Thursday, July 31, 2008

Everest Base Camp Treks - Tammy

I am glad to see an email response from Tammy that she would like to join me (and Group) to trek Everest Base Camp in October 2009 (next year).

I remember in 2006, I was invited to her house for the discussion of trekking to Everest Kala Patthar. In that occasion, I was introduced to trekking in Nepal.

Click here to read the story dated 29 June 2006.

Note: to open another tab, press Ctrl, point cursor at "click here" and click; to open another browser, press Shift and click.

Tammy (foreground) and Tsu, one of the team members - filepix on Sept 2006

I did my first trekking in the high mountains of Nepal in May 2007 (Cho La Pass… 5,400 m) and a year later, in May 2008, I went to Annapurna Base Camp (4,100 m) with another 11 good trekkers. The committed and reliable Trek and Tour Agent for both my trips was Cheban. Click here.

I still remembered when Tammy told us in that evening that she has been to Everest Kala Patthar before and she was leading a team to go there the second time. According to her, the journey to the peak was scenic, serene and the mountain views are spectacular. Just like running marathons, we can run again and again.
x Mount Everest (background) is the one nearest to the top of photo frame. According to the mountain guide, the distance to the base of Mount Everest is another few kilomters away.
With AB Tan (the High Mountains Sifu) and Tammy in the coming EBC treks, it will be a strong team indeed.

Click here to view Tammy’s Everest Kala Patthar treks… Posting 1Posting 2

Posted by KC

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Photos of Birds

My friend, Kim, has been sending me stunning photos of beautiful birds. One of her hobbies is to go to the country and watch birds. Equip with powerful binoculars, it is peaceful and fun watching all the different kinds of birds in our tropical land.

For a change, it is indeed interesting to look at birds other than the usual runners in action. Here are a few of the birds that she shared with me.

Click here for more photos of birds.. site1site2

To take photos of birds, one must equip with a minimum of 300 mm lens. I would think 500 mm lens would be better suit for the distant subject. To have that kind of lens, it would burn a big hole in the pockets. Complete with SLR camera, Kim told me that one of the photographers spent about RM 20,000 for the camera and lens!
A blogger (Stephy) posted a comment in this posting... she likes nature photography. Do take a look... click here.

Ok, you need this kind of lens in order to take the photos of birds
Posted by KC

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Everest Base Camp Treks - Cost

Here is the indicative pricing for the 16 days of Everest Base Camp ("EBC") trek in next October 2009: As informed by Cheban, the Trek and Tour agent in Nepal, the fee will be USD 1,047 per person.

Taking exchange rate of 3.2 that will translate into RM 3,350.
Plus return flight of about RM 1,800... That will be around RM 5,150
x x
When the petrol price was RM 1.92 in Malaysia last year, it was double in Nepal. With the fierce protest in Kathmandu for the same fate (I saw in the TV that the protestors actually turned violent); with that kind of fire, it probably cost more than RM 0.80 equivalent increases ... :-)

Please take note that when you invite your friends to trek EBC, other than good fitness, a trekker must have experienced high altitude adaptation of at least 4,000 meters or higher (eg. Mount Kinabalu, ABC, etc). Otherwise, the chance of getting high mountain sickness could be high... :-) The confirmed EBC trekkers must work as a team with only one mission – to scale to EBC and return safely !!

BTW, AB Tan and another trekker are confirmed to trek Mera Peak (6,500 m) this October 2008. Here is wishing them a successful climb.
Click here

Happy Trekking and Training... KC
Everest Kalapathar Trekking Trip on 29 September 2006

By Francis Toh, Tammy, Teresa Goh, Tsu, etc.

Click here for Part one of photo album;

Click here for Part two of photo album.

Written by AB Tan:

Based on my little experience and also reference to some write up on the grading of trekking, I present below the comparative demand on the physical preparation for those who intend to trek to EBC.

EBC is generally regards as a Grade-4 trek, or strenuous grade.

Grade 1 or leisure is for 2 to 3 days trek; sleep below 3500m, trek up to 4000m. Example: Mount Kinabalu.

Grade 2 or moderate is for 4 to 8 days trek; sleep below 4000m, trek up to 4500m. Example: trek to Tangboche just above Namche Bazar, or Annapurna Base Camp.

Grade 3 or moderate plus is for 9 to 12 days trek; sleep below 4500m to 4700m , trek up to 5000m. Example: Mt Killimanjaro (5900m), only 6 days trek but very high attitude.

Grade 4 or strenuous is for 10 to 18 days trek; sleep below 5000m to 5200m, trek up to 5500m. Example: EBC, or Gokyo lake with Gokyo Ri and Cho La pass. (KC has done that… click here)

Grade 5 or strenuous plus more than 15 days trek; sleep below 5500m to 5800m, trek above 6000m, such as Island Peak, Mera Peak.

