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May 2016 - Update from Nepal

25 April 2016 marked a year after the earthquake of April 2015 and some of my memories and observations are shown in the news section of the web site.

Further to my last update earlier in March I did manage to make a visit to Khumbu and up to Tengboche Monastery. This was my first opportunity to see all my Sherpa friends and colleagues since the earthquake. Although there was damage in most villages those above Phakding were not affected as badly as those on the trail below Lukla coming up from Jiri.

All of the lodges we are connected with are open and in most cases damage caused has been repaired or is ongoing. Along some sections of the trail there was some evidence of landslide movements on the hillsides but generally all the trails and the bridges were usable and not badly affected, this has obviously been helpful to the local people's movement and bringing in supplies and building materials etc. during the year after the earthquake.

Our friends at Phakding, Benka and Monjo had some damage to their buildings but this has been repaired now and they are trying to get things back to normal. In Namche all is well for the lodge we use but some others were affected, a few were demolished but it did appear that most of Namche was OK. Above Namche in Khumjung and Kunde there was more damage and people were still working and getting things back to normal. At Kunde hospital there was some damage but it did not affect the running of the hospital too much and again things are getting back to normal.

At Tengboche Monastery there was some damage to the main building that appears to have been mostly to the roof and the top of the walls. This had been repaired and there was no evidence inside the Monastery of any cracks or breakages. Around the Monastery some of the Lama's houses were damaged and repairs ongoing at the time of my visit. One of the houses had been demolished and also the Eco Centre building was badly damaged, although still standing the whole of one side was demolished leaving the shell open at the back of the building.

It was very good to meet with many friends and colleagues again and now a year later I have been able to see the situation myself and fortunately all those associated with us are all OK.

From a tourism point of view this section of the Everest region, from Lukla to Tengboche, is open and usable. I only visited Tengboche but my Sherpa colleagues, who have taken groups further on to Kala Pattar/Base Camp area this season, confirm that the situation is the same with the trail in good condition and most lodges open for business. I have indicated previously that the Khumbu Everest region was, very fortunately, not as badly affected by the earthquakes as other trekking regions elsewhere in the country.

Although aftershocks are still occurring to date, with all the usual precautions the Khumbu Everest trail from Lukla to Kalla Pattar is open and if you or any of your friends and colleagues are considering a visit to Nepal and do wish to trek in this area please do get in touch for the latest information. Together with our colleagues at the offices we use in Kathmandu it should be possible to arrange things for the autumn season this year or for next year. The return of visitors to Khumbu will greatly assist and support the local Sherpa people, as well as Nepal generally.

Once again I would like to thank everyone who helped us last year, donated funds were used for the Sherpa people in Khumbu and donated used clothing was used in Kathmandu as well as in Khumbu. This is an ongoing project and if any donations of funding or good used clothing for children, teenagers and adults (small and medium sizes are best for adults) are available please contact Denis any time to arrange.

If you can help in any way it is greatly appreciated and will help the people of Nepal in the continuing difficult situation, resulting from the earthquakes and all the political unrest, still affecting them.

Denis Gallagher
Nepal Trekking
May 2016