, and welcome doses of sunshine interspersed in between. We're hoping for more stable systems and sunshine which are late in coming this year. In the Himalayas, it's best to be prepared. No telling what tomorrow may bring!

Trekker and Khumbu Icefall climber Hank Wisner shares his reflections on the trip so far:

Trekkers Hank and Jeff

"Fifteen years ago, I was in Nepal for the Everest Base Camp trek. I presumed that what lived in my memory was the way things remained, but actually so much has changed.

"In Kathmandu, pollution, population, power outages, and general chaos have increased dramatically. The government seems invisible and ineffective. I see more beggars, poverty, and filth. Whatever the causes, Kathmandu is no longer the charming and romantic place which had stuck in my head from years ago.

"The exact opposite is true from Lukla to Namche--and maybe beyond, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I expected poor, dirty children, rundown shacks, begging, and general hopelessness. What I found was clean, happy children, new homes, rows of hotels-restaurants-internet cafes, and cell phones everywhere. Even the dogs are in good health.  

"The hotels have hot water, showers, and laundry service. I even got a massage from a traditional Tibetan doctor.

"Fifteen years ago, there was extensive poverty here. The people were dirty, and health was poor. Everywhere you look now, it's cleaner. The people seem confident, happy, and hopeful. The trekking trails are well cared for, and business in Namche seems good. There's been a building boom, and new lodges are everywhere. People have clearly been lifted out of poverty by tourism and the climbing industry. It's good to see. As a foreigner in the Khumbu region, I can relax and interact with confident and happy local people.

"Every continent has its wonders, but the Himalayas are especially beautiful. The people of this region deserve kudos for keeping it magnificent, clean, and safe. When I get back to New York City, I can close my eyes at night and see the majesty of the Khumbu.

"The more I travel, the more I realize the illusion of separateness of people. We all want the same basic things: close family, love, health, and prosperity. I'm hoping that the rest of Nepal can attain what the Khumbu has accomplished in these past 15 years.

--Hank Wisner, Everest Base Camp Trekker 1987, 1997, 2012"

View of Mount Everest