2005 Thailand - Nepal Adventure
by Jim Wolff

29 November - 30 December 2005

All words and photos by Jim Wolff unless otherwise noted.


"There is something in me which responds to this mountain and goes out to meet it: the struggle is life itself, upward and forever upward." George Leigh Mallory


"I am nothing more than a single narrow gasping lung, floating over the mists and summits." Reinhold Messner, 1980


My trip report is in work. It's just taking me a little time to get everything organized. I have sixty pages of typed up notes and I'm gathering photographs from others who were on the trek.

Here is a quick overview. We spent a week in Bangkok then flew to Kathmandu. From Kathmandu we flew to Lukla then began the trek up to Namche. From Namche we hiked up to the Gokyo Valley then around to Everest Base Camp. We did not go over the Cho La pass. On the way down from Everest Base Camp we visited Chukhung and Tengboche. There wasn't much we didn't see or do in the Everest region. I hiked for twenty-one days in a row and climbed both Gokyo Ri and Kala Patar in addition to going to Everest Base Camp. I was away from home for 34 days and lost nearly twenty pounds. It was a great experience and one I won't soon forget.

Link to overall schedule.

Please send me an email if you have any questions or comments. Enjoy


Journey to Bangkok.

Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok.


Reclining Buddha, Wat Pho, Bangkok.


Irving at Wat Pho.


Wat Pho.


Out and about on the Mae Nam Chao Phraya river.


Tuk Tuk ride through Bangkok.


Tall Buddha. Photo by unknown.


After tea in the Oriental Hotel, time to relax. Photo by unknown.


Wat Arun from the river.


Wat Arun from the river.


Young monks.


Wat Arun.


Wat Arun, detail.


From left to right: Irving, Lloyd, and Jim at Wat Arun.


River neighborhood walk way.


River neighborhood walk way.


River's edge.


Jim Thompson House.


Orchid, Jim Thompson House.


Floating flowers, Jim Thompson House.


Jim Thompson House.


Inside Jim Thompson House.


Inside Jim Thompson House.


Flowers and fish.


Ayutthaya, ancient capital of Thailand.


Ayutthaya.


Ayutthaya.


Ayutthaya. Photo by unknown.


Ayutthaya.


Ayutthaya, tourists riding elephants.


Ayutthaya.


Ayutthaya.


Ayutthaya.


Ayutthaya.


Ayutthaya.


Ayutthaya.


Ayutthaya.


Irving and Nataya on the 3 hour boat ride back to Bangkok from Ayutthaya.


River scenes.


River scenes.


River scenes.


River scenes.


River scenes.


Journey to Nepal


Ride from airport to the Thamel area of Kathmandu. Traffic was unreal. I only saw one stop light in the whole city.


Pashupatinath and Bagmati River where people are cremated.


Pashupatinath.


Pashupatinath, a poor person is cremated.


Pashupatinath, a body waiting to be cremated.


Pashupatinath, sadhus holy men.


Pashupatinath, sadhus holy men.


Pashupatinath.


Pashupatinath.


Pashupatinath, young school girls hanging out.


Pashupatinath, holy man.


Pashupatinath - from left to right, Lowell, holy man, Jim, and Irving. Photo by unknown.


Pashupatinath.


Pashupatinath, family members preparing a woman for cremation.


Pashupatinath.


Pashupatinath.


Pashupatinath.


Pashupatinath, Bagmati river which drains into the Ganges and the Sea of Bengal.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Thamel streets, people, markets, and temples.


Dubar Square.


Dubar Square.


Bodhnath - street views outside site.


Bodhnath - street views outside site.


Bodhnath.


Bodhnath.


Bodhnath.


Bodhnath.


Bodhnath. Photo by unknown.


Bodhnath.


Bodhnath.


Bodhnath - from left to right Lowell, Maddy, Sarah, Ben, and Jim. Photo by Kim.


Swayambhunath - monkey temple.


Swayambhunath - monkey temple.


Swayambhunath - monkey temple.


Journey into the Khumbu



Satalite photo of the Everest region. The yellow line marks our approximate route.


Kathmandu airport in line for one of several security checks before flying to Lukla.


View of Himalayan peak from airplane on the way to Lukla.


Lukla airport - Looking back at the plane we flew in on as others get ready to board for the flight back to Kathmandu..


Our bags are assembled for deliver to the lodge in Lukla.


The short runway at Lukla airport.


Lukla street.


Trek to Namche

The trek begins as we leave Lukla on the way to Namche.


On the way to Namche.


Mani stone.


Taking a tea break in Monjo. From left to right: Sarah, Irving, James, Maddy (hidden behing Ben, and Ben.


Dudh Koshi (Milk River) on way to Namche.


