Lukla and crossing into the Hinku Valley
Once away from the Lukla Airport and recovering from the nervousness of the controlled crash landing (as are all successful landings on this mountainside), our team of climbers, trekkers, and support crew assembled in the backyard of Dawa’s mother’s home. (Dawa is the owner/manager of Adventure Thamserku, our support company). The simple stone house shows some evidence of the recent earthquake that shook Sikkim and Eastern Nepal.
As we sip tea, Saila our Sirdar (expedition manager) asks us to separate out all the climbing gear that we won’t need for a while. He sends it ahead with porters who short-cut our route and move gear upcountry. This approach foreshadows the fact the porters will be actively managed throughout the expedition moving things up and down ahead or behind the team. We realized near the end that the full team of porters was never all together in the same place at the same time. Saila did a masterful job of moving them up and down our route efficiently and never losing track of anything.
Once away from Lukla, we moved up onto a ridge allowing us to climb to a pass of almost 4500 meters. Views flowed from either side of the ridge, looking down into the agricultural terraces below and up to the high Himalaya in the distance. The pass crossed a 6000 meter mountain range and allowed us access into the remote Hinku Valley and the approach to Mera Peak.