Everest : Day One
Over the next two months, the ForRangers founders, Sam Taylor and Peter Newland are attempting to put the ForRangers flag on the summit of the worlds highest peak – Mt Everest. This has come after months of training and preparation including summiting Mt Blanc and 8000m peak Mt Manaslu in the Himalayas.
When wifi allows, they will keep us updated with tall tales from their adventure. Enjoy the first of many from ‘A fools Errand’.
Got up at 5 am for the 6:30 am 'sharp' departure. True to Nepalese punctuality, we promptly left at 7:45 am to catch our 7:30 am flight for Lukla. Negotiating the crowds at the domestic terminal, we caught the 9 am flight for Lukla at 10:45 am. For reasons known only to the Nepalese airport's authority and God, we took the luggage of the party leaving on the 10:50 am (11:20) departure and left ours to be brought by the helicopter departing at 12:15 pm (presumably today but possibly on Thursday). One upside was meeting a young fella sporting a 'Team Taylor' hoodie in the airport. Ignoring his slightly bemused and frightened mother’s pleas to put him down, I took some amusing selfies with the reluctant fan.
Rupert, a school friend from my time in the UK, has joined us for the trek to Base Camp. Last night over a beer he introduced Pete to the concept of Tinder. Pete was enthralled by the idea – although I’m not entirely sure he understands the concept. I think he thinks the distance shown from the potential date is, in fact, an invitation to run there. His swiping preferences appear to be based less on appearance and more on possible cross-country courses.
The helicopter trip to Lukla was predictably spectacular, like any journey longer than 30 seconds is in this country. Suddenly one remembers the scale of the place, and the fact that everywhere you look everything is enormous (something not entirely unfamiliar for me and my pixie-like stature).
On our arrival at Lukla – somehow eight minutes earlier than the ETA on the GPS on the chopper dash – we were greeted by the familiar and reassuring sight of Sange Sherpa, our long-suffering Sherpa from the Manaslu expedition.
While Pete the lunatic remarked on how fun it might be to go for a run in the rarified air, I settled into the nearest tea-house for a cuppa to await the inevitable, but unpredictable, arrival of our gear. I’m still here. So is Pete. So is Rupert. So is Alice from New York, 32 km's away, with interests in fishing and reading!