Thursday, August 31

Report Thursday 31 August

Here is the schedule we could not post previously. Hoseman was able (between details of making yak cheese) to describe that we should use a Word-based schedule and NOT Excel. Therefore:
HOSEMAN - 8 DAY HIKE. 24th Aug. to 30th Aug 2006

Day 0 Height 630m
Day 1 Height 1568m Kilocal 2863 Pos. N. 28.00894 Pos E. 85.21525
Day 2 Height 1993m Kilocal 4335 Pos. N. 28.11282 Pos E. 85.29610
Day 3 Height 2221m Kilocal 2679 Pos. N. 28.14285 Pos E. 85.36056
Day 4 Height 2474m Kilocal 2497 Pos. N. 28.15881 Pos E. 85.42104
Day 5 Height 3735m Kilocal 4352 Pos. N. 28.21232 Pos E. 85.56652
Day 6 Height 4545m Kilocal 1373 Pos. N. 28.22369 Pos E. 85.57832
Day 7 Height 4750m day trip.
Total ascent 4970m, net ascent 3038m.Note: Shisha Base Camp starts at 5000m
Day 6 Day trip on the 29th August. Feeling very good despite fairly restless night due to breathing oxygen at only 64% relative to sea level.
Day 7 Not comfortable, feel tired - will descend.Witnessed Sherpas making yak cheese at high altitude
Suggest follow trek on Google Earth.

Mountain View lodge at Kyanjin Gompa (3800m)

Lodge at Rimche, such friendly people I stayed there on both the up and down journeys. On the return I arrived at 8:45pm after a "forced" march in the dark and in pouring rain - lateness was due to Flag festival at Tsergo Ri on same day

River crossing, safe but exposed

Road seemed to zig zag forever...see zigs going into the clouds

Wednesday, August 30

Sat Report Wednesday 30 August

Satellite call from Hoseman today (August 30). He had not quite reached 5000 m as he had intended. In fact, he sounded a bit distressed, as if it had been much harder than anticipated and he really felt the lack of oxygen. We were pleased to learn though that common sense had prevailed and that he was descending today to recoup. He was able though to explain to me how to post his schedule of yesterday - which I will do in due course. We were also interested to learn how intrigued he was watching the locals making yak-milk cheese at this elevated ‘dairy’ level!
Today, the heavy cloud over our part of the world lifted and we were able to see the Clock Tower peaks above us were also snow covered - thank goodness for our roaring wood fire tonight!

Tuesday, August 29

Satellite Phone Report Tuesday 29 August 2006

Now at 4500m. Progressed well up to now and it looks good for the future – feels as strong as a Sherpa! Carrying a 20kg backpack and surviving well on local food and copious amounts of black lemon tea. Weather is wet and misty but had a brief glimpse of a 7000m peak yesterday. Sleep last night was restless – experienced breathing difficulties - but this was only due to the fact that this was higher than he had been before. At 4500m he was only getting 64% of the oxygen available at sea level. This is what acclimatisation is all about. Plans to ascend to 5000m tomorrow which will be height of Mount Shishapagma Base Camp. Then, day after tomorrow, will descend again, to take up story.
Have recorded chart details for past six days of ascending to 4500m - but still unable to post this in tabular format. Must check how to do this. Will follow up.

Sunday, August 27

Sunday 27 August

Early this morning we got a telephone call - it was Hoseman! “Did I wake you?” he asked. “No,” I replied “I’ve been at work a couple of hours!” ‘Good’.
The reception was beautifully clear. He was experiencing typical Monsoon weather. Three days of ‘wet’. It turned out he had left Dhunche and had traversed beautiful scenery all the way up the Langtang Kolo or valley and had reached the Bhote Khosi River junction. “It just gets better and better”. He had been staying with families all along and had found them to be the most wonderfully friendly and obliging people. Starting off with more food than he had needed (typical!) he found himself giving away his rations and living off the hospitality of the locals. “Often, they just refuse to accept any payment but I always insist on paying my way. Its their livelihood.”
At the moment he was sitting enjoying a cup of lemon tea with a group of chickens and a huge rooster all around him. There were lots of lodges to stay in and many more being built. With the rain, the trail was rather muddy and quite difficult at times. Maps were poor but when one came to a fork in the path all one did was to wait until someone came along and they would direct you.
After crossing over to the north side of the Langtang River he was expecting to reach 2400 metres soon. He had found a way of transmitting voice mail to his blog and was hoping to get a favourable report on how successfully it had been received and recorded. Earlier this morning he had also phoned Mackworth to wish Claire a happy birthday! He was having a superb time and thoroughly enjoying the experience.
We have just listened to Hoseman's voice mail message - works well, good sound and loud and clear. Well done!
From Fourstones 27 August

Views of valley along the route to Trisuli

Local bus to valley villages - took 13 hours on return - quite fun when bus designed for shorter people!

