Nepal - Everest Marathon - November 2005

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Namche Bazzar

Hi, Now on the Everest trail having flown from Kathmandu to Lukla at the foothills of the Himalayas.
It was a spectacular flight in a little 20 seater plane flying low over the mountains. Slightly hairy coming into Lukla, the runway was pretty short but these pilots land there every day.
We walked to Phakding carrying day packs, our porters carrying the heavy stuff. Beautiful weather, 20-25C during the day. Our first days trekking was done at a very leisurely rate, stopping for lemon tea in the numerous little tea houses en route. Our marathon group have been divided into three groups, and although we all trek together, each group has its own set of porters, approx 20 per group, 10 to cook, and 10 to carry. We also have our own company of yaks to carry the heavy kit. I have my own medical porter carrying nothing but the medical kit, which is really heavy! It includes 5 oxygen cylinders, a defib, resuscitation equipment, drugs, bandages, knee braces etc....you name it, we have it. We even have a portable pressurised chamber to treat altitude sickness. Every thing going up the "hill" has to be carried by yak or man.
We camped for the first time last night. Two to a three man circa 1950s tent, ancient but servicable.
Loos are pretty awful, but hey....this is Nepal.
Have had to do some work already. One of our doctors got ill with a high temp and the shivers and shakes and took to her bed. Good old viral illness I reckon, but you have to think altitude illness every time here. We have a portable pulse oximeter with us which will measure your pulse rate and arterial oxygen saturations, which drop as you go up and the air gets thinner. Pulses rise as a response to altituse. I am also thirsty all the time, drinking loads of water which needs to be sterilised and filtered to stop the shits. As a result I am always looking for the loo!
My second patient yesterday was an unconscious Nepalese women of about 20, found on the mountain 10 mins north of Phakding where we were camping. John Apps our senior doc and I ran up the hill with a stretcher, oxygen and resus kit, brought her down still unconscious and set about treating her in one of the local lodges on the floor, admist many onlookers. IV fluids, and IV antibiotics, warm clothes and later hot tea seemed to do the trick. I was pretty relieved when she came too. We were planning on giving her a second dose of antibiotics later, but she disappeared, still with cannula in her arm, probably walked home, another 1 hr uphill. They are tough people here.
Today we have done a really big climb of 600m or so to Namche Bazaar which will be the finish point of the marathon.
This is a sherpa town. The climb up was spectacular, photos to follow soon.
We all have mild headcahes, and stiff legs but tomorrow is a rest day here, so we will recover.
Staying in a lodge tonight, great food. All vegetarian and no booze, but I don't really care.
Looking forward to a good night's sleep.
That's all for now,
Fina+

2 Comments:

  • Fina,

    Wow, what an amazing time you've had so far. I can't believe the story of the 20 year old girl - good job! What was wrong with her?

    Anyway, keep the stories coming - love reading about your adventures!!

    Kelly
    xx

    By Anonymous Kelly, at Sun Nov 06, 10:00:00 PM 2005  

  • Wow, you're doing great! You made it up the Namche hill, and it has discouraged a lot of trekkers throughout history. Try the hike up to the Everest View Hotel. I feel sorry for the porters carrying your heavy equipment, and they must wonder what it all is - certainly not the normal hiker gear.

    -Dan
    www.SherpaTrek.com/weblog/

    By Blogger SherpaTrek, at Thu Nov 10, 06:30:00 AM 2005  

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