Hunters Cubs doing a spot of bird box building to earn their DIY badge!
Hunters Cubs doing a spot of bird box building to earn their DIY badge!
EPIC TREK – Everest Base Camp – Dave Moore and Perry Burton – Messages
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 0
We have arrived in Kathmandu Nepal after a 17-hour journey. Met half the group so far. Going for a group briefing then dinner in an hour. Nepal is mad just seen a Nepalese mobility Scooter, 2 wheel chairs being towed behind a scooter on the main road from the airport. Early night tonight being picked up at 7am for our flight to Lukla and the start of the Trek.
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 1
Up at 5.30am today check and pack gear … Breakfast at 6.30am… taken to Kathmandu airport for 7.30am. Absolutely chaotic in the airport. Supposed to fly at 8am finally departed in our flying bake bean can at 10am. The flight to Lukla was not as bad as I expected although the landing is very hairy. First views from Lukla @ 2830m were absolutely stunning.
Very warm trekking in shorts and tee shirt. Walked a very short distance to a tea house where we stopped for lunch whilst the guides loaded up the yaks with all our bags. I felt sorry for the yak with Perry’s bag as it was almost twice the permitted weight 18.3kg!!!.
Set off walking through the stunning scenery stopping at Thado Koshigaon for a tea break… then off we went passing over several wire rope bridges to our first nights stop in Phakding @ 2600m. No signs of any attitude effect yet. Still very civilised as we have a shower and Wi-Fi available…just as well I’d finished my showered as the power went off and that was the last we saw of it. Had a group dinner again tonight of dhal bhat very tasty food.
There are 16 our group aged between 30 and 71… great group of people already having a good laugh with them all. Tomorrow is going to be a very tough day according to our guides trekking to Namche Bazaar Will have to wait and see. Temperature has dropped loads since the sun went down. Just above freezing. On the up side the down sleeping bag is very warm. Good night. More details next time I have Wi-Fi
So…a bit of a longer post. It’s been a long day today… most of it was fine…but we claimed the last 600m over a short distance which was a bit of a killer…it is supposed to be the 3rd toughest day so fingers crossed… the scenery is to die for…and to see guys walking past his carrying 100kilos is awesome and inspiring…I’m vegetarian for 2 weeks which Is involving a lot of eggs !! And whilst everyone else is filling up on porridge I am maintaining that it is the food of the devil !! If I was Nepalese I would definitely live in the mountains rather than Kathmandu… I’m taking my pictures on a camera so will share David Moore post later so you can see…
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 2
Woken up at 6.45am to the sound of our guide Tensi knocking on the door… thought I’d try asking for tea in bed! … what a surprise we were all woken up with a mug of black tea.. just as well it’s bloody freezing at the moment…45 mins to get up and pack everything. Porridge and omelette for breakfast… set off trekking at 8.15am. Very cold to start, wearing 4 layers… didn’t take long to hit the sunshine…wish I’d worn shorts again. Trekked to first team stop Bengkar 2630m crossing a spectacular wire rope bridge…continued on to Monjo 2835m… stopped for lunch here still very warm in the sun… some said that day 2 was one of the toughest days…they weren’t wrong after lunch we went up, up, up all the way Namche Bazaar. Very tough end to the day. Perry and I were ready for the tea house. We are now at 3440m. No effects from attitude sickness yet!! Group meal then bed I think.
A lovely group, local Sherpa dish called T-Momo which is puffy and soft steamed bread served with mushroom and potato curry. Followed by Apple pie and custard. Custard was not good! We were then entertained by the local Nepalese people as we are in Namche Bazaar for the festival of the full moon. They also came back to the tea house at 1am waking Perry up but not me.
