The team arrives in Lukla from Kathmandu in this plane. Lukla is where we began our trekking journey to Everest Base Camp. When the team arrived they were told to quick get off - not an easy task for Pippa with no wheelchair and a flight of stairs!
Pippa and Lhakpa enjoying Nepal's hilly and mountainous landscape on the flight from Kathmandu to the mountain town of Lukla.
A plane landing at Lukla's only airstripe. The pilots fly by sight, so when the weather is good the flights land, unload passengers and luggage, reload and take off all in a 5 minute time period - truly organized chaos!
Bishnu, our porter, carried Pippa's wheelchair to Everest Base Camp and back.
The first couple steps of our trek. So far everything is running smoothly - if you ignore the important tool that we forgot to put together and do maintence on the TrailRider. Big surprise there were no hardware stores on the trail! The good news is the TrailRider did just fine and we made do without the tool.
The team heading through Lukla on the search for the trail to Everest Base Camp. We found it!
One of the many yaks we met and waited for on the trail. The yaks always got the right away, if you couldn't tell from the big pointy horns.
Lhakpa Dorjie and Lhakpa Doma - our trusty guides in Nepal. From here on in they will be refered to as Lhakpa and Doma.
Jazz and Junar enjoying some water on the trail. Junar was one of our assistant guide and a great addition to the team. He is an amazing cook and very agile on his feet.
One of many Yak Attacks we stopped and waited for.
One of the many porters on the trail. The majority of the goods and expedition gear in the Nepal Himalayas are transported by either porters or yaks. Most porters are carrying up to 100kg on their foreheads for weeks at a time. We met porters that were as young as 12.
The boys (Jazz, Ollie and Nik) enjoying a good laugh at our first lunch spot.
Nick and Bishnu joining in the fun!!
Robyn is taking care of some foot problems on the first day of trekking. With these preventative measures she made sure she did not have big problems with her feet later on.
Kristina and Lhakpa doing their three times a day rountine of taking everyones order for food. This picture was taken at our first lunch on the trail.
Something interesting must be happening at our first lunch spot. Everyone is looking intently in the same direction.
Yak Attack! Luckily we were enjoying some tea and not on the trail.
Kristina and Doma serving tea to the masses. Drinking tea is a regular occurance in Nepal - most fluid is consumed as tea.
Ollie and Pip are catching up after not seeing each other for a long time. Ollie, Kristina and Karun trekked for 6 days from Jiri to Lukla to meet the team and had many stories to tell of their adventures in the hills of Nepal.
Shawn and Karun catching up after their different trips from Canada to Lukla.
Ollie showing the team how to eat dal bhat Nepali style. Dal Bhat is what all the Nepali people eat on trail - it consists of rice, vegetable curry and soupy lentils. The best part is you can ask for more if you are still hungry and you do have to use utensils!
A brief stop on our way to Phakding for our first night of rest.
A women transporting her harvest of hay. Agriculture is not mechanized in Nepal so everything is labour intensive. Anything that needs to be carried is done across the top of the head.
She is taking a rest on her harvest. It looks like a soft seat!
Welcome to Phakding - our first night's stay.
The team entering Phakding and looking for the first lodge they will sleep at.
The trail through the towns was never easy and it always seemed like there was another flight of stairs before we could stop, drink tea and rest.
Ollie trying to get his mother's impressions of our first day on the trail.
A typical night in a lodge - reading, writing, chatting, playing cards and pumping water to drink the next day on trail.
A family checking out our operation on the trail. All along the trail we met interested Nepali people in the TrailRider. The kids were great because they would follow us through town and try to push or pull!
Shawn in her debut as a porter - if memory serves me correctly she did not make it too far with the load that Dill carried all the way to Base Camp and back.
The team working hard to move with Pippa up the many flights of stairs we encountered on the trek.
Lhakpa buying us some tangerines on the trail from a vendour. The fruit and vegetables were plentiful in the first couple of days with the warmer temperatures. As we climbed higher, it was difficult to grow these crops.
Some interested kids on the trail. They followed us out of town - we almost had some new team members.
The team negotiating some stairs - they are much nicer to go down than up!
A stop to enjoy the waterfall.
Negotiating some steep stairs up. It was after today's day of carrying the TrailRider that we decided to do some modifications to make it easier to carry.
The ladies (Penny, Doreen and Judy) powering up the stairs.
Doreen doing her duty of getting Pippa to drink a litre of water a day. This is no small feat considering the amount Pippa usually drinks.
One of the many signs we encountered to make a donation. Most of the infrastructure in Nepal is maintained by the community with no government support, so this is how they generate money. This one is for trail repair.
Bishnu, Milia and Lhakpa Nuru enjoying a rest on the trail. Milia and Lhakpa Nuru were also assistant guides for our group.
Penny soaking up the sun!
Judy gazing upwards - maybe at a bird.
One of our many interesting bathroom stops for Pippa. Thank goodness we had lots of women on trail to to stop interested onlookers from seeing the action.
A group of interested onlookers. We were a wide group on the trails and many had to wait as we safely passed.
