Stikkordarkiv: Khumbu dalen

Turning the expedition into relief work, Part 2

Turning the Everest – Lhotse Expedition into Earthquake relief work, Part 2

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I have been involved in projects in Helambu, Gorkha and Sindhulphalchok with Hillary Relief Collective, Karmaflights and my own private initiative.
The shelter project for Kutumsang (and surrounding areas) which is one of my own projects, is still ongoing. Supplies have been purchased with the money you my friends have been so generous to donate.
I am humbled and impressed with the generosity of those who have supported our efforts.
Thank you! Tusen takk! Danke! Grazie! Gracias!

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Her are some of the stories and how it all started.

After helping my team’s sherpas and porters cleaning up in Base Camp, I started my walk down the Khumbu Valley to Lukla. On my way I saw minor destructions. Luckily there were not many buildings totally destroyed. Some just needed a lot of repair. I stopped in Pengboche and visited our beloved sherpa Kami and his family. Luckily his house had only minor damage at second floor. I also visited a family who my dear climbing friends Andrea and Karl are supporting their son with education and work. I decided to support his sister: so now I am proudly paying for her next 5 years of school.

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After a couple of days in Namche Bazar Andrea, Karl and I literally ran down to Lukla to catch a plain to Kathmandu. We heard a lot about how it might be in Kathmandu, but to my surprise it was not so different from before. I only saw some buildings totally collapsed. But many stores were closed and the city was very quiet. And people had moved out, living under tarps in their gardens or at all open spaces in town.

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The people in the streets had changed from climbers, trekkers and other tourists to aid workers. We gathered at some hostels and some coffee shops and discussed how to help in the most efficient way.

I very quickly understood that I had to go out in the field. I volunteered for Hillary Relief Collective and Karmaflights and went out to the Helambu province where we established our FOB (forward operation base) in Timbu.
The first days were focused on delivering out needed food and materials such as rice, oil, blankets and tarps.

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Then we went on 3 days patrols to spread the word where everyone could come to collect what they urgently needed. And people were coming form a far. Some walked for days, and carried sacks of rice with them home, – with a big smile and a warm «thank you»

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At one of the 3 days patrols I went on, I came to Kutumsang. What I saw there, and on my way up to Kutumsang, was massive destructions. All buildings were totally collapsed. Brave families had tried to save as much as they could and had started sorting out the rubble. They are amazing in their ability to continue their lives and look forward!

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The 7th of May I celebrated my birthday under a tarp with a kitten on my lap and a warm cup of nepali tea in my hand, surrounded by wonderful people. I will never forget this birthday.

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The 12th of May was another strange day:
We had just closed our distribution-room to take a lunch break and were heading back to our little tent camp. We had only walked 20 meters when the ground started shaking. And this was not tremors or aftershocks. A new earthquake had hit Nepal hard.
I had to grab some kids trying to run into their houses to seek for their parents. I hold them tight while they were screaming. We were surrounded by collapsing buildings. Around us and high up in the hillside we could just watch the dust clouds rising from collapsing houses and huge landslides.

We gathered in our tent camp and set our strategy; we couldn’t get hold of a group of our own volunteer who had left for Kathmandu only 30 minutes before the earthquake, so we sent out a patrol to check the road. Later we got news they had safely arrived Kathmandu.
Then our little Aid Post got busy: a 67 year old man was carried down to us. He had broken off humerus (upper arm bone) and torn off his brachial artery. We had to act fast. I was working together with a nepali doctor and a nurse from US. We managed to control his bleeding until we finally got him helicoptered out after 2 hours. Later we got news that he had survived and were in good conditions at the hospital.

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We continued our work out in Timbu, and delivered out both food, hygiene articles, mattresses and clothes, but now it shifted to also deliver out materials to rebuild, such as hammer, nails and corrugated steel.
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Then I headed back to Kathmndu, but only for a couple of days to get a proper shower and do some laundry. Then I headed out on my next project: out to the epicentre in Gorkha. And what awaited me there can not be described in words. Everything was rubble, nothing was left standing….not a single thing, not even a stable or an outhouse.
We were welcomed with open arms, big smiles and several cups of tea. I stayed for some days making sure supply arrived and starting building temporary shelters together with the villagers before heading out for the next village, and the next village, and then the next school and the next health post….
This were really busy times, trying to get the maximum out of my time and the materials we managed to provide.

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At one of the villages I managed to get a bad stomach infection and had to get back to Kathmandu for a couple of days rest (and easy access to toilet). Then I headed out again for more rebuilding projects. This time back to Helambu and Kutumsang. Here I started my own projects with invaluable help from Laki. He and his family who lives in Kutumsang has become my family over here. The only thing missing is my nepali language skills…..working on it :)

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In Helambu we started building temporary shelters for the health post in cooperation with my dear friend Lizzy. Then we continued with facilitating building temporary shelters for 5 different schools, one more health post and 5 villages. I got fantastic help from Sudip, Kashmir and Mewack; 3 engineer students from Kathmandu. And how did we manage; well we got the materials and tools out there, the villagers came walking, some 3 to 4 hours walk, to learn how to build and to carry home the materials. Laki has been following up on these projects all the time, running from village to village providing me with reports and photos. And the results are so rewarding to see. If it wasn’t for this effort, approximately 800 children would have been without any school, 7000 villagers would have been without any health post and 250 villagers would have been without proper shelter.

