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Thread: German Kristina missing in the Everest region

  1. #11
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    Default circumstances...

    Thanks Mieke. I guess it would be good to know exaclty what for all the reasons people have mentioned before.Also, having trekked in the area twice before... Kristina must have been a person full of initiative and energy to trek in the Himal repeatedly like she did. Mountains are dangerous things, and they seem harmless, but anything can happen at any time. I have fallen once pretty badly but was a bit luckyer than Kristina and escaped with my life.

    I have read some of the comentaries on the German forum. Thanks. I am not sure if I trust my German skills well enough to post there though...
    yakshaver

  2. #12
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    Default new press conference in Kathmandu on Saturday May 20

    As for "German skills", never mind yakshaver; mine are terrible too yet nobody so far sent me away from that board... :)
    Even better: though it's a board in German mainly indeed, everyone seems to understand - with this topic - the English postings I make there regularly (saves me a lot of time, and many language errors). In that respect there is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't join and post in the thread about Kristina there now.

    New development:
    A few hours ago Karolin (the sister) sent a long e-mail from Kathmandu. She has a lot to tell, and it's not nice. It was mainly about her experiences between arriving in Lukla and now that she is back in the capital since some time on Friday.
    She intends to give another press conference tomorrow, again in the Red Planet Hotel in Thamel. Send her some "good vibes", please....

  3. #13
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    Default Question to experienced Khumbu trekkers

    Question to experienced Khumbu trekkers:

    You're carefully walking on a narrow trail that's (most probably) very slippery, and with a déép gorge just beside you.

    Where do you keep your backpack?

    On your back? Before your chest? In your hands? Any other options?

    Please advise, from experience/intuition.

  4. #14
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    Default Trail past Dole

    Just after Phortse Tenga as you walk through the forest on the way to Dole there are a series of stone steps.

    The trail in places is 2 or 3 metres wide with a ravine and river to the right if walking towards Gokyo.

    After snowfall these steps are treacherous, especially if the snowfall was a few days previous. At that time of year the temperatures would be warm enough to melt some of the snow only for it to refreeze overnight. After the passage of feet on the snow the result is sloping ice and snow on each step. It is alot easier to walk on when the snow is fresh. This means each step is not flat and very slippery and a slip would be hard to stop. Each steps depth is only the size of a shoe and when icy and angled at 30 degrees if you were to step on to it and not get any purchase you would almost certainly take a nasty fall. However alot people walk that way while it is like that and it is necessary to pick a meandering path to try and miss out the ice and snow.

    When I was there in 2003 and also in 2004 there had been snow fall a week or two previously and these steps were quite dodgy. I can't remember whether there was a very significant drop immediately to one side (though there definitely is after a few metres) but I do remember thinking that I had to be very, very careful to avoid slipping as the consequences could be grave. That is the only section that I recall as being very treacherous, although it is quite short there is no way around that part of the trail. In good conditions it is very straightforward.

    As for a carrying backpack, in my opinion you would a carry it on your back. It is much more difficult to handle carried on the front (visibility of where you are putting your feet) or carried by the handle. The most stable position for a pack is on your back. The size of pack might be important. E.g. a small 35 litre 10 kg pack would not upset your balance too much if you slipped and could be more easily carried on the front for instance. However a 70 litre 18 kg pack would be much more unwieldy.

    My condolences to the family and friends of Kristina. It is very sad.

    Escher

  5. #15
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    Default Portse Tenga to Dole

    Escher, last I did that portion between Portse Tenga and Dole was in April 2004 in perfect weather. I remember the more dicey portions, and I also remember about 2-3 ravines, still in the forsested part before emerging out just before Dole. They were darker, and without a lot of sunshine snow and ice were still there. Not on the trail, that was safe at the time.

