Thursday, 14 February 2013

Trek Day 5 - Plans Go Awry, midnight descent to 2770m

Rosie woke up with nasty chest constrictions and ventolin failed to relieve them. Helen and Shane had discussed such a possibility and Helen rapidly executed the plan. The girls and Sandesh descended quickly back down to Riverside at 2770m, leaving at 1am and arriving at 2.45am.
Helen remained level headed and focused, thinking to put her balaclava over Rosie's mouth to warm the cold air, and maintaining an air of confidence and calm. Rosie thus also remained calm and was a star, happily chatting as they descended. They even had fun! It's not often you get to walk under a star studded Himalayan heaven.
The girls snuggled into bed with a hot cup of tea and once Rosie was asleep, Helen felt a profound content that her daughter was safe, and then took to worrying about how Shane was coping with his girls disappearing into the night along sometimes difficult paths, with credit cards and insurance details in case a helicopter was required! Shane was indeed having a sleepless night up in Thyangsep - he drew the short straw being left behind. Tom was also sleepless; did this mean he wouldn't be able to get up to the 'real Himalayas', up into the snow?
In the morning, the boys descended with a temporary porter carrying some load, and we were happily reunited.

Over the next few days we learned a lot about Rosie's asthma, previously very mild and only ever brought on by hard exercise in dry air. Now it was being triggered by sudden changes from warm to cold air (like leaving the heated dining room and going to a near freezing bedroom) and exacerbated by altitude. It transpired that anywhere above 2400m she would be troubled - the accepted absolute lowest that altitude can cause issues.
We also learned that, contrary to brief online research, ventolin canisters don't work well at freezing temperatures, and need cleaning very regularly when used often.
Shane, Helen, Rosie and Tom

Location:Boudha Main Road,,Nepal

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