Arrival to Kathmandu, Nepal on Saturday, October 27, was relatively smooth for us (Sarah and Ulyana). However, the rest of the team is not due for a few more days due to flight cancellations caused by Hurricane Sandy this weekend. Despite the combined effects of pre-trip exhaustion and jet lag, we were able to run all our errands in Kathmandu on Sunday and were on the first flight from Kathmandu to Lukla, the gateway to Everest, on Monday morning. We have been quite lucky with the weather, thus far. The flight to Lukla was a spectacular 45-minute jaunt above the rolling foothills of the Himalaya, before landing safely on a 150-foot long runway! On trail, it has been hot (but not intolerably so) and quite dusty, given all the yaks on trail.
After arrival to Lukla, we hiked all the way to Monjo, a village over 4 hours away, on foot. Our packs were quite heavy and took a bit getting used to. In fact, upon arrival to the village, we had just enough energy to eat and then go straight to bed. I think we slept for 12 hours! It was much needed. The next morning we faced a long slow uphill slog to Namche Bazaar, a large Sherpa town in the Himalaya and the last stop for field supplies. Hot temperatures, a wrong turn on the trail (resulting in an hour detour), a run-in with a yak, and no stops for food made for an interesting day. Thankfully, we survived and are now resting up at Namche for the day before moving higher up to Khumjung, site of the Hillary school. It will be another short day tomorrow as we mentally and physically prepare to gain 4000 ft. to the glacier. We will try to write again from our base camp, four days out.