8 Oct – Back from the mountain

Hello, for all email subscribers, please see www.adventure4aid.com for the project details and how much we’ve raised so far!

~ Message from the Oz Home Team translated from the Jiji’s SMS ~

(from an SMS 10 October at 3:59am Sydney Time)

We are back and everyone is safe.  We are currently at Golmud now (major town near the Yuzhu Peak).

The team made a tough decision to turn around short of the summit because of bad weather and the hour of the day.  It has been quite intense and we pushed our boundaries both emotionally and physically.

We will write more detail if we can when we are back in Xining but we want to report that we are safely off the mountain first.

Update 4th October @ 14:17 (Mic turning back)

Hello, for all email subscribers, please see www.adventure4aid.com for the project details and how much we’ve raised so far!

~ Message from the Oz Home Team translated from the Jiji’s SMS ~

Mic decided to turn around at the township of Dulan  😦   for a combination of reasons.  He is safe though and is currently waiting for bus to go back to Xining.

Please think about us as our spirits are low.  Thing about Mic and his safe travel back to Xining.

We are on our way to Golmud now.

Update 3rd October @ 18:26

Hello, for all email subscribers, please see www.adventure4aid.com for the project details and how much we’ve raised so far!

~ Message from the Oz Home Team translated from the Jiji’s SMS ~

The team stayed at Carl’s (our Norwegian Guide/Aide/part time porter) place at Qinghai Lake (3,300m) for the last 2 days to acclimatise.

Yesterday we hiked to 3,900m (with Julia doing 4,400m).  We are all pretty tired.

Mic cooked a YUMMY lamb stew. Out here, there’s nothing but lamb and yaks.

This morning, we hiked 3,700m and are now heading to Dulan (200kms west) where we will be camping. From now on, it’s camping all the way!

For food, we are eating peanut butter and jam on 3 day old sweet bread for lunch at the lakeside. But forget about the food, it’s been so surreal listening to Carl’s Blues Brothers whilst driving along the beautiful Qinghai scenery.

Tonight we will be staying at 3,700m.

Friday 1st October 2010 – Start of the Climb

Frank & Jiji have finished our volunteer work in Xining, the capital of Qinghai. The 2 weeks for us have taken its toll on our bodies so we gotta take it easy.

Sheena, Julia & Mic have now arrived for 2 days now.

The team has now assembled from Australia and is getting ready to go to the first stage of the climb.  We will be leaving our Hotel in Xining around 12:00pm and heading up to spend a day or two at Qinghai Lake.

This will be the first steps as we ascend to Base Camp.

Qinghai Lake ranges between 2000 and 3000 mtrs above sea level and will be a place to do some short walks and spend time getting used to the extra height.

On Thursday the 30th we did a short preparation hike up one of the local lookouts Beishan (North Mountain) – it was good to clear the cob webs.  We were taken up by Carl our Nowegian Guide/Aide/part time porter who we have affectionately nick named the “Crazy Norwegian”. 

Sheena and Julia followed up on Friday (today) morning with Carl on another short walk which they hopefully will provide some details.

Mic who arrived Thursday eve into Xining decided to rest a little more.  Jiji and I spent Friday morning sorting out our kit and catching up after late nights and long days with the other volunteer and charity work we had come to do in Qinghai.

After the lake we will travelling to Golmud to meet  with the rest of the team and have our kit double checked by a guide group and the team leaders.  Here we will meet up with Philip and one other helper to get us up to the top.  We plan to be at Base camp on the 5th Oct (5,050m).  All going well we should be able to post successful pictures and climb details around the 10th Oct.

If we can get internet access or sms out you may also see brief updates by us or one of our home team with the progress

Wish us luck!!!

Frank (& Jiji)

Leaving for Airport now!

Hello, for all email subscribers, please see www.adventure4aid.com for the project details and how much we’ve raised so far!

Hi all,

Hoping you’ll forgive us for not writing! I’m (Jiji) leaving for the airport in 10 minutes and I haven’t been able to update this blog as I’d like. I would have liked to put up the post and pics of our camping trip- first time the entire team (5 of us) got together & did a really hard walk, then camped at Mt. Solitary in the Blue Mountains, then did a really hard walk back out the next day.

Also, when we return, we’ll put up photos of the Fundraising Dinner that was such a huge success, as you can see from our TWO fundraising thermometers now! We’re well on our way for 2 Mobile Clinics thanks to your generous support!

Well, I’m here to say goodbye on behalf of the team. Frank & I are leaving today, Sheena, Mic, & Julia are leaving next Sunday. Frank & I are doing some volunteer work in an orphanage and teaching English in a high school while the rest arrive halfway through and acclimatise to the altitude of Xining (the capital city 2,200m).