One of many suspension bridges that cross the Dudh Koshi.


Lowell, Maddy, James, Lhakpa, Kim, and Ben cross the bridge.


Our first view of Everest from the trail below Namche.


Summit of Mt. Everest.


Namche.


Sarah, Maddy and Irving in the Moonlight Lodge, Namche.


Order book, Namche.


Namche, prayer wheels.


Namche.


Day Hike to Thamo

Looking west toward Thamo on a day hike from Namche.


Choten and mani stones on way to Thamo.


Prayer wheels.


Small boys on way to Thamo.


Yak with load on way to Thamo.


High peaks in the Namche area.


Trek to Khumjumg

Views of Everest, Nuptse, Lotse, and Ama Dablam near Jaro above Namche on the way Kunde and Khumjung.


Mt. Everest from Jaro.


Ama Dablam.


Sarah and Ama Dablam. Photo by Kim.


Choten with prayer flags and kata.


Kim and Sarah at entrance to Kunde.


Kunde Gompa looking out at Ama Dablam and Khumjung below.


Kunde and Khumjung (in distance) from Kunde gompa.


Monk.


He serches his bags for tampa and dried cheese to offer as gifts.


Tampa in my hand just before I ate it.


Jim and Sarah eating tampa. Photo by Kim.


Monk.


Small children play with baby yak. One of these kids was holding on to the yak's tail.


Khumjung Gompa where the famous "Yeti" scalp is stored.


Yeti scalp.


Khumjung Gompa.


Khumjung Gompa prayer wheels.


Khumjung.


Thamserku behind clouds above Khumjung.


Journey into the Gokyo Valley

Baby and proud father at Mong La.


Mong La with Ama Dablam in the distance.


Small boys at Mong La.


Phortse from Mong La.


On the trail up to Luza on way to Gokyo Valley. The animal on the bridge is a dog that followed us up the trail.


Near Luza on way to Gokyo Valley.


Yaks come down to drink in Luza.


Drinking yaks in Luza.


Yaks, Luza.


Yaks head down the trail from Luza.


Irving makes a call on the sat phone in Luza.


On the way to Gokyo Valley, Machermo. Photos by Irving - Panorama created by Jim.


Trail on way to Gokyo Valley.


On the way to Gokyo Valley. Photos by Irving - Panorama created by Jim.


Steep trail near beginning of end of Ngozumpa Glacier.


Rocks everywhere.


First lake Gokyo Valley.


Ducks on First Lake.


Lake Three and Gokyo Ri. You can see the faint trail up the slope.


Pharilapche above Gokyo.


Half way up Gokyo Ri. Photos by Irving - Panorama created by Jim.


Jim arrives at the summit of Gokyo Ri. Photo by Kim.


From summit of Gokyo Ri, Mt. Everest (middle). Photos by Irving - Panorama created by Jim.


From summit of Gokyo Ri, Mt. Everest (on the right). Photos by Irving - Panorama created by Jim.


From summit of Gokyo Ri - Mt. Everest in distance and Ngozumpa Glacier below.


From summit of Gokyo Ri with Gokyo visible near lake shore.


Prayer flags on summit of Gokyo Ri.


Prayer flags and Mt. Everest from summit of Gokyo Ri.


Irving and Jim on summit of Gokyo Ri. Photo by Ben.


Lahkpa and Kim on the summit of Gokyo Ri. Mt. Everest in background. Photo by Ben (I think).


The day after climbing up Gokyo Ri we went up the Gokyo Valley to Scoundrel's View near Fourth Lake. On the way out we followed a narrow trail along the upper ridge of the Ngozumpa Glacier.


Above Gokyo in upper Gokyo Valley. Photos by Irving - Panorama created by Jim.


Lhakpa, Irving, and Ben ahead on the way to Scoundrel's View with Knobby Peak on the left.


A frozen Fourth Lake.


Taking a break near Fourth Lake.


Scoundrel's View and Mt. Everest in the distance.


Mt. Everest and Kangchung Peak in the foreground. The Ngozumpa Glacier is below.


Irving and Jim with the big one Mt. Everest. Photo by Ben.


On to Everest Base Camp

Ama Dablam as we climb up from Phortse.


The high trail on the way to Pangboche.


Up, up, up, up, up.


And more up. Notice the forest fire that has started down in the valley behind us. The buildings on the left are the Tengboche Gompa.


Many sections of the trail are made of steps. Photo by Kim.


Still climbing.


And climbing.


Finally the trail goes down for a short distance to Pangboche. Mt. Everest, Nuptse, Lotse and Ama Dablam are all visible in this photo.


Baby yak.


Just above Dingboche on the way to Loboche. It was a cold morning.


Here comes the sun, finally we can warm up a bit.


Taboche.