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My last project before leaving Nepal after more then 3 months work, was with Remote Access Operation (RAO) for World Food Program (WFP). They needed mountaineers to help getting supplies into remote areas that were cut off by landslides due to the earthquake.
I worked together with the local mule drivers to open the Larke Pass at 5100m to get rice and oil over the pass and into the remote areas in upper Gorkha. These villages have normally supply carried in by 1000 mules – daily! Now they were totally cut off. We had to work on the pass for 3 weeks before it was possible to start the mule trains going over the Larke Pass supplying 20000 households with 65 tons of rice.

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At the last little village I visited at the other side of Larke Pass, I found Pemba; a low-cast man who was paralysed and just waiting to die. He was a father of 7 and his wife was pregnant with their 8th child. I could see right away that this man needed to be evacuated and with the great help from Isabella Messanger and her organisation KarmaFlights, we managed to helicopter him out the same afternoon. And I am so happy to tell you that his wife gave born to a perfect little baby girl 5 days after Pemba got evacuated. And now 2 months later, Pemba is ready to go home to his family and see his daughter for the first time.

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As of mid August 2015, over 390 aftershocks have occurred.

I returned back to Norway but not for long. And now I am back in Nepal to continue the work with all this different projects that we started before the monsoon.

My last expedition to Khan Tengri was dedicated to support our earthquake affected brothers and sisters in Nepal.
Stay tuned here to see my updates from my work in Nepal and from my Khan Tengri Expedition.

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Take care of your self – and others!
Vibs / Team Jentesport

Makalu Expedition 2014, South East Ridge: Update

 

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Update from Kathmandu: We are now preparing equipment and packing as the pictures show; packing in bags and barrels, and going through all our medications.
We will have one extra day in Kathmandu and fly out Wednesday the 17th Sep.
The extra day will be used for preparation, packing and enjoying Yoga, Meditation, massage and good food. Then we will be ready to fly out for our trek to Base Camp. Along the trek we will probably be caught by a lot of leeches as the wet conditions and jungle trail brings them out in numbers. As we gain height after about three days we should climb out of the leech zone. We hope the monsoon soon will be over and give us some drier weather.
We are looking forward to enjoy one more day in Kathmandu, but even more to start our journey to the mountain!

Makalu Expedition 2014, South East Ridge; planen fremover

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I morgentidlig er det avreise fra Kathmandu.

Nå er det bare de siste forbredelser som gjenstår, samt grundig pakking før vi tirsdag 16. september flyr inn til Tumlingar (510m). Derfra vandrer vi i overkant av en uke gjennom avsidesliggende områder i Makalu-Barun regionen.

Vi vil vandre gjennom et utrolig dalføre som er svært avsideliggende. Her er det få fremmede som kommer vandrende. Det er ingen vandreruter her, så få turister har vært her. Vi vil vandre i et område i regnskogen hvor den sjeldne røde pandaen holder til, og folket her lever som de har gjort i hundrevis av år. Her sitter de ute og karrer ulla, spinner og vever på gamlemåten. Og alltid med et smil om munnen og et «namaste» (hilsen).

Etter en drøy ukes vakker vandring i kuppert terreng, starter vi å vinne høydemeter og få viktig akklimatisering opp mot vår Base Camp (BC) som vi vil etablere i 4800m høyde.
Når vi kommer til Base Camp (BC) begynner alle våre forbredelser til klatring. Nå legger vi fra oss det lette tøyet og sko som vi har brukt på turen inn. Vi skifter fokus; nå handler det om overlevelse i kulda på fjellet.

I BC etablerer vi oss vell, for her blir vi lenge, dvs dette blir vår base lenge. Vi starter vår akklimatisering som vil si at vi klatrer opp og ned av fjellet. Det hørtes jo ikke så produktivt ut, men joda. For hver tur vi går opp i fjellet bærer vi med oss utstyr som vi trenger høyere opp på fjellet sånn som tau (masse masse tau), noe klatreutstyr, ekstra telt og soveposer, O2 og mat. Med andre ord bygger vi oss oppover i fjellet (bygger nye camp’er), og sover noen av nettene oppe i camp’er høyere oppe før vi går ned igjen. 

 Madison Mountaineering med Garrett Madison, meg selv og våres sherpa vil klatre parallelt med et britisk RAF team. Dette er et større team som vi er helt avhengige av hvis vi skal kunne klare dette logistisk sett. Vi følger deres rytme på fjellet.

