As part of Beat Blood Cancer Everest Challenge you will trek to the gateway to the highest peak in the world—Mount Everest.
On this adventure, you will first discover the sensory overload that is Kathmandu—Nepal’s bustling capital city. Fill your senses with the sights, sounds and smells of a city simultaneously hurtling towards modernity while stoically maintaining its traditional religious and cultural uniqueness.
Moving beyond city limits, you will then trek for 11 days through alpine meadow, into birch and rhododendron forest, across rivers and along narrow mule tracks between snow-capped mountains. Together with a team of local guides and Sherpas, you will discover the majesty and mysticism of the Himalayas by day, and fall asleep in traditional lodges and guesthouses in remote Nepalese villages at night.
Imagine the sense of accomplishment of standing in the shadow to Mount Everest knowing every step you’ve taken has raised vital funds to support the Leukaemia Foundation.
By raising money for the Leukaemia Foundation you can make a difference by giving families fighting blood cancer the emotional and practical support they need.
You will also fund critical medical research that will help more people beat their blood cancer. Researchers funded by generous supporters of the Leukaemia Foundation are working tirelessly to discover safer and more effective treatments that will save lives and help people lead a better quality of life.
Your support will also ensure the Leukaemia Foundation can continue to give those impacted by blood cancer a strong voice, advocating for change and ensuring all Australians who need them have easy access to the very best blood cancer treatments.
Day 1: Thursday 12th April
The team touched down safely in Kathmandu, ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
Day 2: Friday 13th April
Today marks the first full day in the beautiful country that is Nepal! An incredible day of Team Bonding for the Leukaemia Foundation group with Sightseeing and Festivities for Nepal’s NYE 2075 calendar, Yes 2075!!
The team visited many of Kathmandu’s main attractions including Pashupatinath, Nepal”s most sacred Hindu shrine, Swoyambhunath and Boudhanath, some of the largest golden- topped stupas in the world.
Day 3: Saturday 14th April – Fly Kathmandu to Lukla (2,840m) and trek to Phakding (2,630m)
We all feel so Blessed to be here together for the Leukaemia Foundation.
Clear weather for the uphill 480m landing strip on the side of the mountain.
Jo exclaimed ‘Wow wow wow’ & we all agree…To the views from the plane, swing bridges, yaks trains, the ever-thinning fresh air, sun glistening off the snow cap peaks, beautiful villages to our ‘gingerbread lodge’
Our first day of trekking commenced as we climbed to Phakding which sits 2,630m above sea level.
Day 4: Sunday 15th April – Trek Phakding to Namche Bazaar (3,600m)
Waving the Leukaemia Foundation Flag today we received lovely support from other climbers on the 8-hour trek to an altitude of 3600m to Namche Bazar
Steve & Kymmy were dancing on the perilously high suspension wire bridges.
Following lunch, we entered Sagamartha National Park and began the steep ascent to Namche.
We trekked through the river valley among magical pine forests. The consensus is Magical Team, Magical Footsteps towards the Top of the World.
Day 5: Monday 16th April – Namche Bazaar acclimatization Day (3,880m)
Namche Bazaar, home of the Sherpas, we had our first glimpse of Everest, the Statue of Tenzing Norgay and the compelling Everest Museum.
Another statue donated by Israel contained a rock from the lowest point of the earth -the Dead Sea, and the highest point on earth in Nepal.
The Team energy is high with jokes, laughter (see Mim’s cartwheel) pranks, and determination prior to steep and cold trails ahead.
Wish us luck!
Day 6: Tuesday 17th April – Trek Namche Bazaar to Tengboche (3,486m)
The group Commenced the day with multiple blessings spinning the prayer wheels in the monetary at Namche Bazar, trekked on the track high above Dudh Kodo, and donated to track maintenance.
We were lucky to have more views of Mt Everest, see the first real yak.
We then descended to the river through the fir forest before the ascent to Tengboche the religious and cultural centre of the Khumbu region. We are completely inspired!!!