Travelling between farmers fields.
One of many suspension bridges we crossed. A guide would race across before the group to make sure we were clear to cross since there was no room to meet others on the trail. They would also hold off groups when we were on the bridge - this included teams of yaks that we did not want to meet on these narrow bridges.
Penny and Doreen sporting our Team 'Rise Above Barriers' Everest Base Camp 2007 t-shirts!
The ladies enjoying a good laugh with our guides Lhakpa and Doma.
Negotiating another set of steep stairs - it took almost the whole team at times to safely move over the challenging terrain we encountered throughout the trek.
Still moving up the steps!
Karun working on the TrailRider in Monjo. We added a yoke to the back handle and a harnessing system to the front so that those doing the pushing and pulling of the TrailRider would be moving the weight of the TrailRider with their whole body not just their arms.
A sherpa home with a prayer flag in the distance.
Pippa riding in a basket to traverse the one section of the trail that the TrailRider could not manuever. Both Junar and Milia took turns carrying Pippa. Since they are both very strong, they quickly carried Pippa over the distance - 60kg is a dream when you are use to carrying 100kg.
Junar supporting Pippa as they patiently waited for the TrailRider to arrive. That's how fast Junar and Milia were - the TrailRider without a passenger couldn't keep up.
Lhakpa Nuru is trying out our new harness system. We ended up changing this system, but it worked great while it lasted. It just didn't allow us to change positions easy enough as the harness took time to get into and out of. With short shifts on the difficult terrain we needed a simple, yet effective way to change those doing the work with those who were rested up.
Our trek from Monjo to Namache Bazaar was up, up, up for about 5 hours. Here we are going up!
Karun getting his oxygen saturation levels read by Judy with Doreen looking on. Each team member had their saturation levels read each morning and evening to make sure we were all doing well at altitude.
Penny and Shawn hanging out.
Judy and Doreen sharing our adventure with a curious onlooker. We talked to many on the trail that were interested and inspired by our journey.
The majority of farming in Nepal occurs on terraces. There are terraces higher than you could imagine so crops can be grown all over the mountain side.
The team entering Namache Bazaar after a long day of climbing uphill. We were pretty relieved to see the entrance gate.
A team of yaks grazing as they rest up for their next day of work.
Penny, Doreen, Judy and Doma make the final push up to our lodge in Namache Bazaar. We celebrated the end of the day too early at the gates of the village - we didn't know we had a long climb uphill to our accomodation.
Pippa receiving a massage and acupuncture from Robyn, the physiotherapist extraordinary.
Our first yak driver - does he look like anyone you know??!!??
Lhakpa getting his oxygen saturation levels read as he plans our day off adventure with Jazz - a few of us ran at altitude which was quite the experience.
Bishnu - our very strong porter!!
The team shopping in Namache's Tibetan market on our day off. They were selling clothes and blankets.
Some of the vendours hanging out. They come from Tibet with their goods and stay until things are sold. They each had their own tent which is their home away from home in Namache.
Pippa and the team amongst the Tibetan vendours. They were bartering for a good or two - trying to save 50 cents!
A Tibetan vendour. They are very colourful and distinctively different than the Nepali people.
Pippa and her new hat that she purchased in Namache - very nice!
Pippa shopping for a evening jacket using the TrailRider to get around. Namache Bazaar was not a town for her wheelchair with a lot of stairs between the shops and our lodge.
Nik - THE CHAMP!! Or was it MAN OF THE MOUNTAINS!!
The many stairs between the shopping and our lodge in Namache. You only made the trip if you really wanted to shop!
Namache Bazaar from above. That is the Tibetan market at the centre of the photo. Our lodge was to the left at the top of the hill.
Lhakpa and Kristina doing their daily activity of picking breakfast options that the group can order. We ordered breakfast every night so it would be ready when we woke up in the morning. All our meals on the trek took at least an hour to prepare since they were made from scratch and cooked over a single flame. Ordering the night before ensured we could get on the trail promptly in the morning.
Pippa is loaded and ready to go. We left Namache Bazaar in a thick cloud hence Pip's glow worm outfit to keep her sleeping bag dry. We thought we might be in cloud for the rest of the trip since it was so thick, but it eventually cleared a few days later.
The team treks out of Namache Bazaar in the thick cloud.
There should be a view behind Pippa and the boys. But all we could see this day was cloud, cloud and more cloud.
The team about to disappear around the corner.
Ollie and Nik coming back from the great abyss.
The all women's team trekking with Pippa. The trail from Namache to Kenjuma was forgiving and allowed Penny, Doreen and Jude to move the TrailRider.
The all women's team was an emotional moment since we all know Pip would rather be pitching in than travelling in the TrailRider through the Nepal Himalayas.
Jude and Doreen trying to grab a glimpse of the landscape through the cloud.
The team waiting patiently uphill for the yak team to move by. Luckily this spot had lots of room - we weren't always so lucky.
Yak cheese was very good and it could last for weeks in a bag - not like backcountry trips in Canada where the cheese is made for refrigerators.
Karun - his usual smiling self in our team t-shirt!