Friday, August 25

Audioblog, via Satellite, via the US, from Dhunche

Audio blog removed as funtionality no longer available from

Thursday, August 24


Off to Dhunche this morning so quick update
Had a very successful day yesterday
Bought some Grivel crampons – see and 2 Terra Nova tents see
Very chuffed with the tents as I know them very well. One will be great for Camp 1 – larger and a little heavier the other is perfect for Camp 2 & 3. Mingma sourced these for me and I’m very grateful. He also took me on the back of his motorbike to Bhat Bhateni shop. Many stories of clothes, shoes, food TV’s and washing machines (for base camp). So will be returning there to get supplies after my trek.

Diner was as follows:

Authentic Napali Cuisine
(Homemade alcohol with dry charcoal meat)
(Soup of bambooshot with potato & Nepali herbs
(Mutton curry cooked in local way)
(Fresh green sautéed vegetables)
(Mixed vegetables in Nepali spices
(Lentils tempered with Himalayan herbs)
(Tomato pickle)
8. with SADA BHUJA
(Himalayan long stemmed rice)

Absolutely delicious and the best meal I have had for ages (other than the last couple of dinners with Claire!)

So you might not get an update for 8 days – should be back into Kathmandu on the 3rd – that is if I can’t get my Sat to email directly to the blog – I will try!

By the way "Krishanarpan" means Bon appetite

Tuesday, August 22

In Kathmandu!

One thing about blogging is that many things can happen between blogs, and the writer has to remember that the last thing readers see is the last blog - therefore one has too follow on..

So Heathrow.... as Claire has said, it couldn't have gone smoother. We arrived 3 hours before take off and were second in the check-in Q. The guy behind the desk, didn't even ask me one question (did you pack your bags etc etc..). Just said I was booked all the way through and that was that. What a relief! Claire had just given me two of her Ibruprofens as I had a splitting headache. That quickly cleared especially due to the smooth check-in. My extra 10kg was not even noticed. After a very sad good-bye to Claire, I joined the Q for the security check...that did snake around the world (I think 3 times) but I eventually got through and into duty free.

Qatar airways is great. Plenty of leg room and a new plane, personalised video good food etc etc 3 of the cabin crew were South Africans and all seemed very happy working for Qatar. Smoke could be seen as we flew over Bagdad and Iraq - not not really. Watched The Sentinel with Michael Douglas, Kiefer Sutherland and Eva Longoria - quite fun, but 24 still better.

Doha international airport was new and clean - aircon was actually quite cool and I had my (high altitude) puffa jacket over me while I slept the couple of hours for the Kathmandu (KTM) connection - crazy seeing was over 40 degrees outside. Only one of two Europeans on the flight, and the tallest, rest all Nepales. I sat next to Mingma Gelu Sherpa (5 time Everest summiter).

His two sisters are also climbers in their own right. His one sister summited Everest when she was 15 and his other is the only woman to have summited 5 times! See Hopefully will be able to arrange some mountain food from his suppliers for my trip - one thing that I did not get time to do back in the UK. Anyway, good flight again, about half full and arrived at KTM at about 18:45. Met by Samir from Explore Himalaya See This is a great company run by Suman Pandey and I can highly recommend them. I used them for my trip to Everest Base camp back in 1998. They dropped me off at the Hotel Marshyangdi - very pleasant twin room on the second floor (view over garden at the side) with hot water, aircon and multi channel TV! See Just so that you have an idea I'm paying $25 including breakfast. immediately went out to explore the local Thamel sights and very much sounds. I forgot to mention that the trip from the airport was entertaining to say the least. Although everyone and everything is all over the road, they all seem to co-exist somehow.

KTM was very much how I remembered - I think though some of the roads have new tar on them - less mud! Amazing the number of industries jam packed next to each other. Everyone trying to get your business - things have been quieter for the last couple of years to to the political instability, but on the ground all seems just the same. There is some issue with petrol prices but life seems to carry on...

This morning was clear and blue and I had a long relaxing breakfast in the hotels garden. Have decided to go to Langtang for my 8/9 day pre-climb trek. Objective will be to get my "mountain legs" and get as acclimatised as I can prior to our drive to Shisha base camp. See Bill Tilman and Peter Lloyd explored this area in 1949 and this is detailed in his book "Nepal Himalaya". He described the valley as one of the most beautiful in the world. Here was his peak Gangchempo - the "glorious Fluted Peak".

So it should be fabulous, other than the rain (I'm taking a large golfing umbrella - and no Dries it's not a DeBeers one) and the leaches. As very early in the season I should also have some peace and quiet and there should not be any lost wildebeest on the trail. Will also be testing out my equipment - new sat phone, GPS etc along the way. Another reason for going to this area is that Shisha is just to the north - who knows if I get high enough I might even to have my first glimse of my objective.

So plan is to finalise some food and gear tomorrow and then catch a local bus the next day to Dhunche (7/8 hours on a good day!). Then trek North West to Morimoto Peaks base camp. How far up I go will depend on conditions - one never knows what the monsoon might have done in the valleys...
Will blog again tomorrow
By the way you can text me:

My sat number is +88216 52 00 22 91 Say who you are else I won't know...

