Off-the-grid: Nepal with Rob
One of our fearless leaders, Rob Breuer recently travelled to Nepal for a climbing trip. We were lucky enough to grab him for a debrief Q&A between meetings.
Where did you go exactly?
Khumbu Valley located in the heart of the Nepalese Himalaya, a few hundred kilometers north of Kathmandu. I’d been once before in 2015 and wanted to climb Lobuche East Mountain.
Oh wow, how has the place changed since 2015?
More commercialisation, more mobile phones, more tourists. Not my kind of change, sadly.
What inspired your trip?
I wanted to climb a 6010 meter high mountain.
Did you do everything you set out to do?
Yes. Hardest things were early morning climbs in the cold and the high altitude. Everything was so beautiful and we could see the stars so clearly.
Was the food tasty? Did you try any new foods or drinks?
The Hilltop Hotel food was phenomenal. The owner is the chef and he spends half the year in Italy, he’s a proper Italian chef. I had the Sherpa Stew, a traditional Nepalese Stew.
Where did you sleep?
During the trek we slept in guest houses and lodges. On the mountain we slept in tents.
Should we even ask about bathing?
Three weeks without a shower! Had a shower when I got back to Kathmandu.
Any essential items you recommend taking?
If you’re climbing – Head torch, Crampons and Ice picks!
What was the highlight/lowlights?
Being on the summit of Lobuche East Mountain and Chhukung Ri was definitely the highlight. Lowlight was getting the “Khumbu cough”.
What was the biggest challenge?
The physical side of the climb. like getting up in the cold in the middle of the night. Most people give up at this point.
How did you overcome it?
Did you pick up any sustainability insights while over there?
Decreasing snow levels and water in the glaciers. It seems tourism is playing havoc on the natural world.
Did you bring back any souvenirs?
Singing and healing bowls made by hand, as well as an incredible painting.
Could you recommend it as a school trip?
It will teach privileged first world people what hardship means and how easy they have it in countries like Australia.
Where to next?
Maybe skiing in Japan, bike riding in Europe or rock climbing in the Gunks (Shawangunk Mountains) in New York State.