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  1. #31
    triple nubby insanitylevel9's Avatar
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    Moar!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Pesqueeb View Post
    Wanna send me a couple blow up dolls? I've had an idea.
    check out my videos!!!!!!!
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  2. #32
    Superman Polandspring88's Avatar
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    Sunday March 18, 2012

    I woke up the next morning around 6:30 in the morning to find the Sherpas knocking on the tent flap and asking if I would like some tea. Why yes, yes I would. This was proceeded by another bowl of warm water for washing up and would become our morning ritual.

    After shuffling out of the tent and stretching my legs, I wandered around a bit marveling at the scene the departing clouds had left us. I got to watch the sun as it crept over the top of the mountains enveloping us and begin to bask the valley in warmth. Being that we were at the bottom, we didn’t get to feel its rejuvenating effects until mid-morning when it was high in the sky.



    It was slightly chilly that morning though not uncomfortably so. Although I started off donning my insulated jacket I soon put it away, a long sleeve shirt was all that would be required today. We packed up our belongings and after a hearty breakfast, hit the trail on the way to Namche Bazaar.

    The butterflies had yet to settle down and I was still looking around every corner, eager with anticipation to see the fabled peaks of stories. I knew from some background research that given a clear day and the right conditions, we would be able to see the tip of Everest peeking over the mountains in front of us at some point. Off we went. The day’s itinerary called for 4.5 miles of hiking with 2,700’ of elevation gain.



    We wove our way amongst the pine forests, up and down the rolling terrain us New Englanders are used to. There were plenty of sights to see along the way as the clouds burned off and the valley unveiled itself for us. Along the way we passed through small villages; almost every building advertised itself as a lodge and had a storefront that without fail would feature the following: Snickers, Mars bars, Coke, Fanta, and San Miguel beer. It was only later that I came to appreciate this.

    At one point during my trip I got a request from my mother to see what I could do to track down some traditional Sherpa clothing. Having been trekking for a while and seeing what the Sherpa’s wore, I had to chuckle to myself over that request. Here is a perfect example.



    Much like the folks back in Kathmandu, they were primarily clad in TNF, Mountain Hardware, Mammut and Marmot. This little girl was absolutely adorable in her fleece jacket holding a Citizen calculator.

    Of course, there is only so long that one can defy the calls of nature. When that time came, and passed, and then reared its ugly head, I was forced to pull aside to what the Sherpas jokingly referred to as the “Happy Room”. The traditional Sherpa toilet was…interesting. In this case, it was a rickety wooden shack off on the side of the trail.



    If one were to venture into the Happy Room, they would find a toilet much like this in front of them.



    This one was a real treat by comparison. Not only did you get a couple buckets of water to wash down any remnants, there was also a scrubbing brush AND a bin for the used TP. See, they bury the TP the majority of the time as it doesn’t degrade as fast as required. They burn it instead. It is times like these that I thank God I have a penis. The poor girls on the trip, they quickly adapted to squatting behind boulders.
    Last edited by Polandspring88; 04-27-2012 at 04:58 AM.

  3. #33
    Superman Polandspring88's Avatar
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    The views along the way were breathtaking. We followed the Milk River as it meandered its way down from the hills and whenever there was a break in the trees, we were treated to vistas like this.



    Or this.



    Talk about mountain views. Along the way I witnessed more feats of architectural wonder. The majority of the buildings were built out of hunks of rock with no mortar holding them together. In some of the larger cities along the way I would witness the stone masons hard at work, but at one of the small villages we passed through I witnessed these guys working as part of a 4 man crew.



    We all joked that OSHA would pitch a sh!t fit if they saw that guy down below with no protective equipment. After several hours of trekking we reached the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park. Sagarmatha is home to the majority of the Nepali Himalayan mountain range and the real beginning to the trek. There was a graphic in the welcome center that revealed how popular the trail had become. The number of trekkers making the journey exploded from 20 in the 60’s to over 30,000 in recent years. Top 3 visiting countries were the UK, Germany, and the US, in that order. They also had a scale model of the Everest region in the visitor center and we marveled at how far we had come, and how much further we had to go.



    Still fresh! It’s hard not to smile when your mind has been absolved of all work related responsibilities and your only job for the next several weeks is to enjoy the time with newfound friends and love life.

    A short while and several suspension bridges later we stopped for lunch. A typical lunch went something like this. A bowl of soup to start with, typically garlic (supposed to help with elevation) followed by a plate piled with veggies, potatoes, and in this case, a sardine and cheese sandwich.



    Following lunch we found ourselves wandering the banks of the Milk River once again. It was only a short while later that we would deviate from its rock strewn river bed to climb high into the hills.