Wooden bridge near Thukla at the end of the Khumbu Glacier.


Frozen water fall near Thukla.


Memorials for dead mountaineers.


Our yaks pass us as we look at the memorials. The trail coming from the Cho La pass is in the distance.


Looking back down toward Dingboche you can still see smoke from the fire creeping up the valley.


Jim near the memorials, Ama Dablam in the background. Photo by Irving.


Irving, Sarah, and Kim strike a pose.


Looking back down the trail you can see how far up we have come.


Near Gorak Shep and in the distance on the right is the Khumbu Icefall and the location of Everest Base Camp. On the other side of these mountains is Tibet.


Pumo Ri. The lower section is Kala Patar. You can see a faint trail on the right side.


Just above Gorak Shep and a closer shot of Pumo Ri and Kala Patar.


On the way up Kala Patar the summit of Mt. Everest comes into view.


Looking back down the trail on Kala Patar and the Khumbu Glacier.


Looking up the trail on the side of Kala Patar toward Pumo Ri.


On the summit of Kala Patar. The wind up there was really blowing and it got quite cold. Mt. Everest in the background. Photo by Kim.


James on the summit of Kala Patar with Mt. Everest and the ice fall in the background and below. Photo by Kim.


The group just before we drop down to Everest Base Camp. From left to right seated: Lahkpa, James, and Sarah; standing Ben, Maddy, and Jim. Photo by Kim


Khumbu ice fall.


Khumbu ice fall.


Everest Base Camp.


Ice holding up rock.


Everest Base Camp. Photo by Ben.


Kim and Sarah taking pictures. The wind came up again and was quite cold. We didn't stay there too long.


Loboche.


Chukhung.

Lotse Spire from Chukhung.


Sunset from Chukhung.


Sunset.


On the way up to the south Nuptse face. We are in a small valley between the Nuptse-Lotse Glacier and the Lotse Glacier.


Nuptse face with low and lowering clouds.


Ground near Nuptse face.


Ice formation on window of tea house.


More ice on windows.


Dining room Chukhung.


On the way to Tengboche

Debotche Old Nuns Monastery.


Mani stones.


Lichen on trees.


Trees and mountains.


Mani stones.


Mani stones.


Mani stones.


Mt. Everest and Lotse from Tengboche.


Our lodge at Tengboche.


Tengboche prayer wheels.


Paryer wheel.


View from my lodge window of Lotse.


Tengboche Monastery the largest in Nepal.


Tengboche Monastery.


Tengboche Monastery.


Tengboche Monastery.


Tengboche Monastery.


Tengboche Monastery.


Mt. Everest peaking out above the Nuptse wall and Lotse on the right.


The big one from Tengboche.


Summit of Mt. Everest.


Tengboche Monastery.


A monk resting after spinning the prayer wheels.


From Tengboche looking down toward Khumjung and Kyangjuma.


Prayer flags on the hill above Tengboche Monastery.


Maddy walks down the steep trail toward the Monastery and the lodge.


Prayer flags.


Prayer flags.


Prayer flags.


From left to right: James, Maddy, Kim, Sarah, and Ben at Tengboche just before leaving for Kyangjuma.


Below Tengboche we've arrived at Phunki Tenga for a tea break.


Water powered prayer wheel.


Suspension bridge over beautiful rapids in the Dudh Koshi River.


Now Maddy crosses.


A final look back at Mt. Everest, Nuptse, and Lotse. You can see Phorste on the left.


One more look up close look at the big one.


Back in Namche for lunch. While we were sitting there in full sunlight little snow flakes drifted by from clouds several miles away. It was magical.


Jim on a suspension bridge as we return to Lukla. Photo by Sarah.


A woman on the trail near Monjo.


Kim with two of her little friends who came running down the hill to meet her.


Mani, mani everywhere.


Workers making stone bricks.


No gloves and no eye protection.


Lhakpa and friends at the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park.


Monjo.


Monjo.


Monjo tea house and our little friends.


Monjo.


Kim's young friends.


The group in Monjo the morning of our last trekking day. From left to right: Back row - Tashi, Irving, Jim (in shades), Lowell, James, and Ben; Front row - Lahkpa, Kim, Lahkpa II, Sarah, and Maddy. Photo by unknown.


Back in Lukla the end of the trek.


Lukla airport.


Taking off on the flight to Kathmandu.


Happy passengers.


Copilot.


Irving is happy.


Nepal hillsides.


Coming in to Kathmandu.


Kathmandu Guest House. From left to right: Irving, Sarah, Kim, Lowell, Jim, Ben, and Maddy. Photo by unknown.


Irving in Bangkok airport - next stop LA.


Jim in Bangkok airport - homeward bound. What a great trip. Photo by Irving.


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