We’ll meet as a team on the 3rd Oct, then do a training climb hopefully, with Philip from LOVEQTRA (who’s organisation we are raising money for), and his friend Carl.

We are supposed to start the climb on the 5th and Summit Day is supposed to be the 8th!

We’ll relay information to friends who will update this blog for us, even if it’s just via sms.

Thanks for reading & log in often! www.adventure4aid.com

Signing off,


Hike: Perry’s Lookdown – Sat3rdJuly & 4thSep

Email Blog Subscribers: Read more on our Rural Mobile Clinic Project and how much we’ve raised at www.adventure4aid.com

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I’ve been really behind in our our training and hiking blog, but be assured, we HAVE been training. We’ve done 6-8 hikes since the last blog entry, and our own training, but I’ll just post the major hikes.

We’ve done Perry’s Lookdown twice now. This walk is about 700 vertical metres descent or ascent (depending which way you do it). From the lookout it takes you straight down (or up) the cliff-face to the bottom of the valley- great training for downhill- it’s a killer for your quads and your knees!… and fantastic uphill training- the lack of control of my calves the next day speaks for itself!

The first time, we walked along the valley floor which comes to a beautiful open section called Blue Gum, then along the river to Acacia Flats, then turn around and look forward to the 700m vertical ascent- which is tough and ugly!

The second time we did the whole circuit. We started at Govett’s Leap lookout, straight down to the valley, which was slightly less steep than Perry’s, then along the winding river to Acacia Flats, Blue Gum Forest (which would be fantastic to camp o/n), then braced ourselved for the 700 vertical metre ascent of Perry’s.

The encouraging thing was that second time round it was easier, but still tough.

After the gruelling Perry’s we thought it was pretty much over, but then we had to walk 3 hours back to our car at Govetts Leap- this was the plan, but psychologically tough cos we took the end of Perry’s as the end of our hike!

Tip- get to the Mountains early enough to stop off at this amaaazing bakery in Wentworth falls. Can’t remember what it’s called, but it’s up from the public toilets and across the road, in a little pack of shops with their own carpark. The bakery is facing the street, the last shop in this little centre. It has the best steak & mushroom pie & cherry danish I’ve ever had. The hazelnut danish or log is good too- Julia & Sheena liked that more. Regrettably we don’t have pics of these paper bags of goodness !

Sheena even bought an icepack for her glass-bottle coke which she bought at this amaaaaazing bakery, with which she rewarded herself after the climb.

Yesterday, the circuit from Govett’s Leap was so pleasant, winding along the river & rainforest-type vegetation that I really felt like I was in Hawai’i! Julia, Sheena, Darjee and I really enjoyed Perry’s both times!

Mystery (climber) Mic, from Queensland

Hey everyone – it’s Mystery-Mic from Queensland, howzit all going??? Just wanted to drop a line and contribute to the site.

Looking forward to our ‘little’ adventure ( even though it’s not a holiday :{- but alas, still a memorable trip???hopefully)

To update you all on my training “plans” and current activity…my weeks look like this:

6km walk in the AM Tue, Wed, Thu & Fri and gym Wed and Sat PM –

next week I will be introducing swimming to Tue / Thu and eventually Mon & Fri PM and building up to a 10kg pack for my walks.

My biggest hurdle at the moment is diet so I making this priority #1.

My gym workouts involve basic power movements like squats, cleans and deadlifts but unfortunately at this stage i am geographically challenged when it comes to ‘practice hikes’

I want be able to get an overall fitness level by end September and will continue this regime until end July, saving the last two months for more specialised training.

Not knowing how affected I will be by the altitude is a concern.

Now fundraising…i will be approaching past and current employers to assist with prizes for the Fundraising Dinner in August as well as offering up my own services in the form of a free A3 portrait as a prize. I’m also planning a brochure blitz on the locals here but unfortunately I am in a very small town so not the same scale as you guys in Sydney. I have a couple of other ideas i want fine tune a bit and see if they can fly…keep u posted.


30km 2-day Coast Walk in 1 day! Royal Nat. Park

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The good thing about this walk is that it tells me how much more work I need to do before I leave in September! I’m sure I’m supposed to find this a “walk in the park”; but going up some of the seemingly endless uphills near the end, I DARED to question why I was doing this (the Qinghai climb), and what I have got myself into.

The others, from Sydney’s SMBC Bible college- mostly younger and fitter than I, except for a guy, slightly older, but a fitness junkie 😉  – were very encouraging though, saying ‘you can do it’, you’ve got 5 months.

