The gang is all here! Over the past 72 hours our team has been off to an amazing start, clearing the first few major hurdles of an Everest Expedition in the era of COVID-19. Following some lengthy travel days for all members of our Everest team, we are excited to have the whole crew together in Kathmandu. Everyone, including all their equipment, arrived on or before the April 6th deadline. First major hurdle cleared!
The second hurdle involves everyone taking a PCR COVID-19 test administered at the hotel. All members have received their results and negative tests! We are medically cleared to leave Kathmandu!
On arrival, members’ meticulously packed bags are fully emptied and arranged across their hotel rooms. We are really just getting a head start practicing emptying and loading bags on a daily basis, a hallmark exercise of any expedition. Gear checks are completed, and all the equipment repacked for its journey to Everest Base Camp (EBC). The equipment is sorted with all the climbing gear, down suits, climbing food and Base Camp items arranged in one set of bags, while all of our trekking gear is packed in another set of duffels. The bags for EBC have already completed the majority of their journey, working their way up the Khumbu Valley via a combination of fixed wing aircraft, helicopter and porter loads. They should arrive at EBC in 2-3 days. Our trekking duffels flew into the Khumbu this morning where we will reunite with our equipment on April 9th in Namche. Third hurdle cleared.
And finally, we received our climbing permit for Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) from the Nepal Department of Tourism. All major checklist items have been completed and the team is ready for the trekking and acclimatization to begin.
Due to COVID, our team has been relaxing and enjoying the Hyatt Regency hotel here in Kathmandu. Mealtimes have been filled with plenty of camaraderie, jokes and loads of excitement about our upcoming adventure.
Today (April 8th) is our last full day here in Kathmandu. With negative COVID-19 tests in hand and the ability to socially distance from others, we are heading off to Swaymbhunath
Stupa (a holy Buddhist temple and known as the monkey temple) for a short hike and a quick cultural stop. The afternoon will be filled with all of the last-minute tasks involving downloading remaining items to phones, making sure books and reading material will last throughout the trip and shoring up communication plans with those at home.
Tomorrow we hop on board a few helicopters and fly up to Namche – the starting point for our trek and where we will hopefully have our first glimpse of Everest! Our flight is slated for the early morning so we should be at 11,000 ft (3,500 m) just in time for lunch.
Thank you for following along! Everyone here sends their best wishes to all those at home. Look for an update when we arrive in Namche.
Everest Guide Mountain Trip 2021