Month: April 2013

Notes from on high – reaching Everest Base Camp

Above about 4000m an altitude headache seems to lurk perpetually at the edges of your brain, the pain almost-present even if it’s not quite making itself known at any particular momement. In the piercing cold of the lodges, this can drag you down. Yet out on the trail, the captivating vistas eclipse any discomfort. As we approached our goal, Everest Base Camp, the landscape changed from an almost Alpine scenery, albeit on a larger scale, to a barren, violent moonscape. (more…)

Natural High

The trekking group, Team Epic, seems to have unburied my penchant for cocktails, despite the fact that my alcoholic consumption on this trip has been limited to a beer in Club Namche. Lab manager Monty Mythen, Smiths Medical Professor of Anaesthesia and Critical Care and Director for the Centre of Anaesthesia at UCL, insists that the cold, cavernous basement beneath the Xtreme Everest lab in Namche Bazaar (3500m) is ‘the world’s highest nightclub’. I suspect it may have a couple of rivals, but it does have a bar, a pool table, a disco ball and a warm vibe to make up for the chilly temperatures: I don’t think I’ve ever been in a ‘club’ where the dress code is down jacket! In the thin air, a single can of San Miguel did make me feel a little giddy. But that’s nothing compared with the euphoria and exhilaration that trekking in this magnificent landscape can bring. (more…)