Friday, November 11, 2011
Visit the new site and support us: CHARITY TREK 2012
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The delay in our visit is actually a good thing as it offers any late comer or still pending donation to reach us in time. A difference can still be made! Think about it.
We have also been hard at work in the production of the official DVD video of the trek to Everest Base Camp and Khala Pattar and we plan to be able to post it and share it with all soon after our return from the foundation. It will give you a good idea of all the highs and lows we went through and it will include some footage of the visit and the kids as well.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
By Marco Gorin - Only 19 days separate Steve and me from the start of the trek. As always, the closer one gets to departure date the faster time seems to go by with various preparations. It has been a tumultuous few months during which much has been and is still being accomplished in support of the HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation in Yasothon (Thailand).
My apologies if you have already received the email included below from my son, Steve, regarding the planned Charity Trek in November with his climbing partner Marco, but I would like to add another dimension. (And Steve’s email warrants a second reading anyway).
A third, important member of the team, Nick James (Manchester lad) passed away in July after battling cancer for years. Nick was a solid citizen who contributed to last year’s trek and was doing the same for Charity Trek 2010. An ex-British army “lifer”, rugby player, a battler and tough as they come…Nick was also bighearted and concerned about marginalized families and is already greatly missed.
There is a bit of brighter news however which, paradoxically, allows a good man to finish his journey in the manner befitting. Steve and Marco have obtained permission from Nick’s widow to scatter Nick’s ashes in the mountains. This means that Nick gets to take part. Through the good offices of RR Pandey, boss of Everest Express a Nepali government-approved trekking agency assisting this entire effort, Steve and Marco have obtained permission to scatter Nick’s ashes atop Mount Kala Patthar. Why there? Because the incomparable views of Mount Everest from Kala Patthar at 18,000 feet suggests there is probably no finer, final resting place on the planet. A short ceremony may take place afterwards at Tenboche Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery of the Sherpa community. Tenzing Norgay who, you will recall, scaled Everest in 1953 with Hillary, was from the village of Tenboche. So…from all of us Nick…Namaste!
Finally, if you would like to donate, please don’t feel constrained in any way by anything I have said! And, to help you along, I would like to inject a thought that MIGHT have come from Joan Rivers: “Ain’t nothing wrong in asking for money, so long as you don’t spend it on yourself!”
Kindly pass this along to likeminded friends and colleagues who give a damn.
In the picture above is the late Nick James with members of the Galileo Thailand team during the visit to the foundation in December 2009 after the successful completion of Charity Trek 2009 to Annapurna.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
By Steve Skilbeck - We have some good news to relate regarding the orphanage: Ms. Suthasinee (affectionately known to the children as Mae Tiew) is feeling much better and appears to be getting stronger with time.
Previously, it was reported in a Bangkok Post article entitled “Illness is no Barrier to Helping Others”, that Ms. Suthasinee had been given only months to live after contracting intestinal cancer in 2000. Well, ten years later, Ms. Suthasinee is proving that illness is no barrier because she is still meeting the many challenges confronting the orphanage; the financial kind being the most challenging as always!
At the last count conducted a few days ago, there were seventy-four children and young folk (thirty boys and forty-seven girls) at the orphanage of which half are confirmed HIV-positive. The kids range in age from newborn babes up to eighteen years old.
Right now, the orphanage’s main requirement, as the cooler weather approaches the northeastern parts of Thailand, is for children’s winter clothing, shoes and such. Also a few books to read and study would not go amiss.
Making a donation to the foundation is the easiest way to help these needy children and you can do this by credit card without leaving your house, or from your office, as outlined step-by-step at the head of the Charity Trek 2010 web page. Or you can arrange a wire transfer into the dedicated charity account. (Details available from firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whichever method you chose, be assured that the foundation will put your welcome donation to good use to benefit the children’s welfare and further education.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
The enterprise is committed to delivering outstanding value to its stakeholders through its passion for quality and innovation and is also very committed to keeping up with giving back to society through a variety of projects as part of its corporate social responsibility program.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
By Marco Gorin - It has been nearly two weeks since the premature loss of Nick James; a trusted friend and an energetic supporter of Charity Trek in both the 2009 and 2010 seasons. This loss gives both Steve and I a renewed sense of energy and motivation to achieve our goals in the Khumbu Valley later this year in order to reach Everest Base Camp and from there Kala Patthar at 18,514 feet above sea level, not only to raise much needed funds for the HIV+ orphans at the Suthasinee Noi-in Foundation in Thailand but, now, also to celebrate and commemorate Nick's life.
There could not be a better place to do that than along the valley and the heights dominated by the highest point on Earth – Mount Everest.
