Stuck in a foreign country at 4400m, when a Covid-19 test shows up positive.
After two years of lockdowns and changes to the guiding industry, that happened to Wanaka local Gavin Lang, who had travelled to Nepal with his 7-year-old daughter for a much needed reprieve.
As an experienced guide, owner of First Light Guiding, Mr Lang said he was familiar with problem›solving in unpredictable situations, but the Covid-19 result was a new challenge.
“At 3800m in Thame Violet Lang got the sniffles. At 4400m in Lungden, I got a headache in the evening after playing hacky sack,” he said.
The following day, due to fresh snowfall, they delayed crossing the Renjo La by a day.
“I went for a local walk and realised quickly that I really just wanted to crawl into bed. I did a Covid test — negative — and I got into my sleeping bag for the day. I did not eat much. Violet played outside all day,” he said.
The following day Mr Lang began to feel better.
“We started walking towards Renjo La, but Violet did not want to leave Lungden since she found a new friend. There was lots of complaining. I could not listen to the complaints, and definitely did not have the strength to carry her. We turned around and headed down to Thame. We both do a Covid test that evening and I tested positive,” he said.
The following days they continued descending from Thame to Namche Bazaar and on to Phaking.
There they both took Covid-19 tests and Mr Lang was positive.
“I decided that a medivac was the best solution and we flew out to KTM,” Mr Lang said.
Mr Lang and his daughter arrived in Nepal on April 24 for their three-week expedition.
They are now safe and sound in Turkey, and will travel to Ireland to visit family, before returning back to New Zealand.
Mr Lang plans to take clients mountaineering in Nepal, Peru and Bolivia next year.