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 3
Day 3…woke up 6.15…very cold outside -5. Had another good night’s sleep still no effect of the attitude on the sleep yet!!! Packed kit this…this is quite challenging in a tiny room with 2 beds when you have taken all gear out of your bag to find things. Breakfast of porridge and omelette again! Off we went at 8.20am temperature 1c. Today was an acclimatisation day, we climbed very steeply out of Namche Bazaar 3440m.. first time I noticed how quickly I got out of breath with the attitude… slow and steady today… passed the place were Edmund Hillary’s remains are buried… continued up to the Everest view hotel 3880m built by the Japanese. If you stay there you get oxygen in your room!! Rested there for a very expensive pot of black tea. The tradeoff was our first spectacular views of Everest and Ama Dablam… continued onto our lunch stop in Khumjumg 3788m… Lunch of macaroni and with some sort of cheese!… had a tour of the school in Khumjumg…first real evidence of damage from last year’s earthquake… school serves several local villages with children attending from aged 3 – 17. All the pupils we meet had beaming smiles. It’s humbling that the Nepalese children are so happy with what little they have…visited the Edmund Hillary hospital in the same village talking with the only Doctor who is responsible for 8000 patient’s. If you get anything serious wrong with you and have no money you go home to die!!!!… set of from there to visit the Khumjumg monastery… paid 250 rupees to visit the only yeti skull in existence… turns out I paid to look at a coconut wearing a wig!!!!!!.. left Khumjumg to head off to our tea house in Kyanjuma 3550m … Arrived at 4.30… First time the down jacket been worn….stood outside and watched the stunning sunset over the mountains…..Dinner consisted of Veg Dal bhat …I thought I’d try the chocolate pudding which was basically watery brown custard…disgusting.. good night.
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 4
Up early this morning 6am…I seem to be sleeping more here than I do at home. I’ve had a minimum of 8hrs a night since we started the trekking. Breakfast… guess what same as yesterday…porridge, toast and omelette. Definitely a vegetarian for this trek.
…set off from Kyanjuma 3550m at 8am heading down 300 metres to the river in the valley below. Stopped for a black tea before the worst climb so far…..2-1/2 hours 600m steep uphill climb to Thyangboche 3867m….can really feel the effects of trekking at attitude now…it was slow and steady all the way. If you tried to push it you were shattered in no time. The Trek into Thyangboche was like yak central I’ve never seen so many yaks transporting goods of all descriptions… it’s easy to see how people are knocked off the trekking paths by these great big animals….very relieved to reach Thyangboche for lunch….after lunch we went to the monastery to see a full Nepalese full moon festival… very interesting…didn’t have a clue what was going on…we have our best view of Everest so far from here…. currently sitting outside our tea house in the warm sunshine typing this with spectacular views all round. It brings it all home as we sit here an emergency medical helicopter evacuation just took place here. Just watched the sunset over Everest… now for Dinner. Can’t wait !!!!Accommodation has become more and more basic the higher we go. Self-flushing loo today.
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 5
Currently -8 outside as I write this at 5.30pm. Up early as usual, very very cold… sinks frozen, toilet flushing water frozen over! Great when you get up to go to the loo at 3am. Set off from Tengboche 3860m for the long trek to Dingboche 4410m. Stopped for morning tea at Deboche… We gradually lost our view of Everest, we won’t see Everest again until we trek to Kala Patthar on Monday. The scenery and spectacular views continue to surprise us around every corner we trek. Reached Somare our lunch stop. Tried the Sherpa stew for lunch… very good….so far the Trek has been warm In the sunshine of the day and bitterly cold when the sun sets. As we set off after lunch for Dingboche we rounded a valley and met a very cold wind…time to layer up. We are now above the tree line… Somare where we ate lunch is the last full time settlement in the region… Dingboche is only open 9 months a year. On route to Dingboche we passed the 4000m mark. We had vultures flying above us this afternoon…don’t know if they were expecting one of us to go over the edge. To top it off we then had a golden Eagle circling just above us in the valley… found the day far easier than yesterday evening although we are now another 600m higher. Still no ill effects from the attitude Dimox appears to be working for me. We have 2 nights here to acclimatisation. Tomorrow we are going to 5100m before returning here.
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 6
17/11/16 End of day 5
Last night…all in bed by 9pm…the whole place filled with rancid smelling smoke from the Kak dung burning stove in the dining room next to ours. Although it was -8 outside we had to leave our window and door open. Of course this was left to me as Perry never left his sleeping bag.
