Friday 6th April 2018 - Day 11 Returning to Kathmandu
My YouTube of leaving EBC can be found here
The helicopter ride out of BC would be in three sections; BC to Pheriche, with just two passengers at a time, then Pheriche to Lukla where four passengers could go at one time, then Lukla to Kathmandu, which is the longer flight of around 45 minutes.
The eight of us flying out said our goodbyes to the summiters, the Kiwis, the chefs, the porters, the doc, Little Boss, Nicole and Cassi, then took the ten minute walk to the helipad. It took some time for the first chopper to arrive but in no time he’d been to Pheriche and back three times, returning to take me and Kurt, the last to leave BC.
After the chopper’s third trip, and before returning for me and Kurt, my emotions suddenly took over and I heavily sobbed, I’m not sure why, perhaps for the achievement or perhaps because I’d never be here again, I don’t know but it was deeply upsetting.
Just trying to stand near the helipad when the chopper was taking-off or landing, with the strong wind and icy rocks under your feet was tricky, and it was easier to lie on the rocks.
Whilst we was waiting for our chopper ride we could see the Kiwis taking their hike out to the Icefall......I was slightly jealous, as it really is such an iconic natural obstacle that man has mostly conquered, the mountain Gods willing.
The chopper runs ran like clockwork, the chopper being loaded, unloaded, weights adjusted and passengers sorted without drama. We had a bit of a wait at Lukla airstrip, which was great, it’s a dangerous take off and landing, so watching the planes come in and out was fab. There was also constant chopper activity, with perhaps 15 take offs/landings in our hour there.
It was amazing to see the miles of trails we had hiked on our way up, they all brought back memories, some of severe tourettes moments!
Arriving back in the polluted dusty air, noise and mayhem of Kathandu was a bit of a shock after the peace and clean air of the mountains. We hit heavy traffic on the dusty ride from the Airport to the Hotel, it was bloody hot in the small car with five of us in it, especially as we were still in trekking gear, Long Johns and all!
I’d never felt so drained of energy on the whole trip as I did when I hit my comfortable Hyatt hotel room, I think I’d been running on adrenalin the whole time. Such a contrast, this luxury compared to four hours before when we were still at BC.
The whole trip. Just amazing.
My blogs skim over what was a crazy ride, I’ll blog again on the ‘human’ side of the trip, and the considerations when deciding whether to embark on this trip yourself.
Great thanks to Russell and his team for this amazing experience, one that for me shall never be surpassed.