Hike Nepal 2024 – 21st May & The Crew Splits Up

Two nights in one place and our crew is split in two… but don’t worry, it was just for the day!

The majority of the crew did a day trip to Kyanjin (3830m) as an acclimatisation and cultural experience. Over 7km, the main group gain 350m and were left gasping in the breaks. This is the one climb where Helen felt the altitude, despite being 600m higher a few days later. Dave, however, was unaffected, performing push ups in the break to prove his fitness and enjoy his body (for those of you who don’t know Dave, he’s lost over 50kg). I suspect it was also to burn off some of his nervous energy, as they had to cross a very wobbly suspension bridge, and Dave Does Not Like Heights. Or Suspension Bridges. Or Heights.

Karla had a classic confused moment on that bridge. It seemed to be especially wobbly when she tried to walk across it. But when she stopped and looked behind her, it mysteriously stopped bouncing and swinging. Later, we discovered a gleeful Phil retelling the tale of how he kept her guessing the whole way across!!

Our hikers we bloody surprised when they reached Kyanjin to find a BANK!!! All of us were running low after discovering expresso and cake in Langtang (same place as Lamtang, depending on which sign you’re reading). They needed a passport to get money out, and only Linda had one, so she was in charge of everyone’s change! The tellers couldn’t add or subtract unfortunately, and the result was a mass of confusion during which Linda professed her profession: she’s a lawyer, and this is how it’s going to go, thank you very much. A go that way it did.

The Kyanjin crew

Meanwhile Phil had discovered fresh cakes, and like a good boyfriend, brought two slices to share back for Jen.

Special mention has to go to Mukta and Terry on this day. They were two of our most resilient and persistent hikers. They came in last, or next-to-last most days, but always with a positive and “can do” attitude. Usually when a participant is last in, they feel demoralised and anxious – but not these two. Not only did they continue carrying their own packs, they took each day as their own – they didn’t try to “keep up”, prove anything, or be anyone that they were not. They simply carried on, participated, and showed up. This day was perfect to have a break, and for six of us, that is exactly what we did. Terry and Mukta shouldered their bags, put their left foot’s in front of their right foot’s, repeated that process, until they were in Kyanjin. Their zest, energy, positivity, and persistence went a long way towards a wonderful and accepting culture within our group.

Classic exuberant finish from Mukta and Terry after a grueling climb

Sisters Leanne and Liama on the road to Kyanjin

Jen was part of the second crew who took a day off. She was still recovering from gastro, and hadn’t quite shook it off enough to eat the volumes of food one needs for a physical event like this.

Personally, I had not slept. The anxiety and paranoia I had over Maia’s illness the day before had culminated in a night where I re-lived every minute of my sickest moments during Everest Base Camp hike in 2017. You can read about this adventure here. Maia was completely recovered, but I was wrecked, so spent the day dozing on the guest house’s rooftop.

Di, Deb, and Tracey H also took the day of, struggling with injuries, exhaustion, and altitude. We had a quiet day, but those that could still climbed a little hill at the edge of town to do our acclimatisation. Jen and I did a grounding exercise, led by Maia, who fetched us bits of rock and ferns to hold as we meditated. It was a very healing and peaceful experience. On the way back we stopped at a Tibetan jewelry store. The man there didn’t speak much English, but invited us in to his home to show us his Buddhist shrine and explain to us why money was necessary, and when you have none you get “cut down” (not in those words, he used a hissing/swishing noise and sliced his hand like he was using a machete). He then got upset with us for looking at his bedroom (we were looking at the front door and his bedroom was right next to it), and shooed us out.

That night, the guest house proprietors put pine needles in the fire heater. It smelled divine. I was enjoying this when Karla discovered she’d lost her sunglasses. She was worried she’d left them at the water vendor, about 20min back up the mountain, so Jijentra (or G-Ten as we liked to call him, in our Aussie accents) started jogging back up in the dark to see if he could retrieve them. Horrified at his efforts Karla decided to look one more time, and instead of shaking her glasses case, actually opened it. Behold her sunglasses. She rushed back to the common room to ask Binod to phone G-Ten and turn him around again!


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This trip for me was about putting a full-stop on my cancer journey and “proving” I was healthy again. I had grand plans about bringing all the trainers who supported me through this time with me. Unfortunately it backfired a bit. For those who don’t know the story, our adventurers did Annapurna Base Camp in 2016, and I was completely healthy – chucking off my backpack at the end of each day and then returning to the trails to carry our tail-ender’s packs the last kilometre or two for them. By 2017, what started as a sinus infection turned in to bronchitis, tonsilitis, laryngitis, and a stint in hospital. What we found out later is that I had developed a tumour, which had out-grown it’s blood supply, and was in the process of rotting inside my body. So not only was I attempting Everest Base Camp with internal bleeding and anaemia, I was also being poisoned by my own blood.

It was traumatic, but I didn’t realise how traumatic until I was sick in Nepal with another sinus infection and my 10YO child. I spent the night before this day awake, reliving every step of Everest, and plotting about how to get us out of there. By 6am I was a complete mess, and messaged Binod to come past with his Oximeter. I was 100% sure I had altitude illness and that both Maia and I had to go.

But I didn’t. My blood oxygen was good.

So I brought my mess to breakfast, received lots of hugs, pep talks on PTSD, and permission to have my melt down moment. Now I have a new Nepal story. One where i got a sinus infection and then recovered. Where I brought a 10YO and neither of us got gastro. Where we started and finished with 20 participants. I have also realised that there’s no “happy ever after”. There’s no full-stop. There’s only “little bit betters” and “one foot in front of the other” for the rest of our lives.


Maia came along because she wanted to do Milford Sound with us in 2025, where she would be required to carry her own food, clothes, and bedding for 4 days. I suggested coming to Nepal first, because all she has to carry here is her daypack with rain gear and snacks. She wants you to know that she is 10 years old, in year 4 at school, very fierce, and also cute. She loves challenges, and is very generous. She was born in Manly, has the initials “MJ” and that she used to sail an MJ (which stands for “Manly Junior”). She used to go to Wheeler Heights Public School.

That is all!

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