18/11/16 Day 6
Acclimatisation day today…an extra 15 minutes in bed this morning… what a difference not having to pack all your gear up. Had breakfast… yes… same as yesterday. Set off for an acclimatisation walk to the top of Nangkartshang Kharka. We didn’t get to go over 5000m because of the abilities of some of the other members in the group. Tansi wanted to save them for the Base Camp day on Sunday. The views as they have been everyday were breathtaking. Came back down for lunch… managed get all my socks washed and dried today…clean socks every day for the remainder of the Trek. Chilling out this afternoon reading and enjoying the sunshine…still no ill effects from attitude… feeling very confidant now that we both get to Base Camp on Sunday as planned.
Finished day 6…yeah…half way…we had an acclimatisation walk today…it’s so important to do this…and go slowly…exodus make us go slowly…I lose count of the times we are overtaken every day…but here’s a thing…most of the groups we have spoken to have lost people along the way to AMS…we started with 16 and still have 16…OK…so we are not all perfectly healthy but exodus are doing an excellent job of pacing us and keeping us in the best possible shape…no meat..no eating from bakeries and we go slow and steady…we move again tomorrow to Lobuche at 4950 and Sunday is the big day as we have the long day to get to base camp and back…not sure when we next get Wi-Fi…as usual David Moore has posted the pics…I’m even smiling in one !
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 7
Up nice and early as usual…a change in the breakfast this morning… omelette and eggs were replaced with pancakes.. not good..managed 2 mouthfuls!!. Set of at 8.15 for our trek to Lobuche 4950m. The landscape has completely changed now we are at the higher attitudes. It resembles more of a lunar landscape. We are surrounded by mountains on all sides. The morning was a tough 2 hour climb to our tea stop at Thukla 4620m. After a short stop we headed off for Lobuche arrived around 2pm for a late lunch before going on a short acclimatisation trek up to the Lobuche Ridge… first time we went over 5000m. From the top of the Ridge we could see the Khumbu glacier…you could also make out Khumbu ice fall…Tensi also informed us you could see Everest Base Camp in the distance! It was Andy’s birthday today so we all sang happy birthday to him on the ridge and cracked open a can of Everest beer…acclimatisation done now…the day has almost arrived. We have an early start tomorrow for our trek to Base Camp. It’s going to be a long day 12 hours walking starting at 6am!… I’m amazed as Perry mentioned in one of his posts… we started with 16…16 of us will leave for Base Camp tomorrow… a big part of that is the excellent work or the guides taking us along at just the right pace, resting us at regular intervals. Fingers crossed for all the group reaching Base Camp tomorrow.
Day 7 done…it’s -12 outside at 5.50pm and we are all huddled around the yak dung heater in the dining room…it’s been a good day today…I have a bit of a headache but that’s not surprising as we are now at 4950 and have gained 600m today..but I can’t stop weeing and that’s a good sign !…we did a short acclimatisation walk to the top of the khumbu Ridge…it was awesome to see the power of the khumbu glacier as it just carves a path through the Himalayas..those with better eyes than me could see base camp which is exciting…so long as we stay well between now and tomorrow at 6am (never a given unfortunately at this altitude) David Moore and I are ever more confident of reaching our goal tomorrow…if we do it will make it all worthwhile…thanks for all the good luck messages
We’re off !! If either David Moore or I can get Wi-Fi or mobile service we will let you know in about 12 hours if we make it…what we haven’t mentioned is that if we do we have an even tougher trip to the viewpoint at kala pattar at 5545m tomorrow leaving at 4am…after that we turn back an head for home !
