Survival Training: Antarctica.

The time has come, I am both excited and a little nervous about the next two days. Every expeditioner needs to complete and show their competence in all aspects of survival training. This includes everything from organising your expedition paper work through to plotting your course using maps and compasses.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

Survival Training: Casey Station

As our training day approaches we are informed by the Meteorology team that the weather is turning bad and a blizzard is possible. We carry on planning our training day and decide as a group to go a head. I must admit I am a little nervous about spending 24hrs out in this weather, but at the same time I am well aware how much of a unique experience this will be. Everyone down there needs to complete survival training, but so far everyone has had perfect weather.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

Survival Training, Antarctica.

Tattered Passport: Antarctica

Survival Training, Antarctica: Feeling The Chill

We have completed all our paper work, collected all our gear and we are ready to head out. We make our very first call in to Casey Communications, explain our intentions and off we head towards Shirley Island. We need to follow the approved walking route which winds its way through a rocky valley. We have a few marked GPS Way points on our maps, which we use to navigate ourselves through this area. I soon realised that this was going to be a challenge. We constantly refer to our maps and compasses, but it so windy. Every time I remove my map from my jacket it almost blows away.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

Radioing In

We reach the sea ice and call Casey Communications. To walk on ice we need know how thick it is and the only way to do that is to drill the ice. So we grab our Sea Ice Drill and set it all up. We learn a bit about sea ice, how to tell if it is good ice, how thick it is and how saturated it is. As we finish drilling we are visited by group inquisitive Adelie Penguins. It was incredible, they came right up to us and spent a good 10 minutes just chilling and checking us out, until they get bored and return to their colony.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica.

Adelie Penguins, Shirley Island, Antarctica

As we reach Shirley Island we have another training drill. We set up a survival shelter called a Mega Bivvy. A bivvy is a bag that you can use in a survival situation. They are way to escape from the wind, they are super light and easy to set up even in strong winds. We all jump in the Mega Bivvy and call in to Casey Communications. We watch and listen to the weather getting worse and decide its time to head to our next location, The Wharf. Here we will learn how to use the camp stoves and how to set up our personal bivvy bags and where we’ll be spending the night.

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport, if you have liked this post please Like, Share and Follow. You can follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and simply by clicking on the follow button at the bottom of your screen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

Stand By Me, The Meltdowns: Antarctica.

The Casey Winter Crew of 2013-2014 are about to head back home to Australia, so to send them off with a bang, the new incoming crew assemble a band and quickly put together a show for them. I would like to present to you “The Meltdowns”.

After a superb formal dinner prepared for us by the Casey Chief’s Eddie and Gareth, we were treated to a live performance of a bunch of great songs. Here is Stand By Me sung by Greg.

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport. If you have liked this post please Like, Share and Follow. You can follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram YouTube or simply by clicking on the “Follow” button at the bottom of your screen.

Hiking Observation Hill: Antarctica.

Its early morning and we learn that we will be stuck in McMurdo for another day, so we decide to hike up to the top of Observation Hill. Ob Hill as the Americans call it is a 45min hike, up a slippery slope from McMurdo Station. I chuck all my camera gear in my bag, chuck on some warm clothes and hit the trail.

We reach the first clearing and I see a plaque, I wander over a get a pretty massive shock. This is the location of the only nuclear power plant to have been operated in Antarctica. I didn’t even know there had been one down there. I learn that it was built in January/ February of 1962 and run until September of 1972, being decommissioned in 1979, producing 1800kW.

Tattered Passport, Antarctica

The only Nuclear Power Plant to have operated in Antarctica

Tattered Passport

The one and only Nt Erebus

We reach the summit of Ob Hill and are treated to a pretty impressive view over McMurdo, Scott Base and Mt Erebus, the second highest volcano and the most active in Antarctica. I took a moment up here to attempt to take it all in. I was standing on top of hill, looking out over this vast expanse of frozen land, I couldn’t believe that I was here, that I was in Antarctica. This is going to be one hell of an adventure.

Tattered Passport

We make it to the top

That night we make the walk over to Scott Base to have a few drinks with our Kiwi friends at the American Night. A bunch of the Americans make the trek over and spend the afternoon mingling with there neighbours.

Tattered Passport

Visiting the Kiwi’s

Thank you for visiting Tattered Passport, if you have liked this post please Like, Share and Follow. You can follow Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, or simply click on the Follow button at the bottom of your screen.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out,

Shane.

The Emotional Roller Coaster of Saying Good Bye.

Saying good bye is never easy, after spending 22 days with amazing people in some of the most breathtaking locations I have ever seen you build a very close friendship. Then after it all everyone leaves and heads off. Today I felt a little alone, so I got myself a massage, wondered around Thamel and did a bit of the Admin side of my blog. Sorry this daily vlog is only a short one. Nothing really happened.

