Episode 177: Travel Tips

So Long Everest. See You Tomorrow. The descent from Langma La ended up being the last of the long-distance hiking on our Kangshung Face trek. It was supposed to be split up into two days but we were forced to do it all in one long, long hike.

The valley topped by Langma La was another beautiful, lush valley with flowing water, lots of vegetation and as it turned out, lots of people! Every established campsite along the valley was already occupied by locals who were working along the trails as we walked by. There was a little bit of herding going on but mostly it seemed like people were cutting brush for firewood or some purpose I’m not aware of. In any case everyone was very friendly and happy to see our group but their camps meant we had to keep pushing on to find a suitable place for us to spend the night.

We’ve done long days of hiking before on this trip so our bodies could handle the distance but there was an evil force at work on me. Heat. The further we walked the warmer it got. By the end of the day it was easily in the upper 40s or low 50s Fahrenheit. When you’re accustomed to hiking in weather hovering around the freezing point or below, 50 degrees F can seem tropical! To tell you the truth, I really don’t like hiking in warm weather as heat kind of acts as my kryptonite. The combination of the long distance and warmer temperatures meant that by the time I did arrive into our camp–at the last possible campsite at the end of the valley–I was absolutely exhausted. More so than on any previous day of this trek. I think it may have been tougher for me than the hike up to Namche Bazaar…and this time I was hiking DOWN hill, not Up!

I think the entire group passed out pretty quickly after dinner and had a restful night of deep sleep.

This morning we woke up to some slight drizzle and had a short walk to where the Land Cruisers were waiting for us. The walk to the vehicles was beautiful as we passed through lots of farmland with teams of cattle plowing the fields and people sowing seeds. It was a bittersweet moment for everyone as we were sad that the trek was over but we were also happy that the trek was over! That final walk to the vehicles was also a moment of reflection for me which reinforced that I’m one of the luckiest people in the world. I’m sad this trek is over, but I know that if I want to come back and do it again, I simply have to decide when to come back. Amazing.

After unloading the yaks and giving the yak men their tip for their wonderful service we piled into the land Cruisers and now we’re headed off to Everest’s North Side Base Camp. I can’t wait to get there. I wonder if it’s changed much since I was last there in 2007?

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 25:16

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