    The Sherpa guides had been telling us that we were approaching the “Hillary bridge”, named after the great Edmund Hillary. He is revered in the Everest region having not only been the first to climb Everest, but the first to provide the means for development in the region. We came around a bend to find it dangling precariously between two sections of mountain. Over the centuries, the river had eaten its way through the hillside and never was it more apparent than in this section. We stopped for pictures and you can see scale of what we were about to traverse.



    The guides estimated it was ~200’ up and pointed up to the white rock above the landing on the left. Due to erosion the current section of trail is supposed to be closed and the new bridge will span from the mountain on the right over to the white rock on the left, probably putting the bridge a good 350’ above the river.

    It was at this lookout that I had the pleasure of running into a Japanese man who spoke no English but motioned to me that he wanted to take a picture. Apparently he didn’t want me to take the picture as he put his arm through mine, and Nicky’s, and posed with us while one of his friends took a picture of the three of us. It was supremely random and I have now have the pleasure of saying that my smiling mug is probably displayed in a photo book on a coffee table somewhere in Japan.

    As we climbed to the bridge entrance we got a better look at the adjoining river and its accompanying gorge.

    Last edited by Polandspring88; 04-27-2012 at 07:14 PM.

  4. #34
    triple nubby insanitylevel9's Avatar
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    no please post moar!!!! i have a in school suspension and all i get to do all day is sit in a room on my lap top.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pesqueeb View Post
    Wanna send me a couple blow up dolls? I've had an idea.
    check out my videos!!!!!!!
    www.youtube.com/insanitylevel99
    -
    Ben

  5. #35
    crooked smile Echo's Avatar
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    Stickied.
    We do what we must because we can.

  6. #36
    Press Button, Receive Stupid jonKranked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Echo View Post
    Stickied.
    a wise decision!

    also, hi John!s
    set your sarcasm meter to Level 4:butt hurt

  7. #37
    bicycle in airplane hangar Pesqueeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by insanitylevel9 View Post
    no please post moar!!!! i have a in school suspension and all i get to do all day is sit in a room on my lap top.
    Well, who's fault is that?
    Quote Originally Posted by stoney View Post
    Pesqueeb is a hippie trapped in jesus-land.
    www.ninerbikes.com

  8. #38
    bicycle in airplane hangar Pesqueeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by insanitylevel9 View Post
    no please post moar!!!! i have a in school suspension and all i get to do all day is sit in a room on my lap top.
    Well, who's fault is that?
    Quote Originally Posted by stoney View Post
    Pesqueeb is a hippie trapped in jesus-land.
    www.ninerbikes.com

  9. #39
    Press Button, Receive Stupid jonKranked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pesqueeb View Post
    Well, who's fault is that?
    nubby refused to take off his hat

    set your sarcasm meter to Level 4:butt hurt

  10. #40
    Superman Polandspring88's Avatar
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    Simply beautiful. After filming a couple of shots for the promotional video (REI didn't send us over here for nothing), we began the 1,800' climb to Namche. If any of you ever decide to do this trek, bring a Buff. I repeat, bring a Buff. It spent the majority of the time around my neck or shielding my head, but the ascent was super dusty and had I not pulled it up over my mouth I probably would have come down with a serious case of Khumbu cough.

    It seemed like we churned upward for hours, winding our way up the hill through switchback after switchback. We huffed, and we puffed, and we got passed by Sherpas in sandals carrying over a hundred pounds on their backs. We even got passed by young children on their way home from school. Convincingly too, it was quite humbling.

    As the early afternoon transitioned into late afternoon the clouds rolled through the valley and eventually overtook us.



    Looking across the valley we could see the remnants of ice sheets still clinging to the sides of the mountain. In winter they are quite popular for ice climbers and offer a great training ground for those looking to practice their skills in preparation for the larger peaks.



    Rounding a bend we saw Namche stretched out before, seemingly precariously placed on a network of terraces carved into the hillside. Nowhere was it more apparent the skill the Sherpa have in working with stone, their retaining walls are works of art. The village roofs were a myriad of colors and made for quite the sight.



    Namche is the economic hotspot along the Everest trek. There are a slew of lodges and internet cafes to cater to the trekkers. We even spotted an Irish pub and a German bakery that tempted me with donuts, pastries, and all kinds of confectionary delights. I begrudgingly resisted knowing that consumption of the local food would more than likely result in a serious bought of intestinal distress.