Day 7: Wednesday 18th April – Trek Temboche to Dingboche (4410m)
The first highlight today was the owner of the Tashi Derek Teahouse (opposite the monastery) installing a team signed Leukaemia Foundation Flag.
-Alpine meadows prior to ascending the tree line and 4000m
-A mysterious red dog following the group the whole trek, and promptly falling asleep in front of Matt at our destination —-The Peaceful Lodge
-Women boiling kettles on a circular satellite like solar panels
-5-foot Nepalese men carrying very heavy window panes, wooden doors, planks walls on the narrow mountain trails.
-Darcy’s first experience of snowfall
-Paramedic Al performing surgical blister procedures
Day 8: Thursday 19th April – Dingboche acclimatization day (4730m)
Blog by Alistair
“Today we spent the day at Dengboche, altitude 4400m, in the shadow of the awesome Ama Dhablam at 6400m towering right above us, an inspiring sight as we awoke.
The morning was spent trekking to 4600m with fantastic views of the surrounding peaks, being rewarded with a grand view of Makalu, one of the worlds great mountains at 8400m.
Now minus 4 degrees, it is cooling down as we ascend and the clouds come sweeping around us.
We are all feeling pumped that we are now within reach of Everest. Just another three days away.
In this remote and interesting village, yaks transport goods, provide milk and cheese, yak poo fuel for fires, and compost for the garden.
The afternoon was spent relaxing in the Himalayan air, visiting the bakery with lovely brownies, and honey ginger lemon tea on offer and catching up on the diary. Cheers Al”
-40 Kg Mim ‘Breaking’ a chair at the local bakery
-Al playing ‘pool shark’ ( see photos)
Day 9: Friday 20th April – Trek to Thugla
Today we had a shorter trek day so our head guide Gopal kindly allowed us a later breakfast time at 7:30, and start time at 8:30. Porridge has become a favourite in the group along with apple pancakes! The altitude is showing but everyone is managing so well, encouraging each other with a real sense of togetherness, always sharing something to help and most importantly always sharing a laugh.
Our day began with a steady climb out of Dingboche along a dusty, rocky track which remains about the tree line, with very little vegetation for protection from the snowy winds. The views of the snowcapped mountains framed our view the entire day! It was like a continuing unveiling of the ranges the higher we walked the further the mountain ranges revealed themselves. It was certainly stunning scenery.
The temperature today was much cooler needing several layers to combat the snow-tinged winds swirling around us. On arrival at Thugla, our destination for the night, we rock hopped the Thugla river which stemmed from the Khumbu glacier, as the bridge had been swept away last year and not yet replaced. We sheltered indoors by the yak manure fueled fires as the temperature dropped below zero. Our lodge sits at 4620m and we have the place to ourselves along with the squat toilets.
Day 10: Saturday 21th April – Trek Thugla (4620m) to Lobuche (4920m)
To our delight, it snowed at the Yak lodge in Thugla last night but was sunny, crisp and clear for the steep climb to Thugla pass (4,820) where we reminisced over the memorials of the climbers who had died climbing Everest and in the more recent earthquake.
The walk past the grand Lobuche peak (which means ‘the first time the llama landed’) led us to the ‘Pyramid’ made of solar panels. This Teahouse feels luxurious, with flushing toilets and power in the rooms, as we are preparing for our Everest base camp trek tomorrow. Wish us all safe travels and blessings in our efforts to # Beatbloodcancer, #Ivebeeninspired for the Leukaemia Foundation.
-Our revered head guide Gopal
-‘Yak on the track’
Day 11: Sunday 22nd April – Trek Lobuche to Gorak Shep (5180m), and our goal- Everest Base Camp (EBC)
Today was the culmination of very personal commitments to give back to the Leukaemia Foundation with the expertise of Inspired Adventures.
We are thrilled to say the result was a 100% success rate, truly a team effort!
In brief, after rising at 5am we left Pyramid lodge to trek 4 hours to Gorak Shep (5180m) for an early lunch at 10:30 am before a two and a half hour walk to Everest base camp (5365m).
