GET ON MY YAK AND RIDE!!!!

4:29 p.m. on March 23, 2012 (EDT)
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I depart Vegas tomorrow AM for the first leg of  my journey. I will be checking in with Spot Connect and some of you are on my email list to get the check ins directly. (if you get a funny email from me that is what it is and you can spot my location on google Map that way.) Others who may be interested can either go to facebook and search for a page WhelanTrek and "like" it so you get notified, or find @WhelanTrek on twitter and you will also get the Connect notifications there. www.whelantrek will feature any blogging I am able to do along the way replete with pictures. I really want to thank you all for the help you have provided these past 8 months as without you my gear would be ill-selected at best. My toes are mended, though some are naked, and I am set. First check in will take place tomorrow at McCarren Airport. Then in SF Bay area a couple days before I launch! THANKS and See ya when I get back April 15th! OH bheiser: I am sorry I cannot get connected on the weekend. My sister planned the whole time and took Monday off. I would ahve enjoyed a cup a Joe!

5:06 p.m. on March 23, 2012 (EDT)
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Karen have a great trip look forward to your check ins and posts...Have a great hike..

5:22 p.m. on March 23, 2012 (EDT)
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From pedicure to medicure...

So after this is off your tick list, don't go and fade away!  You still have the Kharakoram, Andies, and various Alaskan Ranges, to name a few.

Ed

5:26 p.m. on March 23, 2012 (EDT)
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HA....that makes me lament and regret my couch potato years! I am schedueled fir Shasta in August with my bro. After that sometime, Baker in Northern Washington. I have Kili on the scope and also a nice trip to Machu Pichu. Ya cannot get ridda this lasse too easily!

8:31 p.m. on March 23, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm sure you will have a fantastic time, and memories to last!

I will look forward to keeping up with your progress.

p.s. We will of course expect some photos to prove you really went (Haha)

I wish you all the best!

Mike G.

10:01 p.m. on March 23, 2012 (EDT)
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HA HA! I have no chance of getting photo shop past you guys either! Reports will be a plenty and I will be reviewing the Spot after the trip and with good feedback from the peeps here to help!

1:03 p.m. on March 24, 2012 (EDT)
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The best of luck and take lots of pictures. We'll expect a slide show of yaks, bridges, gorges, mountains, and of course, the wonderful Nepalese people.

Erich

5:26 p.m. on March 24, 2012 (EDT)
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Karen - have a safe, fun, life-altering, wonderful, challenging incredible journey.  I'd love to see photos of your Trailspace hat in some cool places!

10:22 p.m. on March 24, 2012 (EDT)
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I have it with me Seth! You will see it with Everest behind for sure. Some other things as well! I am in San Fran. I have a couple days here and then off I go!

2:29 a.m. on March 25, 2012 (EDT)
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No worries, Giftofgab, have an excellent adventure! :)

9:51 p.m. on March 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Looks like bheiser1 and I are going to get together for a mini TrailSpace convention in Brisbane CA a few hours before I depart Terra Firma!

10:26 p.m. on March 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Here is Gifto's checkin in SF:

Karen was Here!
Latitude:37.6482
Longitude:-122.40651
GPS location Date/Time:03/24/2012 13:23:37 PDT

Message:Rainy San Fran!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/7Oukk/37.6482N/122.40651WKaren was Here!
Latitude:37.6482
Longitude:-122.40651
GPS location Date/Time:03/24/2012 13:23:37 PDT


When you click on the link, it will show a map with her location indicated. You can change to a satphoto (no, that is not her sister's car in the satphoto - those are stored and only updated on a several month's basis) or a terrain map. You can zoom in using the slider bar on the left side of the map, grab at any point on the map and drag, or play with the compass rose above the magnification slider to shift the map.

And yes, it was pouring Friday and yesterday, though there are breaks in the clouds today on the SFBay side of the hill (still pouring where Barb and I were camped on the Pacific side of the hills, though).

8:34 a.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Have a Blast Gift, and enjoy the adventure!  Watch out for the yaks and be safe.  We all will be looking forward to your return and tales of your adventure.

Wolfman

11:23 a.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks Wolfie!

12:48 p.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Looks like bheiser1 and I are going to get together for a mini TrailSpace convention in Brisbane CA a few hours before I depart Terra Firma!

