Saturday, October 24, 2015

Recognizance of the Khumbu Post Quake

Flights are operating as normal Kathmandu to Lukla and the weather is good but definitely quiet.  

Day 1: Trek to Phakding/Monjo: There is an area here that has always been prone to landslides. Anyone who has
Phakding slide area reconstructed
been here previously would remember the sand slide area after crossing the river in Phakding. This area slid during the earthquake and has been rebuilt by a team of locals. The new trail is actually much improved now, better than the previous one.

Another area affected near the same location is the largely photographed waterfall, boulders came down changing this area and altered the trail.

HOMES:  The ones built with rounded rocks didn’t stand up too well to the earth quake, but houses that were built with chipped and sculpted stone did well, and ones using mortar faired really well. 

FOOD: There is a lot of food in the Khumbu, all the lodges stocked up for the autumn trek season well before the fuel crisis began. Kathmandu and outlying areas however are suffering with lack of supplies and cooking fuel. 

Day 2: In Namche Bazaar, it's so good to see the village in good shape. I spent the afternoon walking around the village with Tsedam, he showed me the houses that were affected and what they did to rebuild them. The school had been destroyed but is now rebuilt. Tsedam's Home-Away-Home was destroyed. Luckily a lodge in the village fixed it up for housing the children and make a classroom and rented it to Tsedam for his children till he is able to get enough money together to rebuild the one next to his home. It makes it difficult to take care of their day to day needs being further away.

I passed off a thoughtful gift from bluegrass musician Karen Jungnitsch from the Pine Pass, B.C. A couple of the
Fiddle supplies
girls at the Home-Away-Home are learning to play the fiddle. Karen made them fiddle covers and set them up with CD's, instructional books and other useful fiddle components. 

Yes please! If you want to donate to help with this, get in touch.  As promised we've been passing off the few personal donations designated to individuals. If you haven't heard back from them yet; it's
Enjoying a nice meal at Tsedam's home.
because they are working and this is a good thing.

As I walked with Tsedam we talked about the day it happened. Apparently there were huge boulders plummeting down from Kwande Ri adjacent to Namche Bazaar that was frightening for them as they watched. Our concern was the boulders above the village. Tsedam said they sent a team up there to evaluate their stability and reported everything was anchored quite well. This made sleeping at night a lot easier for everyone considering the aftershocks were significant and went on for a for weeks.

TOURISM:  Not as bad as it feels. It feels really quiet but the locals are saying it's down about 50%. The sad part of this story is the governments ongoing mismanagement of the mountaineering industry. Their silly announcement that all climbers must prove climbing to 6600m in order to climb Everest has pushed everyone  over on Ama Dablam. Ama Dablam is already ridiculously overcrowded as it is, and a toilet bowl at that, with a hazard of the hanging glacier that is expected to come off at some point. With what we've been watching around the globe recently, you won't find Peak Freaks up there.  This was a foolish statement on their part. Climbers- don't buy into it! It's a setup for something else we'll discuss another time. 

Tomorrow we'll head off to Khunde and Khumjung to have a walk around. I expect it will be in good shape. Everyone was quick to do repairs and be ready for the tourist season. 

Tim & Becky Rippel

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