It is always comforting to see signs like this, but altitude sickness does kill as we found out at our highest lodge. A gentlemen died the first night we were there of altitude sickness. Another man perished the week prior to our arrival.
An Auntie of Doma's. We were lucky to travel through the area where Doma (our guide) was born and raised. We met many of her aunties, her brothers and sisters, her nieces and nephews and her mom - we even stayed with a few. It enriched our experience to spend intimate time with the Sherpa people.
Lhakpa Nuru, Milia and Dill enjoying a rest.
Ollie in his constant quest for sun to charge the batteries for his video camera. Hopefully all his hard work with Chris to capture our journey will result in a piece that we can share with those back home.
The brothers enjoying a moment together!
Someone must be saying something funny!
Doma's auntie and uncle that operated the lodge we stayed at in Kenjuma. As you can tell from the previous shots, we enjoyed spending time in the courtyard at their lodge.
The boys planning their next big adventure. Almost everyday after we arrived at our destination, they would take off to explore the mountains and see how high they could go.
Kristina prior to getting sick, but already starting the daily naps/sleeps to recover after a hard day of trekking sick.
Karun joining in on the napping fun!
Shawn, Doreen and Penny all smiles as they waited for lunch in the beautiful sun room at the lodge in Kenjuma - too bad there was no sun that day!
Lhakpa, Jon and Kristina showing some interested onlookers how the TrailRider worked. They have a friend in Denmark that might be interested in it.
They were checking out the TrailRider very closely.
Here Kristina is explaining how we were carrying the TrailRider over the difficult, steep terrain.
Another interested couple in the TrailRider from France.
Karun getting acupuncture from Robyn in his armpit to improve his circulation.
Pippa hanging out with Doma's auntie's pet yak in Kenjuma. He just hangs out at the front of the door if he is not off getting roughed up by his girlfriend.
We had another hard day of up, up, up on our way from Kenjuma to Tengbouche. Though we were treated to the sun once and a while which was a pleasant surprise after the thick cloud.
We were having a good time even though we were working very hard.
Shawn and Nik sharing a push at the back of the TrailRider.
Welcome to Tengboche!
The group got their first glimpse of the mountains as the clouds finally parted.
One of the yaks that transported our gear to Everest Base Camp and back.
Pippa was emotional with our first glimpse of the mountains.
Mother and son enjoying a moment together overlooking the snowy mountain peaks!
The Tenbouche Monastary.
Our guides and porters resting after a hard day of work.
As they rested, we ate lunch.
Karun mastering the rubik's cube.
Working hard to slow the TrailRider down!!
Heading off to stay with Doma's sister and brother-in-law in Pengbouche. Her brother-in-law walked down to meet us on the trail with sweet, hot lemon tea - what a treat!
Doreen and Pippa enjoying the lemon tea!
The group crossing one of many small bridges across a glacial stream.
The team meeting Doma's sister - what a gracious host!
Doma's sister's lodge - our favourite place to stay with a great courtyard, beautiful rooms with amazing views and a dining hall overlooking the valley and mountainous peaks. We could not ask for more!
Doma's niece hanging out with Pippa. Her brother goes to school in Kathmandu.
One of our first days of travel above the tree line.
We met so many adorable children along the way.
The team generating a plan of how to move with Pippa over a difficult section of trail. Communication was essential to ensure we safely moved through the challenging landscape.
A team of yaks moving through the barren landscape.
An easy section of trail - what a treat!
One of our great rest stops at the foot of the mountains with the sun shining. We could not ask for anything more with!
Penny enjoying a rest!
Karun holding the back of the TrailRider while the rest of the team rested. At stops, we would switch off the person holding it so everyone could have a rest. It was important that one person was with the TrailRider at all times when Pip was seated just in case since the kickstand was not stable.
Jasper having a drink. We all drank a lot of water and tea to avoid altitude sickness by being well hydrated.
Ollie having a snack. The tea houses above the treeline were not as plentiful so we had to carry snacks just in case hunger struck with no food in sight.
Jude caught taking pictures - the only manual camera on the trip.
Nik caught looking far too serious!
Kristina forcing in oral rehydration. After a long night of throwing up (the joys of food poisoning) it was necessary to spend a couple of days getting rehydrated again. The drink was thick and as you can tell not tasty at all.
One of the many porters we met along the way. The wooden 'T' was used to balance a loaded basket on so the porter could have a rest when needed. It also doubles as a walking stick.
Husband and wife enjoying a moment together!
The boys dreaming up their next MISSION IMPOSSIBLE!!
Jude checking in with Pippa.
Lhakpa Nuru aways smiling and still carrying the toliet that Lhakpa Dorjie made especially for Pippa so she could use the squat toliets. Others made good use of it too!!
Working Hard! Walking with the TrailRider required concentration and determination.
One of the many areas used for grazing by the Sherpa people. They live here when the grazing is good and move back to their homes at lower elevations when the grazing season higher up is finished.
Kristina on one of her many power naps so she could make it to the next destination. It is not easy to hike the days following food poisoning.
You know it is cold when?!?!