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 8
Oh my God it’s cold -12. Wake up call at 5am. Time to pack for our ultimate goal Base Camp! …off we went at 6.15am for the first part of the day a 3hr trek from Lobuche to Gorak Shep. 5184m…you know it’s cold when after 20 mins you reach for your water bottle to find it partly frozen…Reached Gorak at 10.00am…time to check into the tea house before a refuel of noodle soup and chapatti. Never checked into a room with ice frozen on the inside of the windows before! Left for Base Camp at 10.45am following a ridge above the Khumbu glacier..the world’s longest glacier… a spectacular walk. It’s hard to describe the glacier. Take a look at the photos…I was only saying to Perry yesterday it would be great to see an avalanche as we are so close to the mountains… Nuptche didn’t disappoint we actually witnessed 2 small ones…the noise was loud enough with these I can only imagine what it must sound like to be caught in a massive one…2 hours in we got our first views of Base Camp and close up views of the Khumbu ice flow…we also got a brief view of Everest again it looks so close. What a site as we approached Base Camp… We did it at 1.15pm we trekked into Base Camp…what a feeling. On the down side we lost 2 of our group today just 30 mins from Base Camp. Helen wasn’t well at all, she turned back with her husband and one of the guides. It’s been a real challenge but an enjoyable one for me. It’s humbling to know that so many people sponsored us to do this. We have now raised just over £13000.00 what started as a crazy fund raising idea 3 years ago became reality today…another hard day tomorrow 4am start as we walk to the summit of Kala Pattar 5550m…our highest altitude…should get some spectacular sunrise views of Everest. For those of you who don’t know you can’t see Everest from Base Camp.
Now time for them to come down… ;)
Native American Camp 2016!
Over 20 Cubs (plus a few rogue Beavers and Scouts) packed their rucksacks and journeyed further into Surrey to Garner’s Field campsite in Surrey for the annual Summer Camp.
1st Chertsey Hunters Cubs fishing team retained their trophy at the weekend, catching three fish at the District fishing competition.
Well done Daviel, Rami, Liam, Jack, Luca & Harry.
The camp crew arrived on Sunday to set up the majority of the camp in the pouring rain and crossed their fingers and toes for a dry week to come. When the cubs arrived on Monday, they were excited to explore the camp site but first they had to put their tents up, which would be their homes for the next 5 days. Cue lots of tent poles and mallets swinging around, but they worked well in their sixes to finally put up their tents and sort out where they were sleeping. Our fantastic scouts and explorers (Martin, Tom, Harvey, Daisy, Roo and mini-crew Maff and Orla) took the cubs off into the woods for a spot of orienteering and games in the woods. The cubs love to explore and play freely at Bentley Copse. After a spot of lunch, the cubs split into two – one half went rifle shooting with Ben and the other half went pedal go-karting with Lou. Luckily, lots of the younger camp crew came and helped push the cubs up the hill as the go karts are tricky! A few spectacular crashes and overtakes stunned the crowd as the cubs whizzed round the course. In the Rifle Range, there were some impressive sharp shooters as they were patient and were very sensible. After dinner, we introduced the tent inspectors (Mrs A – Lou, Mrs B – Kate, Mrs C – Sara) and shared with the cubs that points meant prizes and points could be achieved by having a tidy tent, working well as a team, being polite, flattery and of course wooing the tent inspectors with some amazing evening entertainment. The cubs took this very seriously and millions of points were awarded the first night after being wowed by beautifully tidy tents, light shows, songs and even dances!
Tuesday arrived with some much needed sunshine and after a delicious breakfast cooked by Steve, Katy, Nick and Molly, the cubs packed their day bags for our hike into Shere village. We recognised lots of the trees, hazelnuts and even where squirrels or mice had taken a nibble. Steve (The Viking) challenged the younger camp crew to climb an overhanging tree – very dangerous but exciting. We arrived in Shere and ate our lunch in the sunshine by the stream. Steve treated us all to an ice lolly to fuel us for the hike back.
We arrived back at camp mid-afternoon and chilled out in the woods before enjoying some firelighting. The cubs used flint strikers to try and light their own little fires and learnt how to kneel in the ‘respect’ position around a fire in case of emergencies. Once dinner and the delightful washing up was done, the cubs were treated to a campfire with favourite songs such as Boogaloo, Found a Peanut, The Penguin Song, The Yellow Bird and a few of the cubs even taught us some new ones! Once the singing had died down, it was time for another tent inspection. We were treated to dramas, Strictly Come Dancing skits, untold flattery of the tent inspectors and fantastical light shows – we were very impressed!
