7 summits by Microlight

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4 Feb 2005, RAeC Awards
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16 May, Line break
17 May
15 May, A narrow escape
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12 May, Runway repairs
11 May, Yaks, Naks & Jopkyoks
10 May, Syangboche
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Lukla airfield
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Hang gliders and Paragliders

(UTC + 5:45)

News release: 11 May, Yaks, Naks & Jopkyoks





Not a lot to do until all our stuff arrives this evening. Time to investigate the local creatures. Yaks, as everybody knows are hairy, often intolerant bovines used for milk and transport which die if they ever descend below the altitude of Namche Bazaar, about 11,000ft. That's why you never see one in the zoo at home. There is a big joke hereabouts about Yak milk and Yak cheese. Apparently there's plenty about, but nobody actually has any. There is a simple reason, your Sherpa explains with a smile, Yaks are exclusively male, Naks are the females so if you ask for Nak milk, you might get some. To confuse matters, down in Lukla there are semi-hairy creatures which are half Yak and half cow, these are Jopkyoks. There are some Jopkyoks on the airfield, they are perfectly innocent cow-like creatures and they all wear bells which tinkle daintily as they forage.

The tinkling takes on a more ominous note at night. Last night we were in a fog, it was pitch dark, and from your tent you hear the tinkling getting nearer and nearer your microlight wing which is safely flat on the ground. A Jopkyok trying it for taste or testing it as a bed would not be a good thing, I don't have a spare. Whilst we had made some Jopkyok defences, a fence made out of our tow-line, in a fog at night it begins to seem a bit flimsy and it's not really something you want to later find didn't work, so I spent a rather restless night leaping in and out of bed making sure all was allright. This morning we reinforced the Jopkyok defences with some wire mesh and I should sleep better tonight.

This afternoon our kit plus one eagle arrived on the backs of a large team of valiant Sherpas and Sherpanis. They are extraordinary folk, having each just portered some 30 or 40 Kg of our kit up a very steep 2000 ft hill at 12,000 ft you would think they would be exhausted, but not a bit of it, after a quick drink of tea a dozen or so were up for runway repairs!

By the time they were ready to go the 1000 ft back down to Namche I should think about 3 tons of rocks and a couple of tons of soil had been placed in the biggest holes. Tomorrow a team of 9 of them will be back to finish the job.

Just as it was getting dark, a Jopkyok was wandering through camp towards the Phinjo Lodge & restaurant next to which we are camped when suddenly it spotted the eagle sitting on a rock next to a tent. I can report that Jopkyoks don't like eagles, and that an aroused Jopkyok is transformed into something not dissimilar to a Spanish fighting bull, it's hair goes on end, it faces the danger legs spread for action and emits the most extroardinary noise which Angelo described as being like a submarine, but to my mind is a sort of gurgley - growl which a 10 ft tall dog might make.

One of our Sherpas bravely intervened between the irate beast and the eagle and frightened it off. To the amusement of Italians and Sherpas there followed a stampede of Yaks, Naks & growling Jopkyoks around the airfield before they settled down on the other side.

Tomorrow we should complete our airfield repairs and be ready for action.

The FIAT group
ICARO 2000 Hang Gliding World Champion
THE NORTH FACE clothing for extreme conditions
ALPHA emergency parachute
Mainair Sports; UK dealer for Warp Drive Propellors
Neltec flexible heaters
MAINAIR SPORTS  manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
O-ZEE flight suits.  Suppliers of Bar-mitts to the expedition.
Industrial Pressure Testing Ltd; Suppliers of Oxygen cylinders to the expedition.
BAILEY AVIATION manufacturers of Paramotors and automotive sport acessories
SKYDRIVE, the UK Distributor of ROTAX engines
PARAMINA; Suppliers of Oxygen equipment to the expedition
Lyndhurst Touchdown Services.  Supplier of fuel system components to the expedition.
Articole Studios - GRP mouldings
PEGASUS AVIATION manufacturers of fine microlight Aircraft
AdventureWeather.com providing Meteorological information to the expedition
Quatar airways
Gerbings heated clothing
FLYCOM Intercom and Radio equipment
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Page last reviewed
11 May 2004
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