Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tonight Group 1 and Group 3 are camped together in the tiny Himalayan hamlet of Baghur. We climbed up today from the valley floor at 1,400 metres to our campsite at 2,000 metres. Shortly after we arrived the afternoon clouds moved in and the rain began. As I write there is a gentle patter of rain on the flysheet of the Mess Tent and we are looking out over the mist covered jungle. A handful of grubby, Tibetan looking kids are peering into the tent daring each other to come in.


It was an interesting climb from the valley up through dense bamboo forest before breaking out into the grassy hillside.  Then, all of a sudden, the “path” lurched upwards and became an exposed scramble up 60 metres of precarious rock with impressive drop offs to the raging mountain river 500 metres below. Neil became very quiet and then finally asked to go first as he didn’t want to contemplate the scramble for any more time than he had to. By now the route was swarming with our Sherpa staff who teetered up it with the 30-40kg loads and flip flops. One of our Sherpa guides, Serki took Neil’s sack and he followed bravely up the ropes. The scramble climbed steeply then dropped down into a grassy gully before descending back to the path where we all met up with a much relieved Neil. He is now definitely committed to the trek as he doesn’t want to retreat this section and there is no other way out other than over the French and Damphus passes. He is definitely owed a beer!


We spoke to Edith in group 2 last night and they seemed to be having a long day. They had been caught out by the afternoon rains before reaching their evening campsite. We haven’t been able to raise them on the radio since because but this is not at all surprising as we are trying to communicate in a very narrow and convoluted valley system which makes any communications difficult. We haven’t yet been able to communicate with group 4 who are about 3 days behind.


Tomorrow we drop down before climbing back up to 2,500 metres and, hopefully, staying the night at Dobang.


Because of the narrowness of the valley our satellite signal is quite broken up so I hope this message gets through.


On the 7th October Group 1 strolled off for Dobang and Group 2 arrived in good spirits at Baghur.


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