    If indeed Kristina's mishap was due to ice on the trail, it just reminds me that mountains are... mountains. A gentle stroll can become a fight for survival if the conditions change, and conditions can be different from one trip to the next. Not that the Portse Tenga to Dole is a gentle stroll. But like you say, I can't remember having to really concentrate on the trail, save for looking where I step from time to time.
    Ice on trail has caused me problems (in terms of really having to concentrate on every step) in far less steep conditions, somewhere between Pisang and Hongde, or perhaps Chame to Pisnag. Interestingly enough, it was through the forest, with the trail goind down gently...
    I areas like the steep steps up just before entering Gokyo Valley, or worse comming down on them...) I would probably want some kind of crampons if there is ice.
    yakshaver

  6. #16
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    Default south of Dole

    Escher you seem to point to more or less exactly the same part of the trail that other trekkers do, who were there in that week of March. And for sure there was melting snow, followed by heavy snowfall on the 15th. And what you describe about what's it like then to trek through the melting snow, how slippery it gets, is confirmed by a few of those who left Namche 2 days before Kristina did, towards Gokyo. And by other trekkers who passed there on their way down a few days later. It was scary!
    (I'm not trying to sound arrogant; of course your opinions and experiences and theirs, are the same. It's the same trail, and you describe similar circumstances).

    For everyone's info, here is a link to that new German thread:

    Kristina's Trek von Jiri bis Dole – eine Rekonstruktion

    And now that I've managed to convince yakshaver to register and post there too (réally welcome there Daniel, with all your Nepal experience!!!), we're nicely starting to "cover the globe" for this project.

    A question to Escher: do you mind if the reply you gave hére would be copied into that Trekkingforum-thread (with your name of course as the source of the information/description)? It's a copyright thing with webforums, I think; it's not allowed to steal people's writings and post them elsewhere.

    As for my question regarding where you keep your backpack in such a dangerous situation, I hope that with her press conference in Kathmandu tomorrow Karolin will reveal some of the information she has already sent to a few friends and contacts privately.
    Naturally I have a reason for asking; the backpack was not quite in the same place the body was, speaking "vertically". I've read about trekkers who will unstrap their backpack if they have to cross a dodgy bridge, or a river. So they can throw it off immediately for safety reasons. Here it's about an absolutely slippery, scary part of a trail with an abyss just next to your feet. On a Dutch forum people also replied they would have it firmly strapped on their back, not anywhere else, and it would generate a better balance that way. Plus: keep your hands free in case you would slip or fall, so you can grab on to something.
    The bag Kristina left behind in the KGH in Kathmandu, was described by her sister as a "giant one". In addition, she also left a (smaller) bag behind in her lodge in Namche. So for now I'm assuming for a 7-days trip up and down Gokyo, it was a not too big bag she took with her.

  7. #17
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    Default Please copy what I have written wherever you like

    Mieke: You can copy anything you like of what I have written. Please feel free to do so to that trekking forum.

    Escher

  8. #18
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    Default stone steps

    Thanks Escher. And this will be what you mean by the "series of stone steps" on the way up to Dole:

    click for photo

    No word from Kathmandu today on how things are going there, and no further details publicised yet.

  9. #19
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    Default Stone steps

    Yes that is exactly the place. And before that there are more steps which are on a flatter incline but also the trail is thinner.

  10. #20
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    Default publicised

    Some more word is out since midday Monday 22/5:

    Missing German Trekker Found Dead in Nepal (The Himalayan Times)

    Similar online reports by several of the Indian media, and also a publication by Nepal News.com

    This is a quote from the THT article:
    But Karoline refuses to dismiss it as a simple accident. “All her belongings are missing,” she said. “No passport, credit card, money, watch, camera, sleeping bag or even her jacket. Everything was empty - her purse, camera bag and sleeping bag. I think somebody robbed her and pushed her down to her death.”

    She says a Canadian couple that had been trekking in that area contacted her to say they had seen Kristina on March 15, going their way. But the weather was bad and they lost sight of her after that.
    It's not clear to me if by "purse" she would have meant "backpack". Seems unlikely; there is quite a difference in size between a purse and a backpack and I expect she knows that too (with the English language of the press conference). I'll ask her.

    And even though the recovery of her sister's remains turned into an outright traumatic experience for Karolin, I suppose that she but yóu here too - Nepal trekkers - should be grateful to that trekkingguide who reported the body to the Namche police. Something one or more other Nepalis have nót done, although I take it they could. Maybe even anonimously. If they had, who knows the discovery of a dead foreign trekker would have been reported to Kathmandu many weeks earlier.
    Or was it reported indeed long before, but ignored. With officials in the Khumbu only feeling forced to act when first the sister received quite a lot of media attention, to show up in their town in person only 3 days later, determined as she was?

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