Fra BC vil vi bruke flere dager på akklimatisering før vi etablerer Advanced Base Camp (ABC) på en fjellrygg på 5800m. Herifra kan vi for første gang se klatreruten fremfor oss. Vi vil etablere ytterligere tre camps når vi klatrer og flytter oppover i fjellet, den høyestliggende av disse vil bli på 6700m. Etter denne camp’en klatrer vi alpint og vil bare bære med oss det mest nødvendige for å kunne understøtte eventult ekstra tid over 7000m i våres forsøk på å nå toppen.

På 7500m klatrer vi «Black Gendarme» som er en formidabel, bratt fjellformasjon som vokter selve toppryggen. Denne er nøkkelen til selve toppen; her er vi svært utsatt for vær, vind og iskald temperatur. I høyden vil vi ha våre to siste bivuaks før vi klatrer den siste bratte ryggen opp mot toppen på 8463m.

Få mer informasjon og følg oss her:
https://www.facebook.com/MadisonMtng http://madisonmountaineering.com/dispatches/

Det britiske teamet kan følges her:
http://www.makalu2014.com/the-objective-and-the-route/ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Makalu-2014/220730421376711

Makalu Expedition 2014, South East Ridge; stemningsrapport fra Kathmandu

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Akurat nå har jeg vært her i Kathmandu litt under en uke. Jeg forbreder for vår ekspedisjon. Her bor jeg på et bittelite krypinn midt i den travleste handlegata, med kakling og tuting døgnet rundt. Rommet har et lite vindu som vender ut mot gaten og gir meg all den lyd og eksos jeg bare ønsker :) Rommet kan jeg fint snu meg rundt på; her er både nattbord, en stol og en seng med syltynn madrass (så jeg har likegjerne blåst opp liggeunderlaget mitt og bruker det istedetfor).

Badet er felles ute på gangen…vell, bad…hmmmm… det kalles et bad hvis du såvidt klarer å skvise inn ei doskål og montere et dusjhode like over…så en må stå oppi doen og dusje…nesten…det går med en knekk i knærne.
Jeg koser meg max!! Våkner sånn i 5tiden av et virrvarr av lyder utenfor…da begynner de med sine tuktuk’er, mopeder, tuting, roping og alle andre sjarmerende lyder. Hundene holder på hele natten. Men er man trøtt nok så sover man jo Og….joda jeg har vært ute og matet hundene (jeg er jo over middels glad i dyr…)
Strøm og internett er særdeles ustabilt, men i likhet med alt det andre så tilhører det sjarmen ved denne byen!

Dagene går med til en treningsøkt, handling, organisering av materiell, pakking og arbeid på data’n.

Vi flyr ut fra Kathmandu til Tumlingar tirsdag (hvis været er bra nok  til å fly…det har vært mye regn de siste dagene da monsunen ikke helt vil gi seg).

Følg med, jeg legger snart ut planen fremmover.

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Makalu Expedition 2014 South East Ridge

800px-Himalaya_annotated  fjellet

Madison Mountaineering Makalu Expedition 2014 South East Ridge
MAKALU 8463
Makalu er verdens femte høyeste fjell med sine 8463 meter. Fjellet ligger bare 20km øst for Mt Everest i Khumbu dalen. Makalu er et imponerende fjell som står alene som en pyramide med fire skarpe fjellrygger. Det er interessant å merke seg at fjellryggen utgjør demarkasjonslinjen som indikerer grensen mellom Nepal i sør og Tibet i nord.

Navnet Makalu stammer sannsynligvis fra sanskrit «Maha-Kala» som betyr Stor Sort, dette er også et av navnene til hindu-guden Shiva. Shiva er kjent for å være en ond og grusom ødelegger, men kan også vise seg fra en god og varmhjertet side.
Fjellet har et annet navn i den lokale dialekten: Kumba Karna, som betyr Kjempen.

Makalu har bevist at det er et meget vanskelig fjell å bestige; bare 5 av de første 16 forsøkene var suksessfulle. De fleste ekspedisjonene går via nord-østryggen (Makalu La).
Det finnes ingen enkel rute til toppen, men sør-øst ruten regnes for å være den mest dramatiske og utfordrende. Sør-østryggen (SE Ridge) er mer enn 10km lang hvor det meste av fjellryggen er knivskarp noe som gjør den til en av de mest utfordrende 8000m toppene.

Ikke før mai 1970 ble Makalu besteget via SE Ridge, den gangen av et team fra Japan. Neste team som har klart å nå Makalu via SE Ridge var et spansk/tsjekkisk team i 1976.

Siden 1976 har ingen nådd toppen av Makalu via SE Ridge.

Sven Gangdal nådde toppen av Makalu via nord-østryggen i 2004.
Se: http://www.dagbladet.no/nyheter/2004/04/24/396616.html