Thank you!

A huge thank you to everyone who donated to my givealittle page for the Sherpa Future Fund.  Together we raised $588 which has been passed on to Adventure Consultants for the fund.

The June 2016 update has just been published, and I am appending it here so that you can see some of the great work that is being done by the Fund.

Thanks again!

Sean

Sherpa Future Fund – June 2016

Dear supporter of the AC Sherpa Future Fund,

With the pre-monsoon expedition climbing season completed and a return to `normal’ operations in the Himalaya we were happy to have enjoyed an event-free season after the tragic outcomes of the previous two seasons.  Spring 2016 saw our groups achieve successful outcomes on Mt Everest, Dhaulagiri, Mera Peak and Island Peak in addition to several trekking programs so it was very heartening to observe the Sherpa staff, guides and team members again enjoying the unique environment and rewarding experiences that travel in Nepal delivers. The employment provided to our Nepalese workers enables our staff to further rebuild their lives in an era when tourism is significantly down on `pre-earthquake’ levels.

The focus of the Sherpa Future Fund has centred on providing education to the children of Nepalese workers who have lost their lives in the mountains and as a result of your generosity the Sherpa Future Fund is able to support 13 children in their schooling and boarding costs while two more are yet to start their schooling. All but one of the children who are already at school are now attending boarding schools in Kathmandu that have been selected because they provide caring and supportive environments with dedicated teaching staff.

We closely supervise the learning progress and well-being of the children through our Nepal Operations Coordinator, Chhiring Sonam Sherpa, who also has school-age children and personally knows many of the families. I was lucky enough to make a visit to one of the schools with Chhiring Sonam when I was in Kathmandu this last spring and I was very impressed with how attached the children were to him and what care he takes to supervise their education and well-being.

Adventure Consultants pays Chhiring Sonam’s wages and costs directly and not from the Sherpa Future Fund, from which all proceeds are spent directly on expenses for the children. The school costs cover all meals, stationary, uniform, sporting gear, boarding costs, bedding, school trips and footwear.

We have been very gratified to have received offers from several of you out there who have committed to supporting the costs of an individual child or several siblings from one family for the duration of their education. We are extremely thankful for this support as it enables us to focus the balance of the funds towards the support of those children that are yet to attract an individual sponsor. We are cognizant of the need to retain funds for the children yet to reach school age, and for us to offer support to mothers needing assistance as they rebuild their lives without their husbands and the family bread-winner.

Our commitment to providing education to these children will continue through to 2030 for the youngest ones and we know that the commitment you and we have made together is certainly helping them towards a better future.

Guy Cotter
CEO
Adventure Consultants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to regroup and start planning

Well, once again it wasn’t meant to be.  Last year, earthquake; this year, illness.

Time to re-group and start planning another attempt in the next year or two.

Huge thanks to Adventure Consultants and Adventure Travel for their efforts to facilitate a later trip.  I’d have no hesitation at all in recommending either of these organisations if you are interested in travelling anywhere, and trekking in Nepal.

In the meantime, on the off chance that anyone reads this, I will include the link to my fundraising attempt… https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/sherpafuturefund Please consider jumping the link and reading what it is all about.

For now, I’m signing out.

6 days

Somehow the time has flown by and there are now only 6 days until I get onto an iron bird and start making my way to Nepal.  I thought I would document the proposed itinerary, both of my trek and my travel more generally so that anyone interested can have a vague idea of where I might be.  I’ve also included weather links so that I can see what I am in for 🙂

The first few days of the trip will be in Singapore, which at the time of writing is shaping up to be a warm and damp experience.  http://www.yr.no/place/Singapore/Other/Singapore/ Fortunately I have did all of the big outside things I wanted to do last year, so will be quite content with taking it easy if the weather gods don’t provide blue sky days.  The only thing that I’d be a bit sad about missing out on is a visit to the Night Zoo.

On Wednesday next week I will be flying to Kathmandu, and rushing through the pre-trek formalities – as noted in an earlier blog post, the trek was swapped and consequently I am arriving a day after I am supposed to arrive.  The others on the trek will be doing the pre-trek stuff on Tuesday, including having a pre-trek dinner to get to know each other.  So I will be the sore thumb.  Weather for Kathmandu is shaping up to be quite fine and hot.  http://www.yr.no/place/Nepal/Central/Kathmandu/

Thursday next week and we are scheduled to be on the scary plane to the scary airport at Lukla.  Steeper than Ngauranga Gorge.  Popular on YouTube for ‘scariest airport in the world’ searches, and the gateway to the Khumbu region.  I can’t wait!!  The weather, which is typically fine in the morning and cloudy or worse as the day progresses, is the reason for the 0430 wake up call on this day.   http://www.yr.no/place/Nepal/East/Lukla/

Two days walking from Lukla should see us reach the ‘Sherpa Capital’ of Namche Bazaar.  http://www.yr.no/place/Nepal/East/Namche_Bazar/ Starting to get into the thinner air now, Namche Bazaar is about as high as Mt Dampier, the third highest mountain in New Zealand, with only those venturing onto Mounts Tasman or Cook able to get higher in Godzone.

From Namche Bazaar, the trek climbs (and drops and climbs and drops) up to Dingboche http://www.yr.no/place/Nepal/Other/Dingboche/ , on to Lobuche http://www.yr.no/place/Nepal/East/Lobuche/ (link good for weather not temperature) and finally to Gorak Shep for the climb up Kala Pattar http://www.yr.no/place/Nepal/Other/Kala_Pattar/ and a fleeting visit to Everest Base Camp.

Then it is back down the valley, hopefully crossing over the Kongma La to Chhukung for a week, then back out and over the Cho La to Gokyo http://www.yr.no/place/Nepal/East/Gokyo/ .  A couple of days here then up and over the Renjo La and meandering back down into the thicker air of Namche Bazaar (the irony of calling the air in Namche Bazaar thin on the way up and thick on the way down is not lost on me).

A longish day from Namche Bazaar back to Lukla, then back to Kathmandu for several days before heading home.

Fingers crossed that bodies, lungs, and weather all play nicely.  Oh, other nature too – no more earthquakes please.

 

 

 

New plans

I was contacted late last week by Adventure Consultants and was advised that the 2 trekkers who had been signed up for the Three Passes trek had swapped to a different trek.  Rather than doing the three passes trek, they were going to do AC’s Khumbu Trek, with the Cho La and Renjo La passes added on as an ‘extension’.

What this trek does that is different is spend a week in Chukkung exploring the Imja valley while climbers attempt Island Peak.

I was offered the choice between continuing with the Three Passes trek, probably as the only client, or swapping to the Khumbu trek (+ extensions).  The latter had sufficient numbers to get a western guide, cost a little less, lasted longer, and explored more places.  A no brainer really.