Eight of the world’s fourteen highest peaks are in the Nepalese Himalayas and on this challenge we will feel as if on top of the world. We will trek to Everest Base camp and Kala Patthar through the Sagarmatha National Park taking our time to reflect and at the same time to experience the villages, monasteries, lush valleys and Sherpa hospitality along the way.
When we will climb Kala Patthar (5643m/18,514feet) the dramatic panoramic views (360 degree) of the Himalayan giants and surrounding glaciers will make the tough and cold ascent worthwhile and, I am sure, will provide us with a tremendous platform to direct our thoughts to all loved ones including the ones whom we lost. It will be a true challenge, a memorable experience filled with emotions never to be forgotten.
Here is the trek plan after a couple of days in Kathmandu to gather with other members of the trek team and sort outthe last minute preparations before setting out to Lukla:
Day 1 - Kathmandu – Lukla (2806m) – Phakding (2652m) 3 hour’s trek.
After an early breakfast we will transfer to the domestic airport where we will catch our flight to Lukla. Lukla is unique: a Hillary team built the airstrip as part of the Khunde Hospital project in 1965, envisioning it as a makeshift strip to handle emergencies at the hospital – it is now the third busiest airport in Nepal. Here we will meet our trekking crew who will assist with organising our luggage before we begin our trek to Phakding. The trail heads down to Chaurikhaka along the Dudh Kosi River with the ever present roar of its fast glacial waters. Just before reaching Phakding we will cross a large suspension bridge where we will be able to look down to the surging river, which eventually finds its way to the Ganges "The Holiest river of India ".
Day 2 - Phakding (2652m) – Mondzo - Namche Bazaar (3446m) 6 hour’s trek.
We leave Phakding the trail heads north up the Dudh Khosi valley. After crossing a stream there is a small village called Banker village where we will see a beautiful carved Stone Mani wall. On the cliffs above the river it is possible to see musk deer and Himalayan- tahr. The trail is interspersed with rhododendron, magnolia and giant blue fir forests as we follow it to Jorsale, the entrance gate to Sagarmatha (Everest) National Park, where our park permits will be checked. Before we reach Namche Bazaar we will cross a long suspension bridge over the confluence of two rivers – the Dudh Khosi from the east and the Bhote Khosi from the west. We then have a steep climb up to Namche Bazaar, which we will take slowly allowing for the altitude acclimatization which is so critical in the success of any high-altitude trek or climb. After the climb we will be rewarded with a view of Everest peeking over the ridge of Nuptse. We will camp here, at the “Gateway to Everest”, for the next 2 nights to conduct day acclimatization outings following the rule of climbing high and sleeping low. Namche is a historic trading post where Nepalese and Tibetan traders exchanged salt, dried meat, gold and textiles. Besides being a superb place to shop for traditional crafts, Namche remains the central trading post in the Khumbu, attracting Himalayan and lowland merchants.
Day 3 – Namche Bazaar (3446m) acclimatisation day.
We spend today in and around Namche in order to acclimatise ourselves to the altitude. NAMCHE, situated on the lap of the Khumbu Himal range and also known as the ENTRANCE GATE OF MT. EVEREST”. There will be the opportunity to trek to The EVEREST VIEW HOTEL at SYANGBOCHE (3880M), where you can see some of the most spectacular views of the region including Mount Everest, Lhotse , Lhotse Shar, Ama Dablam, Kang Tega, Rowaling Himal and more. After detouring sometimes here, we will walk for KHUMJUNG VILLAGE (3790M), which lies tucked at the very close of MT. KHUMBI YUL LHA (5761M)/ Scared Mountain , where there is a magnificent Sherpa village with a nice Sherpa Buddhist Monastery.
Day 4 - Namche - Phunki - Tyangboche (3875m) about 6 hour's trek.
A trek along a very pleasant trail under the soaring height of Thamserku and steadily descend to the Imja Khola and lunch at Phunki where there are series of water driven prayer wheels. In the afternoon, we climb steadily for about two and half hours to Tyangboche Monastery along the forested ridge. The view from this spot, seen to best advantage in the morning, is rightly deemed to be one of the most magnificent in the world. Kwangde (6187m), Taboche peak (6542m), Everest (8848M), Nuptse (7879m), Lhotse (8501m), Ama Dablam, Thamserku provide an inspiring panorama of Himalayan giants.
Day 5 – Tyangboche – Dingboche (4343m) 5½ - 6½ hours trek.
