MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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April 15, 2011

Trekkers Reach Everest Base Camp!

April 6, 2011

Overnight at Everest Base Camp

We made it! After a few gut-crunching days on the trail, and having our final goal in sight for an hour or so, we arrived at the base camp 'rock' ....the much decorated point where you know you've 'made it'! Pat yourself on the back, throw out the high fives and reflect on the satisfaction of being exactly where you want to be. It may not be on-top of Everest, but for us it was the pinnacle of our hopes and achievements. And now time to relax...and that would be easier if it wasn't 15F at night. After eating dinner in the oft seen dining tent, we retreated to our 2-person expedition tents for what was a surprisingly warm and 'comfortable' night's sleep .... except for the kamikaze walk to the 'bathroom'. But this is the roof of the world, what can one expect?

--Chris Underhill, trekker


The Everest Base Camp marker - we made it!


The stunning Khumbu Icefall sprawls before us.


What a great team! Sherpas and Mountain Madness trekkers on the Khumbu Glacier.


Everest Base Camp Under Construction

Trekking in March/April to Everest Base Camp is a fascinating time because you can see the "city" come to life. All along the trail, we have passed yak caravans and porters bringing up supplies. Everything--from dining chairs and plastic flowers to refrigerators and generators--has to be carried for days to construct this temporal abode. Sherpa staff carve out platforms on the glacier with axes and sledgehammers, and more tents appear day by day. The city slowly grows. Climbing teams share the trail with us, and where we turn homewards, their adventure has only just begun!

--Deana Zabaldo, Mountain Madness Guide


Everything - and I do mean EVERYTHING - has to be carried into the mountains: 
a generator, lumber, a refrigerator, food, and more!




The temporary "city" of Everest Base Camp comes to life in March and early April.


April 7, 2011

Everest Base Camp--Rise and Shine!

What a spectacular morning awaited us at Everest Base Camp! Bright sunlight made the Khumbu Icefall stand out in all its terrifying glory.... We're thankful that the way back to Lukla doesn't require a trip across this formidable obstacle. After breakfast, we started our journey back, retracing our labored footsteps, but this time with a skip in our step, knowing full well that a 5,000 foot elevation drop would be achieved the next 48 hrs. Back near Namche Bazaar, we finally wallowed in the satisfaction that we indeed did make it. Many personal long-held goals were sated. Many questions as to where next? For this traveler a few days, weeks, or months back home reflecting on this experience will be necessary before knowing how to trump this incredible journey. Thank you Mountain Madness!

--Chris Underhill, trekker


Sherpas and climbers on the Khumbu Glacier




Our group hikes out across the glacier, returning down through base camp, and heading back to warmer climes.


Back on firm ground and heading down towards Lobuche Pass.


April 8, 2011

Eating Well!

Being a celiac (gluten-allergic), I was a little concerned about the meals provided on the trip. From day one I was pleasantly surprised. Little did I know that buckwheat is a locally grown crop and they are very experienced in cooking with it. I did not feel left out during the meals, and in fact, I was envied by many of the other trekkers. Pancakes, noodles, and special soups were all prepared gluten free for me. Thanks much to the talented cooks!

--Damon Yuhasz, trekker


April 9, 2011

Awestruck In Nepal

I am awestruck by the mountains, nepali people and spiritual life.  Many amazing events have happened on my trip.  I've seen the most beautiful landscape, at night seen a million stars, and for fun played dice with our nepali sherpa's.  One of the most memorable events of this trek is getting to know our local porters and sherpas.  In the day they lead us through the himalayan mountains, at night we play dice and laugh a lot.  Our guide Deana has done a great job guiding us and helping us to get to know the Nepali's much better.

The mountain of Nepal are rich in culture, beauty, and SMILES!!

--Susan Wojie, trekker

Trekker Susan Wojie feeling strong on her return down the valley. Mecsi Aron photo


April 10, 2011

Making Dreams Happen

As magical as the climb to base camp is with the most majestic mountains anyone has ever encountered, it would not have been nearly as fulfilling had we not had Deana, our exemplary guide. Deana brings the place ALIVE, with her stories of the local people, their lives, their culture, their fascinating history, and their religion. We could not have imagined a better trip or a better guide! Thank you Mountain Madness and Deana. A Dream Come True!!

--Jenny and Wayne Miller, North Carolina, trekkers