One Wednesday we packed our swimming cossies and headed to Guildford Spectrum for fun on the slides, the diving boards and of course, a mid-week wash! The cubs were fantastically behaved and looked out for each other in a busy swimming pool. Some really challenged themselves to dive off the middle and top diving boards – well done! We returned to camp where Steve had made us lunch and we then turned ourselves into Forest Explorers. Each cub was given a paper crown with double-sided sticky tape to collect leaves, twigs, berries and other flora to make into a beautiful camp crown – some struggled to stick logs and stones to their crowns but good try! Wearing our crowns, we replanted a tree at Bentley Copse to commemorate one hundred years of scouting in Chertsey. The birch tree was kindly donated by long-standing supporter of Chertsey, Yvonne Barnes – thank you Yvonne!
After our crowns were made, we headed back into the woods to undo our earlier wash in the swimming pool and got ourselves very muddy making Muddy Faces. The creativity of the cubs was amazing and they worked tirelessly on their spooky faces.
We then heard a strange bird call… it was the OOLIGOOLI BIRD OF BENTLEY COPSE!
Lou told the cubs the story of the Ooligooli bird and that very few people have seen it and all that we knew about it was it liked ready-made nests and lay two different coloured eggs – blue for a baby bird and yellow for custard. The cubs had already tasted Ooligooli bird custard with swiss roll the night before and so set about making nests for the bird.
Their nests were fantastic! Many of them had used a range of materials and some even had ensuite bathrooms, lounges and gardens! Some were protected by stick and stone fortresses and some had traps to stop predators from getting to the eggs. We didn’t see any Ooligooli birds while we were there, but later in the week, we discovered a blue egg in one of the nests! The cubs decided that all the yellow ones had been taken by other groups for custard making. Wednesday ended with another fabulous campfire and more delightful entertainment with the tent inspections.
Thursday was a beautiful sunny day and the group split in half again. Half went fishing with Ben, Steve, Dave (GSL) and Simon and the other half went with Lou and Kate on an exciting visit to the Sewage Museum… we mean the park, followed by Pick your Own at Secretts in Milford. The cubs enjoyed foraging for the BEST strawberries and we enjoyed sitting on the grass in the sunshine joined by Paul (Scout leader), Tansy and their two boys Barney and Jamie who were well-looked after by the cubs! Once we arrived back at camp, we enjoyed our lunch and then practised our firelighting skills again and this time, we could toast marshmallows over our own fires. We then donned our cossies again for Splash cricket, where the stumps are replaced by paddling pools and the crease is replaced with a slippery tarpaulin. After the splashing, we created a long, slippery tarpaulin down the slope at Bentley and using some Lilos from a neighbouring group, we slipped and slid down the hill. Thursday was our final night and we had been joined by some of the Bourne Beavers to experience cub camp for one night and we enjoyed a huge campfire with our blankets and hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. Martin was challenged to eat the remaining marshmallows and we cheered him on as he did it in record time! Go Martin! The cubs slept soundly after their final tent entertainment and it was of course DOUBLE POINTS DAY. By this point, each team had reached at least 10 million points, if not more. There was still lots of time left to earn more points!
Friday was our final day and the cubs and beavers enjoyed playing in the adventure playground and then Ben took them down to play some great wide games in the woods – capture the flag, postbox game (led by Fox and Mr Fox) and lots of other fun in the Hurt Wood. The camp was dismantled and after lunch, the final points were shared. It was a close race, but the winning team was the Pink Pigacorns! Well done. The cubs received their camp badges and we made our way home. Thank you to everyone who made this camp possible and thank you to all the cubs who made it really fun.
See you in September!
Steve the Viking, Katy, Lou, Ben, Kate, Nick, Sara, Simon, Molly, Dave, Stuart, Steve, Martin, Tom, Harvey, Daisy, Roo, Maff and Orla, plus Alex and Shaun! (Ryan was absent as he was in Japan for the World Jamboree)