Friday, May 25, 2007

Trekking Sagarmatha National Park

25 May 2007
Trekking Sagarmatha National Park is walking over 120 kilometers in a rolling elevation of 2,980 meters ASL to 5,360 in 16 days at a temperature ranging from negative 0 to 20 degrees C at an average of 4 C.

To enjoy the panoramic sights of the world’s trekking capital, one need not be a hardcore mountaineer. But one must be physically, emotionally and mentally prepared.

The Himalayas demands Baga, lungs for respiratory to cope with the thinning oxygen as elevation increases. Sikmura, stomach for digestion to process Nepali food to fuel for the energy requirements of the physically demanding activity trekking an average of 4 hours a day for 16 days. Tuhod, knee and joints that are strong and free from pain for the repetitive movement every minute of walking. Bulsa, budget for food, water, inn and porter in all 16 stops budgeted at $ 50 a day to include the charter flight to Lukla. Gamit, gears to keep your body dry and warm, never mind if not clean all throughout. Company especially those supportive of your endeavor to lighten up the ordeal. An oxygen percent rate in the range of 70s to 90s indicates capability to combat AMS which we all did. Heartbeat below 105 is a healthy indication of not overworking. (Thanks to Larry Honoridez and Ralph Pilapil for the readings.)  What ties them all up is "Buo ang Loob."

Trek can be broken down in five parts, even in steps to those who lack patience and endurance. 1. The 45-minute flight from Katmandu to Lukla in a prop jet. 2. The descending and ascending trail to Namche (2 days) at the alternating slopes of 2 mountains beside the highly charged gushing river. Still tropical in setting, the trail gives a preview of the glacier laced Himalayas mountain peaks including Mt. Everest from a distance. 3. The demanding ascent to Tengboche, gateway to the alpine elevation where trees and vegetation no longer thrive. 4. Slow and difficult ascent to the Base Camp in loose rocks, soil and even sand. 5. Glacier, ice and running water at the Base Camp. Going back is altogether another episode.

Each step from Lukla brings one close to the Himalayas. As the range becomes bigger, I proportionately become smaller. Amidst the grandeur of the range, glacier laced peaks, blinding snow, pine vegetation, mighty flowing river, I in the Himalayas have turned just a speck in God’s awesome creation, humbled but thankful.

The Himalayas, truly the world’s trekking capital. Trekked in the company of fellow Pinoys to share with the Pinoy nature lovers.


Should one be unable to trek down due to illness, there are other options to return to the airport: via a helicopter rescue at a steep price of $ 5,000 via sherpa basket or a yak.
Banny and the Russian rescue helicopter at Lukla airport

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