Daily Dispatches

Title: Dick Morse - Lhotse Expedition 2012

4th April, 2012 - Flight to Lukla

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Lhotse Expedition

4th April, 2012 - Flight to Lukla
 

Terri and I wake up at 5AM for an early flight to Lukla (2840 m).  Peak Promotion picked us up at 6 AM.  The weather had held up many flights during the previous three or four days.  When we got to the airport it was pretty clear that our flight in was doubtful.  It was still raining from the previous night’s thunder storm and there was a pretty long line of folks waiting for flights.  Having made this flight several times before I know that scheduled flights into and out of Lukla can always be in doubt.  This was clearly no exception.  As it worked out Wonchu worked his magic with the officials and Managed to find room for me on a flight that left nearly on time.  Terri was to follow a little later with our Sherpa (Pasang).  I arrived at Lukla a little after 8 AM.  My flight was not bad – lots of clouds with little visibility until we made our final approach to the runway.  It suddenly broke clear and our landing went well.  Meanwhile our plan started to fall apart a bit.  The next flight with space only had room for one so on went Pasang on his way up to Lukla.  Wonchu made a quick decision to get Terri on a helicopter.  This was her first time on a helicopter.  The weather conditions had closed in even more than for my flight so her flight to Lukla was certainly memorable.  She said that all six of the passengers clapped for the pilot when they landed at Lukla.

When I got to Lukla I walked over to the lodge that Peak Promotion uses to stage gear, trekkers and climbers after arrival at Lukla.  I got some tea and waited for the flight that would have Terri and Pasang on it.  At this point I did not know about the schedule change for getting Terri and Pasang up to Lukla.  Eventually Pasang arrived and sort did his best to explain what had happened.  Finally Terri ran into Pasang when he was heading over to the terminal (a small building next to the top of the runway).  Now that we were all together again it was time to organize our two porters for the trip and head out.

Our destination for the day was a short walk (about three hours) down in elevation to Phakding (2610).  We started out with a little sunshine, but that quickly went away as clouds built up.  Before we got to Chheplung it started to lightly rain.  The intensity picked up for a while to a pretty steady rain that fortunately stopped for us before we reached our lodge (Sunshine Lodge).  Our room was pretty nice and even had its own bathroom.  Both Terri and I ate a large meal after arriving at about 3 PM.  We had very little breakfast (two slices of toast and a few strips of bacon) and no lunch so we were Hungary and ate quite a bit.  After some food and hot drinks we were ready for a nap.   At 7 PM we were up for a light dinner (a cold beer for me) and some quite good apple pie.  Than we were off for a good night’s sleep.  The noise of the Dudh Koshi River provided excellent white noise in the background.