It is very uncomfortable to sleep above 5000m, to do both KalaPattar and Everest Base Camp, we have to sleep at Gorashep for at least one night, it would be better for two nights. This is because the trek to see blue Khumbu Icefall at end of EBC is a long strenuous 5 to 6 hours trek. It is just not possible for average people to do both KalaPattar and EBC within a day. Sleeping at Gorashep at the first night is difficult: very cold , bone chilling, very thin air, headache and no appetite. Just like the 35km wall of the marathon, painful but memorable!

I talked to many trekkers who do not make it to Killimanjaro summit or EBC, I found that those who have not at least climb some mountains before they attempt have very little chance to succeed.

I fully agreed with your recommendation that to summit EBC, one must try to summit Mt Kinabalu and at least run 20km races. This is to build up the heart and lung capacity. Which comes in handy, when at 5000m, the air has only 50% oxygen.

BTW, please ensure no heart problem or high blood pressure to attempt this trek. Our heart beat and blood pressure keep going up with elevation above 4000m, even at rest.

The other good training is to climb stairs with some load; I find Batu Cave is particularly good. Every 10 ups representing 400m climb in elevation. I suggest 30ups within one morning work-out with no load, or 20 ups with 6 to 10 kgs load. Average speed for 10 ups with no load is around 55 min to 65 mins, same like 10km run.

Ay Bing

Monday, July 28, 2008

Everest Base Camp Trek

While trekking at Annapurna Base Camp (ABC) in May 2008, we have been talking about trekking to Everest Base Camp (EBC). Well, that is normal. While we are running 10km or half marathon races, we could be planning for the day to upgrade to full marathon runs.

After much thought, here is my extended plan:

October 2009 (next year) = Everest Base Camp (EBC)
October 2010 = Annapurna Circuit (about 14 days)

October 2011 = Mera Peak (click here for more details)

I am very excited that AB Tan, the High Mountains Sifu, is interested to come for the EBC treks; so are Shih Ming, Rose and Jean (click here). The three ladies are really fit runners/trekkers.

For those who would like to try it this year, you can actually follow the itinerary below. Do give us an appraisal after your treks ... :-)

Click here for other requirements.
. Mount Everest (next to the white cloud) taken at Kalaphata by AB Tan

Here is the revised itinerary designed by Cheban, the Trek and Tour Agent of Nepal. click here

Please find the revised itinerary for 16 days KL/KTM/trek/KTM/KL.

Day 01 Kuala Lumpur fly to Kathmandu hotel transfer final shopping of trek, prepar the backpack and welcome dinner O/N hotel

Day 02 Kathmandu / Lukla (2800m.) by flight and trek to Phakding (2640 m) O/N lodge
Day 03 Phagding / Namche (3420m.) O/N lodge
Day 04 Namche / Khumjung (3620m.) Take a day tour around. O/N lodge
Day 05 Khumjung / Tengboche (3867 m.) O/N lodge
Day 06 Tengboche / Dingboche (4330 m.) O/N lodge
Day 07 Rest in Dingboche and take a day tour about 4 hour to climb a hill about 5000m. and back O/N lodge.
Day 08 Dingboche / Lobuche (4930 m.) O/N lodge
Day 09 Lobuche / Gorak Shep 5288 m.) have lunch and EBC (5,500 m.) and back to Gorak Shep O/N lodge
Day 10 Early in the morning visit Kalapathar (5545 m.), Back to Gorak Shep take breakfast and trek back to Pheriche (4243m.) O/N lodge
Day 11 Pheriche / Phorse (3840m.) O/N lodge
Day 12 Phorse / Monjo (2800m appx.) O/N lodge
Day 13 Manjo / Lukla O/N lodge
Day 14 Lukla/ Kathmandu by flight hotel transfer, take good shower and relax O/N hotel
Day 15 Free day and shopping, farewell dinner O/N hotel

Day 16 Kathmandu fly to Kuala Lumpur

O/N means Over-night

Posted by KC

Sunday, July 27, 2008

San Durian

Want to enhance your performance (I mean in running)? Here is the trade secret discovered by yours truly. Click here for the discovery.

“Tiga biji untuk RM 10 (three for RM 10),” the thin Malay seller pointed to the three big durians that he was selling. I was delighted. It was really cheap there in Ulu Langat, at the outskirt of Kuala Lumpur.

I inspected the freshly harvested green durians for a while with strong and long spikes. He said these are “san” (wild) durians. He showed me another one which was partially opened and the flesh looks yellow and the aroma was just like the “kampung” durians.

While traveling back around the Ulu Langat area I stopped by my car to buy durians. The initial plan of going to eat durian with other trekkers together was spoilt as the sky started to rain at 2:00 p.m. It took me a lot of determination to stop my car in the midst of heavy rain to buy durians.

