Everest – Nearly there

17 Apr 2017
by Holger

Right now we are a one day drive away from Everest Base Camp, on the Tibetan side. Even though, all of us have been to Tibet before, the fascination for this country remains and we enjoyed seeing the sights of the Tibetan capital once more.
The Potala-Palace is as impressive on the inside as it is on the outside. Personally it is my third visit and as before I would have liked to have taken photos inside the Palace, regrettably this was not allowed. In addition to the Potala-Palace we were fortunate to have enough time to visit the Dschokhang-Temple.
The following day lead us across the high mountain passes of Khamba La and Karo La to Gyantse. When we stopped at Khamba La we had a nice view down to Yamdrok Tso, one of Tibet's holy lakes. The vivid blue colour of the lake was an amazing sight. Later that evening we arrived at Gyantse.
After breakfast we explored a part of Tibet that gave some insight of what traditional life is like for Tibetans. The monastery with its Kumbum-Chorten and its 108 chapels, the walk through the old town and finally the fort of Gyantse on top of the hill above town. After this sightseeing we drove to Shigatse. After a welcome break at the hotel, complete with WiFi, we were out for dinner. This morning visited Tashilhunpo, the Shigatse-Monastery. This has to be one of the cultural highlights of our visit. Right now we have stopped for lunch, mineral water and coke is the refreshment of choice, except for Kari who prefers beer. We have another long drive this afternoon to Shegar, where we will cross a high mountain pass of over 5200 m. Our stop tonight will be the last time in a proper bed, the joys of base camp will have to wait. Writing this blog is a thankless task, right now I am the subject of some abuse as I try to give a diligent report.

That's enough about our journey. I now have a few comments on the the team. Personally this is my tenth expedition and so I will dare to judge my fellow team members. I have to say that I am really impressed, I could not have hoped for a better team. Besides me, there are Mark, Angus and Paul from the 2015-earthquake-season. As new members there are Ingrid, Julia and Bruno. The camaraderie could not be better plus everybody is in good shape and raring to go. Kari and Julian are the guides in charge of the expedition and the guys who make sure that everything goes smoothly and to plan.

We have all be captivated by the photographic skill demonstrated by Bruno. His pictures are real masterpieces. Paul and Julian are having a full-time job keeping up, even with their excellent camera systems and talent. The best thing is that they are willing to share their fantastic shots with the rest of the team.

Finally, to everyone at home that we really appreciate your thoughts and best wishes. Keep those fingers crossed, its worked so far, keep it up :)

By the way a hint for future Everest-climbers: If Kari orders food for the whole team, have a close eye… sometimes he orders some weird stuff.

Best wishes to all our families and friends at home, from all of the team.
On behalf of the team,
Holger (Editing and additions: Mark)