Summary: This is a report of Neal Lever's spectacular trip and walk to Base Camp of Mount Everest, a trip he made in February 2012. During the journey of a lifetime Neal met many new friends, walked in the footsteps of explorers and experienced sights many people can only dream of. Follow Neal's personal report on these pages which includes a good selection of superb photographs. They are an inspiration to all of us who love walking and value the amazing natural world we have.
5.00 am. It is an early rise for those who want to ascend Kala Pata (5550m). Only five people attempt it and only one summit and there is no way I could reach the summit, I had no energy. The rest have a late breakfast at 9.00am but not much food is eaten! We need to descend. We take a different route at the end of the Khumbu Glacier at Dughla through a stunning old glacial valley to Periche, with only a short stop for lunch it takes seven and a half hours to get there. On the right of us all the way down we can see Cholatse 6335m and then Tabuche Peak 6495m and on the left side is Pokalde 5693m and Nangkar Tshang 5616m. We are in a large open plane type of valley but the mountains still tower over us. The ice cold wind is in our face during the descent so we pick up the pace. Joanne is freezing cold so I lend her my wind proof jacket which puts a smile on her face. We in the front group of five make it down at least half an hour quicker than the middle group and an hour in front of the last group. That extra hour in front of the Log burner was worth the sprint down. Dinner at 7.00pm and most are beginning to feel a little better having dropped down over a thousand meters or so. The tea room is warm but the light is dim so we have head torches on. Temperature outside is about minus fifteen or so, practically Caribbean.
One or two of us have our first alcoholic drink in what seems ages. I buy Pasang a whisky which is his favourite tipple but I can't remember the name. It would not compete with Balvenie 15 Year Old Single Barrel but it warmed my insides and that was good enough.