Sep 15, 2012

A Vision of Home - Makalu Base Camp At Last!

This morning we woke to rain and fog – not ideal news given our previous track record of helicopter flights and rain. We looked out at the heli still ‘parked’ in the rapidly growing swamp and wondered how we would get out if the rain continued… One option was to start the two-day walk up to Base Camp which, in the freezing cold rain, wasn’t an especially appealing option… particularly when a helicopter and a 15 minute ride up the valley was the second option (weather dependent!).

Suddenly a smile broke across Captain Ashishs’ face and he pointed to a break in the heavy clouds. Within seconds, the heli was prepared, loaded and Adrian, Corbin and I jumped in for the first flight out.  As we took off for our ‘base camp or bust’ ride, we were again treated to the most spectacular views of rocky outcrops, massive waterfalls, and lush green vegetation which became more and more sparse as we headed up the valley toward the mountain. Giant glacial lakes with aquamarine waters appeared below banked on either side by steep walls of rocky moraine.  When the bright yellow tents appeared in the distance we couldn’t help but give each other ‘high fives’ and smile from ear to ear – BASE CAMP and wow, the very impressive South Face of Makalu what an absolutely spectacular view..! And even more impressive, sunshine at last!!


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