Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nepal 2012 Who Carries the Load?

I wanted the experience of carrying a porter's load for just one day. Our guide Ganesh declined. Ganesh takes his responsibility for our safety very seriously, and his reputation and good judgement would not be jeopardized by such risky foolishness. So we compromised to trading loads with a porter for 100 yards.

Here are 2 packs
 [44 kgs or 97 pounds] -and- [7 kg or 15 pounds]

Here are 2 men
[40 kg or 90 pounds] -and-  [68 kgs or 150 pounds]

Who should carry which load?

At 5'6" or 167.5 cm, I am not a big man, 
but compared to Lakchin Rom Kulung, 
I am the big man and Lakchin is the small man.

Seems obvious that ...
The bigger man should carry the bigger load.
And the smaller man should carry the smaller load.
So we tried this combination.

The loads were OK for the first 100 meters but clearly the bigger man could not carry the bigger load for a 12 hour day, up and down steep rocky trails.

So we switched the loads.
The smaller man carried the bigger load.
The bigger man carried the smaller load.

Nepalese porters are, for their size, the strongest people I know. I am continually amazed at the power of these Nepalese porters.

Check out the calves on Lakchin Rom Kulung!
Lakchin carries 6 times the weight of my pack, 
and he does this in flip-flops!

While disregarding many well-intended hernia-warnings from team-members and guides, I was not entirely irresponsible and 'poggle' ("crazy" in Nepali). I did wear a Comfizz Level 3 Hernia Support, as I would quietly acknowledge this stunt was in the 'strenuous activity' category, and a hernia while in Nepal would be signficant inconvenience :). All went well and no damage was done.

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