Tuesday, March 07, 2006

departing australia for mt everest

hi everyone,
well after being home in australia for a couple of weeks its now time to head to nepal. my father and i will be departing early thursday morning on the 9th march for kathmandu via bangkok.
the plan is to stay there for a few days and organise everything before we take off for the solo khumbu area to go trekking for 3 weeks. we will be first trekking to gokyo-ri then cutting across to everest base camp/kala pattar. then back to kathmandu.
i then have a few days in ktm before my dad flys back home to australia. officially my expedition begins on the 5th april when we depart ktm on route to tibet. the drive in takes about 5 days.
first we take a bus the the border of nepal/tibet. then transer all our gear across to truck/4wd. gradually gaining height all the way. we will be stopping in a couple of towns along the way for the night. and also a day here and there to rest acclimitise too.
i should be ok as part of the reason i am going to nepal to trek early is to adjust to the extreme altitudes that i will be facing. so when it comes time for the business end of the climb i should be fit/strong and ready to go. well... that is the plan anyway.
i have been training a lot now for about 4 mths. the danger is between training and overtaining. i run mainly. about 13-15km a day. 4 days on. 1 day off. i mix it up a little and do some stair running work also in my apartment building in tokyo. the building is 12 floors so i was running up and down non stop 15 times. its good for leg strengthening and cardio vascular fitness also.
the danger with training too much is ultimately over doing it and injuring your self. mainly legs, kness,ankles and feet. also you tend to fatigue yourslef and just feel tired. high altitude climing is kind of a war of attrition. you need to be able to keep going day in and day out. my climbing period for everest will be 45 days. that 45 days of constanly pushing myself.
off course we have rest days aswell. but i need to be able to keep my fitness,health and strength for the time of the whole expedition. so really its important to pace yourself and try maintain a really good rhythm.
falling ill at altitude is every climbers worst nightmare. chest infections and throat infections are serious threats to anyones aspirations of summitting. also intestinal bugs can reek havoc on a climbers expedition.
basically what i will be trying to do is stay helathy and fit. and endeavouring not to try exert myself too much. once you get above 4500m its very hard for the human body to recover. so when you climb a big mountain like this you try to keep as much energy in reserve for when you really need, as much as possible.
the best comparison is this. when you are climbing everest and slowly moving up the mountain you are taking withdrawls from your energy account the whole way. so the idea is get to the top but also to be sure that you have left enough in the account to get back down safely. because getting to the summit is only half the battle. its getting down that is the hard part.
most deaths normally ccur upon descent.never have i ever reached the top of any mountain and felt relieved or content. i always worry about the climb down. and it will be the same on everest. not until i get to the top and down to base camp again safely will i allow myself the pleasure of enjoying what i have done. to do otherwise would be just tempting fate.
as i write my bags are packed and sitting on the balcony ready to go. i am taking 140kg away with me. plus i have a further 150 kg of gear in kathmandu in storage also. fortunately thai airways have been awesome and are letting me take some excess luggage. whether i can get all of it on the plane or not is another story. i guess you will all find out in my next update.so until then. everybody take care and please stay in touch.


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