Looking at the other five durians, I asked how much it cost for all. He looked at them for a while and said RM 25. Without hesitation, I offered RM 20 for all – eight big durians. He pondered for a while, presumably, doing his own internal complex calculation. At first, he declined but I pressed on. Eventually he agreed and said, “Boleh lah” (okay).

Ulu Langat is famous for its good quality durian. I know that the durians are cheap there. But I never know that it is that cheap.

While I was running to and fro across the road in heavy rain from the stall to my car to get my wallet, I began to notice that his wife and his daughter (about seven years old) were helping him to put the durians in two big red plastic bags. While waiting under the temporary shack with water leaking from top, I began to feel regret that I should not have reduced the price. They need the RM 25 more than I do.

I checked my wallet but other than the two RM 10 notes, the rest are RM 50 notes. If I have a few loose notes, I would top it near to RM 25. After making payment, I thanked them and left. Out of the eight big durians, I shared half with other trekker.

That evening, I have durian only for dinner, a concept similar to eating fruits or salad for a meal. When I opened the durians, the thorns were exceptionally firm and sharp. The aroma was quite similar to kampong durian but with extras – a little alcohol smell. Wild stuff is more potent than domestic, I thought. The taste is a little plain and not that sweet. I suppose it is good for those who suffer from medical condition such as diabetes who like durian but cannot stand the sweetness level.

One awful and eerie sight was the presence of fairly big worms in the segment of durians. Though the shell of the durian is thick, the worms have their means to penetrate and made comfortable nest inside with potent supply of food.

Overall, one third of the durian is spoilt. Imagine those branded durians (eg. D24, D22, D101, Red Prawn, King of Cat Hill, etc… Yes, our durians are having all sort of designer names) that is virtually devoid of worms. The worm is like a gauge to determine the amount of chemical or pesticide used to cultivate the durian.

I ate three durians for dinner. Seeing that the durians were not that good compared to the kampung or branded durians, I felt better for the bargain.
Written by KC

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Part 4 - PD Triathlon 2008

Album 4 of 4 (160 photos using Nikon D200) by courtesy of Jason Lee... click here
Album 4 of 4 (157 photos using Nikon D70s) by courtesy of WENG ... click here
Date: Sunday 20 July 2008
Event: Port Dickson International Triathlon 2008 (Asian Cup Series)
Venue: Admiral Marina & Leisure Club, Port Dickson, Malaysia.

With the publishing of the 4th photo album, that concludes from cameras Nikon D200 (Jason Lee) and Nikon D70s (Weng).

There are still two more cameras to go:
a. Jason Lee's Nikon D80 (wide angle shots; about 150 photos)
b. Yours truly's (KC) Nikon D50 (about 350 photos). I shall post them later.
Thumbs up for this Triathlon

Stephanie Chok
. Raymond - Running strong
. At last, I am crossing the finishing line
. Yeah! Yeah! I made it!
.The Champions
Overall Champion - Lady category
Posted by KC

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

PD Triathlon 2008 - Part 3

Album 3 (167 photos using Nikon D200) by courtesy of Jason Lee... click here.
Album 3 (158 photos using Nikon D70s) by courtesy of WENG ... click here.
Event: Port Dickson International Triathlon 2008 (Asian Cup Series)Date: Sunday 20 July 2008Venue: Admiral Marina & Leisure Club, Port Dickson, Malaysia.x
Ming taking part in the relay
Attenton grabing colour
xLooks like the antenna
In unison: Well, all are wearing caps and sunglassess
Well dressed
Shahrom: Looking good with the all white apparel

Luckily, it is only a bruise
Posted by KC

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Part 2 - PD Triathlon 2008

A unique helmet

Album 2 (182 photos using Nikon D200) by courtesy of Jason Lee... click here.
Album 2 (158 photos using Nikon D70s) by courtesy of WENG ... click here.
Note: remember to click F11 to expand photos; click F11 again to return.
Event: Port Dickson International Triathlon 2008 (Asian Cup Series)Date: Sunday 20 July 2008Venue: Admiral Marina & Leisure Club, Port Dickson, Malaysia.

Chan Wing Kai and Jason Lee

The runners in triathlon are very 'yow yeng' (got style), most run with sunglasses
A cheerful participant
Another hi-tech helmet
Powerful physique of a champion

Posted by KC

Monday, July 21, 2008

PD Triathlon 2008 - Part 1

Album 1 (181 photos using Nikon D200) by courtesy of Jason Lee... click here
Album 1 (151 photos using Nikon D70s) by courtesy of WENG ... click here
Event: Port Dickson International Triathlon 2008
Date: Sunday 20 July 2008
Venue: Admiral Marina & Leisure Club, Port Dickson, Malaysia.

Siok Bee - Body marking at Transition Area
xCalm before the storm
x Get Set ... Go!
The distance is 1.5 km

For a change... instead of the tarmac as in running
.Completion of first segment
Looking fit and good
Nice shower but the participants are more focus in the next segment of the race
Posted by KC