 

Yup, a mini convention :-D

4:09 p.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Just increased the convention to include OGBO! I am so excited!

7:26 p.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I got to meet bheiser1 and OGBO along with his lovely wife Barb! We had a great time and my trailspace hat looked Great at Mad House Coffee in Brisbane CA!


IMG_4251.jpg

bheiser1, OGBO and Giftogab at Madhouse Coffee


IMG_4249.jpg
bheiser1, OGBO and Barb

8:19 p.m. on March 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Yeah! It was great to meet all of you!  Thanks for taking the time to meet :)

11:37 a.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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How great to meet up with them! 

10:12 p.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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That was a pleasant way to spend part of an afternoon! Barb and I had never been to Brisbane, and I have always wondered where Visitacion Valley was. Interesting little town nestled in the hills just north of SFO (San Francisco airport). We have driven right by there on US101 on our way to and from The City (SF) and one of my favorite camera stores (Calumet's SF branch) many times. We had lots of great laughs at the expense of a couple of internet personalities (who shall remain unnamed {;=>D ).

11:39 p.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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I think Brisbane is a cool place. You'd never expect it, being right up the road from the 'Recology SF' facility, Cow Palace, and so on. But it looks really neat with the houses tucked in along those twisty streets on the hillside. A number of years ago I explored a bit there, considering maybe living there. But in the end I figured it wasn't the right move for me at the time.

2:56 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Karen is at the Yak n Yeti in Kathmandu. Click on the link, then choose what kind of map you want, zoom in with the slider on the left.

Karen was Here!
Latitude:27.71155
Longitude:85.32032
GPS location Date/Time:03/28/2012 11:13:15 PDT

Message:At Yak n Yeti, Kathmandu.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/7R7XB/27.71155N/85.32032E

10:04 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Hi Everyone! YUP! I am here at the Yak n Yeti and drinking lots of yummy watermelon juice! Here is my most recent blog entry http://whelantrek.com/2012/03/28/dispatch-hong-kong/

10:10 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Awesome gifto. I hope you have the trip of a lifetime. Don't get summit fever and go tearing off through the ice falls. ;)

12:39 p.m. on March 30, 2012 (EDT)
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Gofto has completed her first day of hiking from Lukla (which means she survived the landing at the infamous Lukla airport - listed as the world's most dangerous airport on some sensationalist TV show).

Fri, March 30, 2012 1:35:21 AM Check-in/OK message from Karen was Here! SPOTFrom:"noreply@findmespot.com" <noreply@findmespot.com>To:bill@trailspace.com
Karen was Here!
Latitude:27.74374
Longitude:86.71243
GPS location Date/Time:03/30/2012 01:35:26 PDT

Message:Plank ding! First day over!

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/7S1xo/27.74374N/86.71243E

If you click on the link, you can choose which of map/satphoto/terrain map to view (upper right on the image) and zoom in. The hiking route is traced on the satphoto and the terrain map. If you zoom in on Lukla (south end of the trekking route, a bit south of her location), you can see the runway of the airport.

2:31 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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I keep reading her post on the WhelanTrek  she is one heck of a adventurer!  Keep it up Karen, we are all pulling for you and we know you can do it!! 

Wolfman

Latest Post


2:48 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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Yeah, definitely entertaining reading too :).

2:18 p.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Gifto is in Tengboche, getting closer to Everest Basecamp:

Karen was Here!
Latitude:27.8365
Longitude:86.76506
GPS location Date/Time:04/02/2012 06:10:54 PDT

Message:At tenboche. Hard day.

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/7TtH6/27.8365N/86.76506E

If you click on the link, you can choose which of map/satphoto/terrain map to view (upper right on the image) and zoom in. The Khumbu and Mt. Everest are northeast of Karen's location. Zooming in on the satphoto or terrain map shows the trekking trail from Lukla to Everest.

She is reporting hard days of hiking. From some of the comments in her blog, I suspect she is having a bit of problem acclimatizing to the very extreme altitudes (Tengboche is at 3870 meters/12,700 feet), and they started hiking just a day after landing at Lukla at 2800 meters/9100 feet.

The SPOT website displays somewhat differently on my iPad than on my desktop - not sure why, but the zoom and pan features work differently.

