Back to the Himalayas

This year marks the fifth anniversary of my trip to Nepal, the Himalayas, and Everest Base Camp. It seemed like a marker worth celebrating, and I couldn’t think of a better way to do so than by going back! And going back with Jon, Chris, and Monika again no less! But this will be no mere clone of the previous experience, but a much grander and even rarer experience.

The trip will begin with a week in Bhutan. This leg will be a more casual, touristy trip. Only light hiking and hotel rooms to sleep in every night. But it should be an amazing experience nonetheless, as it’s a very unique and special place. “The Last Shangri-La”, they call it. A very limited number of tourist visas are granted each year, so it’s quite a treat to get to visit. It will also have the awesome bonus of being a mini Everest Trek 2009 reunion, as a number of people from that trek will be there, as well as some from the 2010 trek that feel like friends just from watching the podcast.

The Bhutan portion won’t be formally filmed as part of The Rest of Everest or Tips From the Top Floor, nor will there be any photography workshops as Chris & Monika won’t be attending. I expect there will still be plenty of video footage shot though, and wouldn’t be surprised if that all sees the light of day from Jon at some point. And certainly tons of still photography taken. There will be too many photographers there to not have an extensive photo record of the trip!

After that week, we’ll gather back in Kathmandu for a few days, swap out some participants, and begin the full workshop experience.

The trek itself will not be simply a repeat of the previous trek. While it will share the same departure point and eventual destination—Lukla to Everest Base Camp and back—it will take a rather different path getting there. We’ll diverge from the usual Base Camp trekking route after Namche Bazaar, and head off onto the trail up to the Gokyo region. It’s a more challenging trail, but rewards the extra effort with trips though the gorgeous lakes on that trail, and stunning views of many of the high peaks in the Himalaya, including Everest. We’ll head over to base camp from there, and then return to Lukla via the usual, familiar trekking route. So those who have never done it will still see it all, and those of us that have will get to revisit some familiar places.

But wait, there’s more! Jon and I managed to schedule our return flights so that we’ll have a one day layover in Istanbul, Turkey. So we’ll have a day to run around being tourists there and see all the sights we can. A great way to cap off what should be another amazing—perhaps life-changing again—experience.

I depart in just over a week, so things will likely be quiet around here (like that’s anything unusual!) for a while as connectivity up in the Himalayas is always unpredictable. I’ll be doing my best to post as often as I can via social media, so follow me there if you want to keep more up-to-date during the trip.