The Monsoon certainly isn’t over!

Hi guys, Ben here with my first team update, I apologize in advance to any mountain climbers reading this as I might explain the seemingly obvious for those non-mountain climbers reading.

Ben and Mal taking every opportunity!

The morning after our brutal, almost catastrophic, commute we hit the trail. My only experience of Nepal is the Khumbu Valley area in pre-monsoon so being as hot and sticky as we currently are is a massive change. The upside of this is that Mal and I have been stripping off and jumping into almost every waterfall or decent sized pool we cross. Mal’s Soph watches in envy on as we cool off and have free waterfall massages.

Last night’s camp was at a small village called Soti Cola. We arrived mid afternoon after a short four hour trek and set about spending the afternoon lounging under a small shelter reading books, Soduko-ing or in my case staring down the valley and being thoroughly stoked to be in such a beautiful area.The night bought with it rain, rain and more rain. So much rain fell that most of us spent the night adjusting the extra plastic sheeting over our tents with varying success.

We all floated out of our respective tents early in the morning thoroughly wet. Soph and Mal had the most rugged night moisture-wise. While I got away with only wet shorts and a wet Tshirt, Mal and Soph suffered a comprehensive drenching of their kit. Sophs Down Jacket was soaked as was Mal’s entire wardrobe. None the less we wrung out our gear, packed up our kit, smeared sunscreen on every exposed bit and hit the trail to tackle our slightly more taxing day two trek.

IMG_4760We spent the day following the Buddhi Gandaki Nadi uphill (I am unsure if this if the name of the valley or the river but felt the need to throw in a name) The effects of recent monsoonal rains is clearly evident with beautiful waterfalls across the valley, lush green padis of rice and massive sections of track completely washed out. One area of track had a fifteen meter section missing over a particularly exposed (big drop if you fall) section. The freshly uncovered, rich brown dirt looked like the side of a cut chocolate cake, a cake sitting over a swollen glacial river. We all gingerly picked our way through the pass and realized that there was no way the donkeys could make it. IMG_4810Pembaour lead sherpa stayed back with some helpers and worked to dig a crossing for the donkeys. Somehow they built a suitable track for the donkeys and managed to pass the town we had lunch in only minutes after we left. A couple of waterfalls (and two glorious hours following the river upward) we arrived at Khorla Beshi where we are going to spend the night. Tomorrow, not surprisingly we are going up, hopefully the monsoonal track is more gentle on our donkeys from here on.