Travel opens your mind and soul for new and incredible experiences. You seek knowledge and look for any opportunity to meet new people. Once when I landed in Kathmandu from Paro, Bhutan I shared a cab with a Swiss backpacker, after chatting on the way into Thamel we decided to catch up for lunch. After lunch we wondered around Thamel and found our way to the “Garden Of Dreams” where we bumped into an Aussie backpacker, who invited us out for dinner and she introduced us to her Chilean friend who told us about a cool Shisha bar where we spent the night singing and chatting over a bunch of beers and Shisha. I still stay in touch with all of them and follow there adventures. This unique way of building friendships so rapidly and then parting ways just as quickly can be a emotional roller coaster but somehow builds the friendship even stronger.

Have you had experiences like these? Have you felt empty when your left alone in a random country after making great random friendships?

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport, you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or simply by clicking on the Follow button on the bottom the screen. If you have liked this post please feel free to share with your friends and family.

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out.

Shane

What is M&S? Daily Vlog: 15

Daily Vlog: 14

Cho-La to Labouche.

We wake up after a freezing night in our “Wilderness Camp” to one of the most picturesque views I have ever seen. The sky was perfectly clear, the sun was out, it was still cold but the sun was out and standing tall over our camp were breathtaking snow camp mountains that just made you go “WOW”. The morning was so perfect that we all decided to have breakfast Al-Fresco, which was a welcome change.

mykombiandi

Having breakfast outdoors today.

Today was only a short day, and we needed it after the massive day yesterday. We only walked for just over 3 hours and had arrived at our Tea House by lunch time. This enabled us to re-group, re-energise and re-focus on our next few even bigger days, tomorrow we reach Base Camp! After lunch the group settled into our rooms for the night and then congregated in the pretty cool little dinning room. We played our favourite game of “M&S”, (masters and sluts) I realise that sounds horrible but it is pretty much a card game called “Goodies and Baddies”. We now had a few extra members of the group that would stay with us for a few days and we where all quickly getting to know them. The new members were from a Canadian group who had been a part of raising money for a school and a hospital in the Nepalese Himalaya. They were soon taught the rules of M&S and they all loved the game.

Tomorrow we reach Mount Everest Base Camp, it will be a massive day, 8 hours all up and some pretty tough terrain. We are all so excited about tomorrow, hopefully we can actually get some sleep tonight. We heard from Mel today, she had made it safely to Kathmandu and after a few scares and having to deal with a Nepalese hospital Mel was diagnosed with HACE, High Altitude Cerebral Edema. So we all are very grateful to our super talented, super awesome trek leader Prasant, for saving our friends life. If any of you are thinking of trekking in Nepal or are interested in an adventure holiday I would seriously consider World Expeditions.

Thank you for stopping by Tattered Passport, if you have liked this post please “LIKE and FOLLOW” and feel free to share with your friends. You can also find Tattered Passport on Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube.

Have you traveled with World Expeditions? What were your experiences?

One Life, One Search,

Peace Out.

Shane

We land at the Worlds most dangerous Airstrip. Lukla: Daily Vlog; Day 3.

One of the parts of this adventure that I was looking forward to the most was the flight to the infamous Lukla Airstrip. The day started early and you could feel the anxiety in our group starting to build. I was getting more excited and when saw the aircraft I knew this was going to be cool flight.

mykombiandi, lukla.

The BeyondEverest project crew waiting for our flight.

 

mykombiandi, Lukla

Getting excited for a flight.

 

It is a strange feeling when you start to fly and you just keep going up and up. You can feel the aircraft preparing to land but it is not descending. Then all of a sudden you see a mountain very close to the wing of the plane and then you land.

Check out the Daily Vlog, Day 3.

https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=pzm0PSUFYOU

Thank you so much for stopping by mykombiandi, If you have enjoyed this post please share with your friends.

I would love to hear from you. Have you been to Lukla? What were your experiences?

You can follow Mykombiandi by simply clicking on the “Follow” button. You can also find Mykombiandi on Facebook, Instagram and now YouTube.

One Life, One Search.

Shane

 

On our way to Kathmandu: Bangkok to Kathmandu.

After a year of planning and preparing we are actually flying to Nepal. As some of you are aware we have been raising awareness and some much needed funds for beyondblue. Beyondblue assist those suffering from anxiety and depression. After a close friend lost her uncle to depression we decided to do something. We all decided on climbing to Mt Everest Base Camp and to support beyondblue. We approached beyondblue and BeyondEverest project was born.

We landed safely in Kathmandu and surprising it was much easier to negotiate the infamous Tribhuvan International Airport than I anticipated. Once we were settled at the luxurious 5 star Raddisson Hotel we decided to sit and have a beer and some dinner at the Roof Top bar. A really nice way to finish off the long day.

mykombiandi, Kathmandu

Checking out the Epic view from the roof top bar.

Daily Vlog:
Bangkok to Kathmandu.

mykombiandi

We are in Kathmandu!!!!

Mykombiandi, Kathmandu

Nepali Beer. The famous Gorkha.

Thank you for stopping by mykombiandi, If you have liked this post please feel free to share with your friends. You can follow my adventures by simply clicking on the “Follow” button. You can also find mykombiandi on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Have you been to Kathmandu? Do you have any suggestions of cool places to see and do?

Cheers

Shane

One Life, One Search.