Hey this is TA calling from Day 13. Terra Din in Nepali of the great big walk. Calling from Lennar at 4780m above sea level and we have had another great big walk today. We gained another approximately 730m or so. Over about 14 and a half km. So we’re definitely feeling the altitude and feeling like we went for a big walk today. Wanted to say a special hello to the holy cross elementary grade 4. I had a great visit with them before coming on out to Nepal this time. We are camped in a most gorgeous beautiful place. We are surrounded by high peaks, glaciers, lots and lots of rocks. We traded the wayside shrubs of last night for knee high shrubs of (inaudible). And something that looks a lot like Labrador T, so we’re reminded of home once again. We saw Kanchenjunga again today and we will get another glimpse or we’re camped right below it, tomorrow when we get to base camp tomorrow. And our color palette is definitely reducing in that way that it does in the high altitude alpine environment. The sky is blue blue blue the snow and ice is white white white. And the rocks are brown and white and grey. We’re camped again in (inaudible) this is a grouping of 5 or 6 stone huts that gets used by yak herders in the summertime when the grass that we see here which is brown and still snow covered in places turns green in the summertime.
The high places do come at a cost and that cost right now hypoxia or low oxygen or some people call it altitude. One of my colleagues at the school of human kinetics and recreation at Memorial University Dr. Fabien Basset is a cardio respiratory physiologist and he actually studies the effects of hypoxia on exercise and on metabolism. He has helped me understand what happens to the human body at altitude and also has helped with my training. It is very much a miracle, when we get Kanchenjunga base camp tomorrow we will be existing on half as much oxygen up here as you all are at sea level there in St. John’s or in Newfoundland or wherever you might be in relation to sea level and so because we’ve come up relatively quickly we are all feeling it a bit at the moment and we have sort of slight frontal headaches and a little bit of reduced appetite and so we have two jobs at the moment, drink and breathe and drink and breathe and drink and breathe, which of course then leads to removing that drink. So we’re peeing a lot which is a part of the process, part of the biochemical changes that happen to our bodies and hoping that we all can continue to stay slightly ahead of the demand of altitude on our bodies and enjoy our walk tomorrow to Kanchenjunga base camp.
I have to catch my breath. Today as we walked up at one point we joked that we could only do one thing at a time. We can walk, we could have a drink or we could pee but you can’t do all three at once for sure and even asking two a time is a bit much. I said I would tell you about our daily routine. We generally get up at about 6am and start packing our tents belongings. At 6:30 we have some tea and a little bit of washing water to get ready for our day. We have breakfast between 7:15 and 7:30. Packs are on and we start walking at 8. Lunch is anywhere between 10:30 and 12:30 depending on where the lunch spot is for the crew to cook lunch. We try to digest for a little bit because you always know its uphill right after lunch. Then we’ll walk, we’ve been making great time on the trip so far so usually we will reach camp at about 3pm. Again a little bit of washing, tea and cookies for hydration and calories at about 4 and supper about 6:30. And I know this will amaze all of you grade 4s and 5s out there. We actually go to bed at about 8pm. So we probably go to bed before you do. When it’s cold and dark here at night so there is not much to do but crawl into your sleeping bay. Today Marian had 19 471 steps and 228 floors. I had 16 846 steps, 142 floors. I am going to try a different location for my fitbit tomorrow thinking maybe mine is getting a hit or something by my hit belt. Camolina had 19 497 steps. So again you’re always invited to grab a pedometer, grab a fitbit or use Gmaps pedometer and join our great big walk walking group. And get out there and have a great big walk of your own. Thanks and have a great day!
Total Steps for TA: 16 846 steps, 142 floors
Total Steps for Marian: 9 471 steps and 228 floors
Total Distance for TA: 14.5 km
Total Distance for Marian: 14.5 km
Great Big Walk acknowledges the support of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Quick Start Fund for Public Engagement in making these updates from the field possible.