I think it was a combination of things that made it surprisingly challenging for me.  We had to keep a brisk pace because no one wanted to be walking in the dark (we were on the wrong end of daylight saving), and we were attempting to walk a 2-day hike in 1 day.  Just days before the hike, a niggling pain started in my knee, which only surfaced again toward the middle of the hike, and because the rim of my boots were rubbing, I loosened them a BIT, which then made me roll on my ankle!  Duh!

The weird thing is that my trusty boots are a good hiking brand and have seen the Annapurna ranges in Nepal and many rocky hills in the Qinghai grasslands, and they haven’t given me any trouble till now, 10 years since I bought them! The other funny thing is I felt more comfortable running a lot of parts when I struggled to walk them! Maybe trail running’s  “ma thang”.

I had a thought the other day that preparing for this Mt. Yuzhu Expedition is like life. You don’t want to go into life ill-prepared, so you go about doing what you need to do to get yourself equipped and get the most you can out of life- you go on courses, you learn things… but then, like life, there’s an element of spontaneity and surprise, and that which we can’t control or plan for, which is what we face as soon as we touch down in Qinghai.  Anything can happen up there on the mountain too. A sudden change in weather would mean we might not make it to the summit… and like life, we have to deal with that! Most mountains in the Himalayan region have one or two climbing windows- May and October- outside of that, it’s too cold or the potential for blizzards and dangerous conditions is increased.

 Anyway, this Coastal walk from Bundeena to Otford in the Royal National Park was really spectacular, and definately worth the challenge. As you can see from the pics, we were walking from sea level to the tops of the cliffs and back down, and back up, and back down, and back up…. I got to a point where I thought it was so unnecessary to do a two-day walk in one day because I was suffering- you’re only as good as the boots you’re walking in, and my boots were giving me no end of trouble. Then I got to thinking this whole Mt. Yuzhu Expedition was unnecessary. But, I’ve come to see that it’s not—-  our expedition  and project, along with the recent devastating earthquake, have highlighted the needs of the nomads living in that region. Like I said, people tend to give generously if they see that I (and my team) are willing to suffer for it, put our necks on the line. To quote aunty LL “By climbing the mountain you are making a statement”.

So I thought this hike was great to train us, because the best training you can do for a mountain climb is that which mimics your mountain. We ended up doing it in 7 & 1/2 hours I think, not including swim & lunch. Because of a few wrong turns (which is all part of the adventure), we were walking the last bits as it turned dark, but not quite enough for torches- another 10 minutes & it would have been (see the last group pic). The mix of up and downhills was good; the scenery and the many unpopulated beaches are just such a spectacular reward!


10km Training Hike- Seaforth to Davidson Park, Roseville Chase

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I’m blessed enough to have friends who will support (or humour) my dreams… and go for 10k hikes with me to train. Saturday was PERFECT weather for hiking, the sun wasn’t beaming down but it wasn’t too cool yet either. Got out the old Scarpa Boots. Sheena, one of the walkers is having foot surgery in May (!) but despite my protests, insisted she was fine with her foot strapped. Her boots hadn’t been used for so long, they were mouldy!     Those who came were Katherine, Sheena, Darjee, Lee San and her colleague, Desmond.      

The hike was rated 4/6 “hard”, and supposed to only take 4hrs but that doesn’t take into account lunch & photos, so we ended up taking 6hrs! At least we made it out before sundown. Some parts were harder, some pretty cruisy, but I guess these ratings are for all ages & abilities.       

Most of us didn’t consider it ‘hard’. It was a really nice mix of bushtracks, steps, views, water, uphills & downhills. The buildings across the water in the Bantry Bay pic, were used by Public Works and the Australian Navy during WWII as a premium storage facility for merchant’s explosives between 1915 and 1974. Wow, what you can learn on a hike.       

The markers (arrows) left a lot to be desired. At one section after a water crossing, we were at crossroads and we figured the marker was pointing the complete opposite direction to where we were supposed to be heading. We know this because of our expert wilderness survival positioning; and that we emerged at the other end where our car was!            

The walk passes water crossings, lush ferns and other interesting flora, and also a nice secluded beach called Flat Rock  Beach, but in the interest of getting out before sundown, we didn’t stop. Maybe next time we can start earlier, now that we’ve done it once, & stop for a swim.                             

So anyway, we were glad to make it out while it was still light, then headed off to the Chelsea in Chatswood for an $8 steak or schnitzel or bangers & mash- not bad eh……and a cocktail or three.       

Anyone who would like to know details of the track, please email me on info@adventure4aid.com



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How are we training?

The Sydney climbers have been doing a combination of aerobic, strength, and endurance training… sounds seriou? Well, we’re starting slow so Katherine, my high school friend who still acts like she’s in high school, doesn’t get discouraged. We’ve been alternating between the treadmill, weight training, and stair work. Who knows how Mic (Queensland climber) is training? Is he training?! This is not a holiday you know!




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