[RD] The Everest Basecamp Trek

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by warpus, May 18, 2020.

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  1. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Portable Charging Solutions

    I had so far been able to go without having to pay to charge any of my electronic devices, which up here was not cheap (and you had a limited amount of cash with you). I did this by setting up my solar panel whenever we weren't hiking and whenever it was possible.. I would usually hang it up in a window, although this was not always effective. At lunch time it was usually sunny, so on some days I had my solar setup in my daypack and would quickly set it up before we ate lunch.

    The solar panel was always set up to charge one of two external battery packs that I had brought, although one was fairly small and did not hold much of a charge. You could charge a phone and a half with it, maybe. The other pack was good for about 10 charges. Keeping these two battery packs charged using solar power during downtime was enough to keep my phone, camera, goPro, and e-book reader going for 14 days.

    This day it was especially sunny and the sun was behind us, with of course no trees around, so it was a great opportunity to try hiking like this again



    I tried this on one of the first days, and the charge just wasn't sticking.. there wasn't enough consistent sun

    This day it actually worked! There was enough uninterrupted sun to actually charge my batteries a bit. I don't know if it made much of a difference in the end, but it sure felt great
     
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  2. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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  3. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Have you tried a belt pouch for a water bottle? I've been doing that for some shorter hikes, and it for me works better than only having the water in my pack.
     
  4. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    How much of what is shown in that picture is ice and snow and how much is just white/grey rock/dirt on top of ice/snow?
     
  5. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    The backpack I had with me has these 2 side pockets for water bottles. My water bottles would end up hanging at my sides, although I admit at times it was annoying to try to fish one out, since they're a bit in the back and up a bit higher than your belt. Pemba would help me if he saw me struggling, but most of the time it wasn't really a problem.

    Most of the glacier is covered in a layer of rocks and dirt. You can sort of see a cross-section of that right behind the lake. I believe that's the only ice you can see in the photo.

    Here's an interesting article about the glacier, it might provide more context.
     
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  6. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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  7. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    I am trying to work out what I am looking at in that picture. It sort of looks like some of it is ice, but it seems a small section near the top, just to the left of the centre. That is not where I would expect to see ice, but I know nothing.
     
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  8. tjs282

    tjs282 Stone \ Cold / Fish

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    The lake in the centre of the photos in Posts #302 and #306 is entirely surrounded by (grey) ice-cliffs, topped with loose rock (same lake, but from 2 different angles; I'd estimate that the second photo was taken 50–100 m to the right/downstream of the first). That's what @warpus means by a cross-section. The lake itself is on the surface of the glacier.
     
  9. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Yeah, essentially the whole glacier is covered in a blanket of rocks and dirt, but when these lakes form (on the surface of the glacier) and drain every once in a while this causes some of that cover to fall away. In post #302 we are standing on top of the glacier - the greyish sort of rock face behind the lake is all ice and not at all rock. You can sort of see the "onion layers" in that, and you can imagine everything underneath our feet to resemble that sort of cross-section - dirt and rocks on top and ice underneath. In this case the lake and erosion caused the ice to be exposed, but it's so dirty it's hard to really tell. There might also be chunks of ice floating in that lake, but it's hard to tell, as most of those are probably rocks.

    These sorts of debris covered glaciers are different in how they behave compared to "regular" glaciers. They don't melt the same way, since the layer of debris shields the ice from the sun. These lakes drain into drainage sort of tunnels right in the glacier that also act as weak points that can collapse at any time. These exposed ice walls that you see in my photos melt twice as fast as the rest of the glacier as well, since they are exposed to the sun. This is why it can be dangerous to get too close to these lakes, as these walls can cave, and these lakes can unexpectedly drain down into the glacier as well. That one I photographed was the closest such lake we got to.. and we didn't really get anywhere close either.

    This is a pretty interesting glacier and that article about it I linked earlier is worth checking out.
     
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  10. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Views from the Trail

    Crossing the glacier was relatively uneventful. There weren't really a ton of opportunities for photo ops either, as we were sticking to the more stable parts of the glacier.