10:17 p.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Bill, are you panning/zooming by swiping and pinching? I found myself doing that by default and that site didn't cooperate. In case it was an issue with Safari, I also tried Dolphin, but the symptoms were the same. However it works ok if I use the little controls on the map (in both Safari and Dolphin).

I haven't been a fan of the SPOT site in general. The UI feels "primitive" to me.

4:05 a.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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This is cool to follow! Thanx everyone for the updates.

10:21 a.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Gifto is taking a rest day in Dingboche, ever closer to Everest.

Karen was Here!
Latitude:27.89339
Longitude:86.83134
GPS location Date/Time:04/04/2012 04:41:07 PDT

Message:Storm over. 14k. No alt probs. weathered

Click the link below to see where I am located.
http://fms.ws/7V11i/27.89339N/86.83134E

If you click on the link, you can choose which of map/satphoto/terrain map to view (upper right on the image) and zoom in. The Khumbu and Mt. Everest are northeast of Karen's location. Zooming in on the satphoto or terrain map shows the trekking trail from Lukla to Everest.

She is reporting hard days of hiking still, but getting stronger. On the "Rest Day", you take a short hike to continue the acclimatization, but camp/stay at the same location. It is part of the "climb high, sleep low" regimen that has been found to help acclimatize. She has acquired the name "Big Sister" (in Nepali) that is a mark of respect from the Sherpas for her determination. Although she denies it, some comments she makes in her blog indicate some altitude effects (even when well acclimatized, the oxygen content of each breath is lower, simply due to the lower density of the air - percentage of the air is the same, just less air). This means you have to go slower. As the guides on Kilimanjaro say, "Polepole", which translates from Swahili as "slowly, slowly". She comments about being last in the group and hiking alone except for her accompanying Sherpa. But the telling comment is about some of the rest of the group suffering mightily with AMS (she doesn't call it that, but after you have been to altitude as many times as I have, you recognize the symptoms in others - I am one of the genetically lucky ones who acclimatize well and quickly and not suffering from AMS). Some people genetically cannot acclimatize to above 9 or 10kft (I have several friends who have that difficulty, including my Primary Care Physician, who is an avid backcountry skier).

Anyway, by my judgment from her blogs, she is doing very well. Let the others race ahead. She is getting the views and photos, and I believe getting a much richer experience as a "tortoise" than the "hares".

BillH, I have tried many tricks to get the SPOT site to work better on my iPad. I can zoom three ways - the 2-finger spread, another finger gesture that I haven't quite mastered, and sometimes with the slider at the left (problem there is that the slider is so tiny on the iPad screen and my fingers so fat that I may or may not be touching the slider - same problem with switching screens on the Trailspace site). 

10:31 a.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks for the status evaluation, Bill! 

2:01 p.m. on April 6, 2012 (EDT)
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I'm rootin for ya Karen !!!!

Bill, thanks for keepin us updated and letting us know Karen is safe.

 

earl

11:30 a.m. on April 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Woo-hoo she made it to base camp. A bit worn out but she is there. Awesome job gifto. I smiled when I read that you made it. 

I toast my "ducky cup o' joe" to you my friend.

Ducky-cup-003.jpg

Well done... Very well done indeed. 

12:25 p.m. on April 8, 2012 (EDT)
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Very Cool - 'way to go Gifto!!! :D

12:33 p.m. on April 8, 2012 (EDT)
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AWSOME!!  Im sooo happy for ya Gifto!

Have a safe enjoyable trip back.

2:11 p.m. on April 8, 2012 (EDT)
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WEll done giftof hope the rest of the trip is as great for you as it has been....

 

6:05 a.m. on April 9, 2012 (EDT)
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No worries re loss of eating due to dieting. Not doing that. Just no food desires at all. I do eat as much soup as I can get each night as OGBO has suggested. I try to drink but seems not enough of that either. I add electrolytes to every bottle to try and help. Trying to post a pic here but taking too long. For all you tent nuts...here is mine at Base Camp.


IMG_4684.jpg

7:25 a.m. on April 9, 2012 (EDT)
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I knew you were on the side of the Mountain, but man on man that is steep!  How do they keep those tents from rolling down that slope!  The must be frozen in place!  I hope you are the one sleeping up hill!  :D

OK Just joking, I know the picture is just sideways, Well At least I hope so!