As we leave Tengboche the trail drops down through a conifer forest past the small settlement of Debouche and a small nunnery. After crossing the Imja Khola on a steel bridge, the trail passes musk deer and yak pasture as it ascends past some magnificently carved Mani stones to Pangboche at 3860m, where we will stop for lunch. During the lunch break there is a chance to visit the gompa at upper Pangboche, which is the oldest in the Khumbu and once contained relics that were said to be the skull and hand of a Yeti, but were stolen in 1991. After lunch we continue along the yak pasture, passing beneath the towering Ama Dablam which to me remains one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Not the highest, but the most beautiful. After crossing the Lobuche Khola on a wooden bridge the path virtually follows the Imja Khola, climbing and dipping, to Dingboche, the highest permanently inhabited village in the Khumbu, where we will stay for the night.
Day 6 – Dingboche - acclimatisation days.
We will have the day free to rest and allow for further acclimatisation in order to prepare ourselves for climbing Kala Patthar. There will be the opportunity to walk up the valley to Chhukung (4413m), a small summer settlement village near the head of the valley, which is about a 3 – 4 hours trek. The views from Chhukung are stunning – looking down the valley we see Numbur Khatang and Karyolung majestically rising above Kwangde while Taboche Peak and Tsholatse are on the right. Ama Dablam and the fluted snow wall above the Chhukung glacier feel within touching distance. The rest of the day is free to either explore further or relax and take in the stunning surroundings.
Day 7 – Dingboche – Dhugla – Lobuche (4930m) 5 - 6 hours trek.
Leaving Dingboche, we will walk up a small ridge and then follow the contour round the base of the Khumbu glacier, up the valley, until we reach Dhugla (4600m). After lunch we have a tough 1-hour climb to the terminal moraine glacier, where we will enjoy the stunning views. Our trail passes through a famous Sherpa memorial (a row of stone monuments), built to commemorate the many Sherpa whose lives have been claimed on expeditions to Mt. Everest . We continue round the glacier to camp at the foot of the Lobuche icefall. Tonight we can enjoy the sunset on Nuptse, which seen from Lobuche, is truly a memorable sight.
Day 8 – Lobuche – Kala Pattar (5545m)– Gorakshep (5288m) 8 hours trek.
We have a very early start following a trail along the western side of the broad Khumbu valley, which ascends through meadows beside the glacial moraine. The climb becomes steeper and the ground rougher as it crosses several side moraines. The actual distance is not great but we will take it very slowly to compensate for the altitude, stopping at Gorakshep, which has acted as a base camp for past Everest expeditions, for hot drinks and cookies. We then climb Kala Pattar, this will be a hard climb and a true challenge but the views from the top will be worth it, as all around us will be a huge glacial ice flow. The mountains of Pumori (7145m), Lingtren (6697m) and Khumbutse (6623m) separate us from Tibet and just over the Lho La pass we see the huge rock of Changtse (7550m) in Tibet itself, but the queen of them all is Sagarmatha (Everest) which towers over everyone. After savouring the 360º views of the Himalayan giants, which are beyond description, we will descend to Gorakshep to stay overnight.
Day 9 – Gorakshep – Everest Base Camp –Lobuche (4930m) 8- 9 hours trek.
We will follow the Khumbu moraine glaciers to Everest Base Camp. Sometimes the trail will be on the stony moraine and sometimes across the glaciers themselves. When we reach Base Camp we will be able to catch a glimpse of the Khumbu ice- fall and the crystal clear glaciers. We will also be able to see the Everest Expedition teams who stay here for a long period to acclimatise before attempting the ascent of Mount Everest, Lhotse and Lhotse Shar. We then descend to Lobuche where we will stay for the night.
Day 10 – Lobuche – Pheriche – Tyangboche (3875m) 6 hours trek.
We will retrace our steps to Dughla, descending most of the way. We then cross a small wooden bridge and continue down the Pheriche Valley . We will have a short stop at the hospital here before we retrace our steps to Tengboche.
Day 11 –Tyangboche – Namche about 5 - 6 hours trek.
We begin with a steep descent to the bridge at Phunki Khola, on the same path that we climbed earlier in the week. After crossing the bridge we climb through rhododendron and blue pine forest until we reach Sanasa village, a picturesque village, dominated Mt. Kangtega and Thamserku. Thereafter, the trail stays on a fairly level until Namche bazaar.
Day 12 – Namche – Mondzo (2800M) – Phakding (2652m) – Lukla about 7 – 8 hours trek.
We continue our descent down the Dudh Koshi River past many Sherpa villages like JORSALE, MONDZO, BENKAR, AND TOKTOK, and should be on the right edge of Dudh Koshi (River).
Beyond Phadking, the trail almost goes on a fairly level with bits Ups & downs past some beautiful monasteries and Sherpa Villages often, where the thundering of DUDH KOSHI (RIVER) could be enjoyed at the last day of your trekking returned to Lukla. As we near Lukla the trail makes a steep ascent for approx. 45mins. Tonight we will stay in Lukla to be ready for our flight back to Kathmandu the next morning and, hopefully, to celebrate the successful completion of the expedition.