Many experienced headaches, fatigue and shortness of breath due to the altitude over the course, but nothing that couldn’t be managed. This allowed us to reach EBC together with complete elation and outpourings of emotion to be finally witnessing the majestic Mount Everest and Kumba ice flow close up, in perfect weather.
Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and we feel we have faced our fears head-on and been triumphant.
We are now all happily fatigued after dinner in our humble tea house at Gorak Shep, the highest accommodation in the world, with incredible sunset views of the surrounding peaks.
Jo Beams read us a letter of gratitude from a patient Peter, supporting us on our trek. He and his wife had experienced first hand the care and support from the Leukaemia Foundation after Peter had a ‘shock diagnosis of blood cancer’, and was an avid trecker too. The letter was heartfelt and very special to us so many thanks Peter.
Day 12: Monday 23rd April – Trek to Kala Patthar (5540m) am start -12 degrees for sunrise views of Everest prior to breakfast and a contented descent to Periche (4230m)
Fund Raising for LF has also reached new heights > $72K
Mim’s mascot Ed Tenzing Bear (after Sir Edmond Hillary Tenzing Norgay) had a photo shoot on the mountain- photography Jo Beams.
April and May’s birthdays celebrated Nepalese style with silk robes and chocolate cake as well as celebrating the group’s efforts towards the Leukaemia Foundation.
We watched the movie, Everest, together.
Day 13: Tuesday 24th April – Trek Pheriche to Kyanhjuma (3550m)
Today we retraced our steps with renewed appreciation, confidence and spirits.
Discovering Pheriche was a significant post for the Himalayan rescue association.
Meeting more of the Australian team supporting Steve Plain who is climbing 7 of the worlds highest peaks in world record time, Everest to be the last by May 2018, for spinal injury research.
Pizza & spaghetti in Tengboche, and fresh mountain apple pie in the village high bakery during our 8 hours of spectacular trekking
Day 14: Wednesday 25th April – Trek Kyanhjuma to Chumowa (2920m)
- Commenced rested, showered & fed from the serene heights of Kyangjuma eating in the ‘local’ residence as the fire burnt the previous hostel kitchen
- Anzac Day Bugle, cookies, 1 min silence, Aussie flag photos
- The mountain high trail above Dudh Kosi was abuzz with trekkers zodpys( half yak/cows), horses & donkeys
- Merry shopping and pastries in Namche Bazaar
- Blowing bubbles with the local kids
- Nepalese dancing in the Chumowa Alpine Valley Lodge
Day 15: Thursday 26th April – Trek Chumowa to Lukla (2840m)
Left Chumowa early along rocky paved paths through villages lined with flowering gardens and children off to school.
Ate lunch at Gopals friend’s Teahouse who had climbed Mt Everest a total of 5 time
Reached the STEEP Lukla gates with jubilation
Visited the local barber for much-needed grooming
A LIVELY Dinner at the Mera Hotel, SO PROUD of our Leukaemia Foundation team
Thank You Inspired!
Much outpouring of gratitude toward the guides and porters
T-shirt signing ensued
Day 16: Friday 27th April – Lukla to Kathmandu
Final dinner with the Prime Minister and First Lady of Nepal.
– 6 am Lukla bakery run for fresh coffee with the girls. Where were the boys who had arranged it?
– Lukla Airport ‘Departures Experience’ booked for 9:30 am (after most flights cancelled the day before). So lucky to have caught the last Plane from Lukla to Kathmandu prior to the weather change.
Summary from Al Shepard
“What an end to our trip to Nepal and our achievements in reaching Everest Base Camp as an entire group. Tonight, we shared a personal dinner with the Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli and First Lady of Nepal in Kathmandu at their home. A beautiful experience, such lovely people and a reflection upon this welcoming country.
Tomorrow we leave for home, so many memories and experiences from this wonderful part of the world. We are so lucky to have been part of this great Leukaemia Foundation 2018 EBC team raising awareness for blood cancer in the way we have. Thank you so much to everyone for making this possible.” Alistair Shephard