Big Sis, you the Greatest!!  keep safe and have "Fun" on the way back down! 

Wolfman

10:23 a.m. on April 9, 2012 (EDT)
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You won't ever have the opportunity to winter camp like that in Vegas!!

9:25 p.m. on April 9, 2012 (EDT)
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I though I would update everyone here.

Big Sis, (Giftogab) is off the mountain and back in Katmandu recuperating.  The Tour company decided that it would be safer to have her take a helicopter down then walk out.  She mostly likely would not have been able to keep up with the other and could have missed her flight out of Nepal. 

So on top of reaching Base Camp, she got a once in a life time ride through the mountains too!  I wounder how much that would have cost as a "planed" part of the trip!  Lucky girl!!  :D 

Wolfman

11:22 p.m. on April 9, 2012 (EDT)
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Yep - I chatted with Gifto this morning & told her I'd say "Hi" to everyone on TS on her behalf.  Hi! :)

6:13 p.m. on April 10, 2012 (EDT)
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Wolf: the heli was $8,500.00.

6:21 p.m. on April 10, 2012 (EDT)
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giftogab said:

Wolf: the heli was $8,500.00.

That's pretty fair if ya got to take it home and keep it considering private jet companies are doing time shares at around $160,000.00 for 25hrs of use. :p 

On a serious note. I would think that although some may feel that the $8,500.00 price was high what kind of price would one put on their own life/physical well being. 

10:11 p.m. on April 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I have travel insurance. $450.00. The question is, if you skip the travel insurance, are you making as big a bad judgement cal as if you skip putting your other safety gear in the pack?

10:33 p.m. on April 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I have travel insurance. $450.00. The question is, if you skip the travel insurance, are you making as big a bad judgement cal as if you skip putting your other safety gear in the pack?

 

$450 isn't much considering what it could cost you out of pocket if ya don't have it. I would personally say that not getting it could be a bad decision.

Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

Jmo...

10:43 p.m. on April 10, 2012 (EDT)
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I agree. Many skip it....but what would they do if they found themselves in the position I did?

3:00 a.m. on April 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Small price to pay for safety, life.

Glad to hear your okay Gifto!

5:12 a.m. on April 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks AZ, and everyone else. What a great experience..how much there is to learn about yourself in solitude and when you are in the midst of one of the worlds biggest cities all alone. I truly have been blessed by this trip and will be spending a great deal of time evaluating the good and the bad of it.  Even the bad of it has lessons that are invaluable. i will do a trip report after returning to the states. I will also be doing some gear reviews. But I want to wait until home. I am leaving a lot of gear here for the Sherpa too.

6:55 a.m. on April 11, 2012 (EDT)
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Big Sis, From now on that is all I will call you. :) 

On any trip like this or any place remote I think you (anyone) should have travel insurance and some kind of medical insurance if your personal insurance would not cover you in that kind of situation.  To do such a trip with out something like that would just be to much of a risk, in my opinion.  Now if I was single and 20 again and traveling in Nepal or the Andie's(s), then I probably would not have either.  But that was when I was 20 and was invincible. :)  Not that I traveled much as a 20 year old.

In your case Big Sis, I just assumed that the company that you hired for the tour would have covered that or something like that.  "Check this box if you want to be covered in the case of medical evacuation" and then add some amount to the cost of your trip.  I am glad you had insurance, that would have been quite the "little" extra trip expense when you got home. 

I am very glad you achieved your dream of hiking to base camp, regardless of how you got back down, you did it and your safe and on the way back home, or soon will be.  We all look forward to you reports and coming pictures.  (Hope the Apple guys can help you with the I phone.)

Humbly, Wolfman

11:19 p.m. on April 16, 2012 (EDT)
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I saw this t-shirt display while passing a store here in SF this weekend.  Guess who I thought of? :)


yak-yak-yak.jpg

9:36 p.m. on April 17, 2012 (EDT)
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bheiser1 said:

I saw this t-shirt display while passing a store here in SF this weekend.  Guess who I thought of? :)


yak-yak-yak.jpg

 HA HA! They had that in Kathmandu too!

9:40 p.m. on April 17, 2012 (EDT)
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I need to find those online.

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