Don't worry if I don't respond - saving batteries...

Saturday, August 19

Who's watching the blog...

You did not reconfirm your flight - ticket cancelled!

I phoned Qatar airlines this morning, as had been told to reconfirm the fight (72 hours before departure!). Yes I was now within the 72 hours and was told by a rather unfriendly employee that as I had not reconfirmed the flight by now, the ticket had been cancelled (without refund). They obviously over book and manage the situation this way. My only option was to arrive very early for the flight and go on stand by! Hmmph! Not a very good idea especially considering the mess at the airports these days...and also due to the fact that I need to beg (or pay if begging does not succeed) for my extra luggage – have just received a large 4.5kg of high Carbohydrate powder!

After some thoughts and discussions with Claire, decided that I would rather re-book (and pay) than get there early and still be told that the flight was full...and then find out the next flights were also full...
Expedia indicated that some seats were available on the next day’s flights - funnily within the 72 hour limit - wonder how one reconfirms those!

Anyway spoke to Trailfinders...and after some discussions (after he had said this airline does insist on pre 72 hour re-confirmations), was told that they had been able to reconfirm my flight for me...there were still some seats available!

So I’m a little sceptical, but will arrive at Heathrow (still early due to extra luggage) and see what happens. As I have a buffer of my acclimatising hike I can spare a day or two. The afternoon flights seem a lot less busy so am pretty confident that I will get on one very soon.

So next update will either be from London tomorrow or Kathmandu on Monday. Hold thumbs for the later!

Did have a big win though today – I got one of the “just released” Thuraya satellite phones ( See the spotlight on the Thuraya SO-2510. An absolute win as much more compact and much lighter than previous models – Good old Tottenham Court road

Wednesday, August 16

Penultimate training day

Thanks for all your emails of support. I'm glad you have enjoyed the blog so far. Some answers to some questions:

I leave this Sunday for Nepal - Intend to do a +/-10 day hike somewhere around Annapurna to begin my acclimatisation. Have not had much of this as I have for the last 6 weeks been on contract in The Hague (I think I'm below sea level at present). Thereafter I join Jamie’s Sherpas for the adventurous drive from Kathmandu to Tibet (via Zhangmu & Nyalam) on the 5th September.

Here is an extract from Jamie’s diary when he did the trip in 2000 “Anyway, so thru seas of mud we plunged, thru swollen side creeks, our 280kgs (mine is 35kg) of gear was hauled and portered and tossed onto trucks, and we were treated like proper sahibs. God, what a privilege, and I don't mean this lightly. The stout legs, the straightforward, proud smiles when we acknowledged a job well done. The locals knew we were tough, but since they were getting paid (even if fairly minimally), we were not allowed to ride in the back of the truck. Hell, the destruction we passed thru. There were three major landslides before the border, then the forms were brought to us, while we filled them in over lunch. The Chinese official scrutinised us much more thoroughly, but everything was in order and we trudged up a road that had become an ankle-deep torrent, to be greeted by utter destruction, a stream had brought down stones and debris, taking out some buildings and a vehicle or two that had gotten in the way. Nature, like anywhere, has little mercy.” – Sounds interesting… I have budgeted plenty of the time for the climb and only have my return ticket booked for 15 October.

Yes, very bad timing with all this Heathrow nonsense! As you can see from my equipment list, flying with "normal" luggage allowances is impossible. Even though I have begged the airlines (Qatar), they have not budged. I will have to resort to paying for extra luggage – at least it will come with me, as there is not really anything I can leave behind.

Yes I think it's a good idea to support some charity - I had been thinking about doing something for the NSPPC - Claire and I have supported them since we came to the UK (now 10 years ago). I will put something together – perhaps x£ for every meter I climb above BC? What do you think?

Today was my second last day of walking up an 18% slope with 23kg on my back on a treadmill – it sure is going to be a pleasure to rather do this with some fantastic mountain scenery. I’m feeling ready!

Google Earth – see – if you have broadband it’s amazing…

Tuesday, August 15

Start of "live" blogs

So this is what Hoseman has been up to!
If you have not read any of this, and you have the urge to, then start at the beginning i.e. the bottom.
This is will be the online diary of my trip and I have back dated a few entries so as to provide you with some background...

Any updates will occur at the top of the blog so you will easily be able to see if an update has been added. I am hoping to be able to use Jamies laptop at ABC to send emails which will appear here as posts. If I have enough satellite air time I will also send some photos. There might be an email address for you to use at ABC, but I still need to set this up.
I have used the months (in the archive section) to categories the following:

December 2004 - A bit of fun
January 2005 - Some background on past adventures
January 2006 - Objectives and plans
February 2006 - Equipment
March 2006 - Training
... the rest will follow as per the date they are added...

Note to get to new blogs you need to start at