    Most of the time it didn't even look like we were walking on top of a glacier, as noted earlier.



    In the distance you can see the elevated glacial moraine. Gokyo is not too far beyond that
     
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  11. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    That is a cool picture though with the moraine wall.
     
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  12. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Thanks! The immense beauty and interesting almost alien-like landscapes, and not to mention the beautiful weather conditions really allowed my camera to do most of the work here.. But I will take some of the credit for the framing and composition :)

    This was a new camera, I bought it just before this trip, so I wasn't incredibly familiar with it yet.. It's my first ever mirrorless, so it's portable enough to be sort of handled like a fancy point and shoot, but has some of those DSLR features that can lead to really nice pictures if you know what you're doing (and saving in RAW format, meaning you can later edit the photos in a virtual darkroom).

    There was almost never any time to mess with the settings though, which is what you'd usually do with a camera like that - adjust the settings to fit the conditions and the type of photo you're trying to take. Coupled with the fact that I was still learning the camera, I basically made adjustments along the way quickly and would snap photos as we went. The best time to really stop and take a proper picture is during a break.. but some of the best photo ops happened while we were in motion.. So having my camera around my neck helped, but I wasn't really sure how well the photos would turn out. I'm super happy with the outcome, on days like these my camera did a great job interpreting the scene. All I had to do is frame the shot properly and keep the sun in mind
     
  13. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Views from the Trail



    I would bet this marker was placed here by Sherpas in order to mark the trail here on the glacier.
     
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  14. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    I wonder how drinkable that water would be?
     
  15. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    In Patagonia we were drinking straight up glacial water flowing down the mountains without using water purification tablets. That course of action was recommended to us by a park ranger, even though the official literature said to not do that.

    We were fine, but in this case the water is standing, so I'd be weary of drinking any of it. You are also told to only ever drink water from the teahouses on the trail here. That water is boiled and cools overnight, and we'd add water purification tablets to it as well. The reason for these extra precautions is that if you get any sort of stomach virus you will probably have to be helicoptered out, as there are just no medical facilities there to deal with that and stomach infections can get pretty serious. Some people bring antibiotics specifically for stomach viruses for this hike. This is also the reason why it is not recommended that you eat any meat on the trail, as most meat is flown into Lukla and many of the villages here lack the capability to refrigerate. Yak meat can be okay to eat, but we just avoided all meat altogether, as you never know how that meat was stored either and for how long.
     
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  16. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Cho Oyu

    Cho Oyu is the 6th highest mountain the world (8,188m) and feeds most of this glacier. If you follow the glacier all the way in this direction (north), it will lead right up to Cho Oyu. On the other side is China.

     
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  17. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    On the other side of the Ngozumpa Glacier



    Steve is looking in the direction we came from here, looking back towards the mountain range we crossed the previous day. The Cho La pass is out of view to the left though, I believe.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  18. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    The Gokyo Lakes

    Not too long after crossing the glacier we caught sight of one of the Gokyo lakes.



    The 19 Gokyo lakes (6 main ones) make up the world's highest freshwater lake system. The system relies on seepage water from Ngozumpa glacier, although there is also a stream flowing down from Renjo pass that feeds into the lakes, as well as another stream from the north.

    These lakes are considered sacred by Buddhists and Hindus. Worshippers take holy baths here every August during the Janai Purnima festival.

    When I was doing research for this trip I came across pictures of the area, including ones taken from the summit of Gokyo Ri. I was blown away by the beauty and knew that we had to come here. In my opinion this is the most beautiful part of the whole region.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  19. warpus

    warpus In pork I trust

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    Dudh Pokhari

    Dudh Pokhari is considered to be the main Gokyo lake, although it is not the largest. It is also known as Gokyo Cho.



    You might remember that the river we were hiking beside during the first 2 days on the trail was the Dudh Koshi. The Dudh Koshi begins where the Ngozumpa glacier ends, explaining the connection. To get back to Lukla from here you basically follow the water downhill.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  20. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Super Moderator Supporter

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    Would it be copper in the water that makes it so blue?
     

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