    Once the adrenalin from the trek wore off the altitude began to kick in. Having never been at 11,300' before, even walking up a flight of stairs left me gasping for breath. Despite the weariness I took the time to wander through the village and marvel at what it had to offer. The stores were packed with exquisite wood carvings, all kind of jewelry, and piles of counterfeit clothing. I was amused to see that there is a legitimate Mountain Hardware store up here.

    I went into an internet cafe to fire off a quick email to my folks and girlfriend to let them know I was still alive and headed back to the lodge for dinner. Once again the kitchen staff served up a delicious meal and I went to sleep stuffed and content.

  11. #41
    filthy rascist JohnE's Avatar
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    Wow...so much awesome here. Work = boring...story = good.
    Someday, I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

  12. #42
    Turbo Monkey Mo(n)arch's Avatar
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    Glad you made the right decision.
    But i definitely have to hate you now.

  13. #43
    Superman Polandspring88's Avatar
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    Monday March 19, 2012

    I woke up to Nicky banging on the tent flap saying, “You guys have to get out here, now.” Wiping the sleepies out of my eyes, I put on my boots and stepped out of the tent to find the clouds unveiling the mountains it had hidden the prior afternoon. It was incredible. Namche is carved into the face of a mountain and looms in the shadows of bigger ones. No matter which direction you looked in the rocky crags poked out of the clouds, still wearing their winter whites.



    I quickly grabbed my camera and ran around franticly trying to capture the scene as it unfolded before my eyes. Conditions changed by the minute as the clouds slowly evaporated.



    Even the bathroom contained picturesque views. It probably seemed odd to anyone watching, but I brought my camera into the bathroom with me. What a joy it was to take care of my morning business looking out to my right at this.



    At some point during this time the kitchen boys came out as they always would with a cup of hot tea to enjoy the morning with. I sat there drinking in the beauty with my hot tea and good company to keep me warm. After a brief toast to the mountains I got back to work behind the camera as the first rays of light beamed from behind a peak.



    The sunrise was gorgeous and basked my sore body in its rejuvenating glow. I watched it paint the tips of the higher peaks, slowly creeping down their steep slopes.



    At last, the sun cleared the top of the peak. The girls crawled out of their tents, blissfully unaware of what had transpired. We all spent some time organizing our things in preparations for the days acclimatization hike to higher elevation. After a typical breakfast of oatmeal with peanut butter and honey, tea, and eggs, we gathered near the tents to prepare for departure.

    The idea was that we would hike to higher ground today but come back and spend the night at the same elevation to give our bodies a chance to adjust. A few of us got headaches at the end of the prior day, a signal that the elevation was finally getting to us. The path upward was steep and brought us past a mini stoupa lined with prayer wheels. I slowed down to make sure I spun every one, after all, in the land of yetis I could never have too much good luck. Switchback after switchback, we slowly gained ground, eventually emerging onto the top of a plateau. It was pretty barren up there with nothing but scrub brush and stunted trees. We did however get an unadulterated 360 degree. I asked someone to take my picture before we went on our way.



    The Sherpas made sure to point out one mountain to us as a holy mountain. While the majority of Himilayan peaks see some traffic from climbers and mountaineers, there are several that are designated as holy and only for the Sherpa people. To climb it would be to desecrate it and upset the balance of nature.

    We came upon the Syangboche airport which was nothing more than a flat strip of dirt high up on a hill. It is the closest airport to Everest, primarily serving helicopters and small planes that would drop off supplies in Namche. It is also the highest point that people can safely fly into due to the altitude. Our guide regaled us with stories of the many shenanigans that that airport had been the sight of, including the time when there was an episode of Real World Nepal filmed there. After having the contestants shuttled to Nepal for a week of unknowns, they helicoptered them all up to this airport so they could continue up to the Everest View Hotel. Being unaccustomed to the altitude one girl passed out and the rest of the afternoon dissolved into the typical bickering and bitching.

    Our vantage point also entitled us to a clear view out towards the hotel and to Everest beyond that.



    For being the tallest mountain the world, Everest displays little prominence over the surrounding peaks. In that picture it is the small pyramid a third of the way over on the right. I was surprised, I had always envisioned a domineering, cold hard bitch of a mountain thrusting its tip high above the rest. Not one to complain, after all, who could complain about this, continued on our merry way to the hotel.

    We made it!


  14. #44
    filthy rascist JohnE's Avatar
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    My wife has a college ECOEE friend whos' hubby has cerebral palsy and "climbed" to teh same place...interesting story.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18559_162-54176.html

    http://www.isu.edu/cwhog/kumboo/Pers...ylepacker.html
    Someday, I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

  15. #45
    Turbo Monkey
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    Great thread. Please continue...

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