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"So I aimed to become as fit as possible by climbing stairs and hills with my backpack full of sand.."
- Pamela Bode

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Sea to summit
by Pamela Bode, Sydney, Australia
Aug 14, 1999

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Having decided that my next holiday would be trekking in Nepal I found that training for altitude climbing when you live right on the coast in Sydney is impossible. So I aimed to become as fit as possible by climbing stairs and hills with my backpack full of sand and going for weekend walks with friends up to the Blue Mountains and Barrington Tops.

I went with two friends Ian Richards and Kristen Petersen who like myself were extremely keen to go mountain climbing in Nepal, all of us had been to Nepal previously. We sat down and planned our trek ourselves, bringing out the maps and deciding on the mountains we wanted to climb and the best route to take.

Using e-mail we contacted a Nepalese company in Kathmandu appropriately named Sea to Summit and after a number of suggestions between us we worked out the number of Porters and Sherpas required as a lot of our trek would be at high altitude and the costing. Everything was falling into place.

We planned to start our trek on the 21st of September, which is prior to the main trekking season so we would be ahead of the other climbers. Our flights to Lukla from Kathmandu were cancelled for three days due to bad weather in Lukla. With more people arriving and wanting flights there was a backlog of trekkers. So we decided to catch a bus to Jiri 1400m and then with a Sherpa and porters we started walking to Lukla.

The weather was hot and sunny for the first three days, walking through lovely lush valleys and small villages with a little glimpse of the towering mountains in the distance. Then the monsoons reappeared, and we were walking along tracks which became running streams and crossing fast flowing waterfalls. Meeting up with our real team who had been waiting for us at Lukla. Our party was made up of a Serda - Onchhue Sherpa, Sherpa - Dawa Sherpa, Cook - Raju Magan who turned out to be a food God, (the meals that were produced from a kerosene stove were fabulous) and a few porters.

We made it up to Lukla in 5 days then the real excitement came of starting our real trek and meeting the rest of the porters. For the three of us we had eleven Nepalese to take care of us and carry our gear and food supplies. They were going to become our family for the next 30 days. Each day waking us at 6am with a hot cup of tea and a beaming smile. Our first high pass heading towards Mera Peak was the Zatrwa La 4580m surrounded and in cloud it was the highest I'd ever been. The altitude was causing me to loose my appetite and still walking long distances fatigue started to set in. At Tulikharky the Yaks were not happy that we were camping in their territory and were stomping around our tents and making grunting noises all night, thus no sleep.

To the top we go!

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