Monday, May 9, 2005

Of Monsoons and Sutures

We awoke in Seduwa just inside the Makalu Barun National Park at 5:12 AM -- 18 minutes earlier than was hoped -- to the sound of a barking dog. The dog beat our alarms to the punch. Still spirits were high; the weather wasn't perfect, but there was no rain and we had a relatively easy day in front of us. The hike was beautiful through the cloud forest and we came across many smiling faces along the way. The team members all made the hike to Tashigaon before lunch and we were glad for it as the clouds began to descend. During lunch the rains came. We were sheltered, but many of the porters had not yet arrived in Tashigaon and were not so lucky. But a little rain didn't slow them down and they carried thier heavy loads down and up the steep valley sides.

Shortly after lunch Eric and Rob broke out the medical kit to treat a Sherpa who had an open suturable lac approx 5cm from a mishap with mini sledge while pounding a chisel. The Sherpa, Lakpa, had sustained an injury that received sutures approx 3 weeks ago and now he had cellulitis. The sutures were removed and the wound was once again dressed, though this time it was left open. Cleaned, dressed and PO antibiotics, we sent him on his way to be seen again on our return trip out.

This was all made a bit more interesting as the weather continued to intensify and the monsoon rains came in sideways mixed with hail. Lakpa successfully patched up, he headed into the yard to show off his new bandages to his friends.

The rains (and hail) did let up a bit. Brad and I enjoyed watching about a dozen Sherpas chasing tonight's dinner (chicken) through town. Coops may be a bit easier, but this was certainly more entertaining for chasers and onlookers alike (if not for the chicken). So now we sit awaiting dinner and our sleeping bags that will surely follow closely on dinner's heels. Tomorrow is our first long, hard day. About eight hours of hiking and lots of steep ascents away, Khongma awaits.

- Jim Kendrick (with help from Rob)
17 April 2010

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