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Himalayan peaks from cockpit Jean Roalsvig 2048

Everest Base Camp Trek Begins Under Clear Skies

Yak bells clang and Tibetan chant­i­ng plays behind me while I sit writ­ing our Nam­che Bazaar updates in the sun­shine this Sat­ur­day morn­ing. The Ever­est Base Camp team made it above 12,000 feet on day two of our climb through the Himalaya. We’re perched 3,000 feet above the Bhote Khosi gorge, and the views from this moun­tain mec­ca are ver­ti­cal extremes in all direc­tions. Time to enjoy the scene and reflect on the last cou­ple days.

It’s a busy sea­son here in the Solu Khum­bu; no doubt due to pris­tine weath­er this time of year. We flew into the airstrip at Luk­la two days ago, with skies so clear we watched the chain of Himalayan giants from Lang­tang to Gau­ri Shankar to the Solu Khum­bu the entire way in. Our co-pilot seemed to enjoy our row­dy enthu­si­asm, point­ing out promi­nent peaks along the way and even­tu­al­ly invit­ing Jean and com­pa­ny into the cock­pit for some photo-ops!

Himalayan peaks from the cock­pit. Jean Roalsvig photo

A smooth land­ing fol­lowed by a meet-up with our Sher­pa team saw us away on the trail to our first night in Phakd­ing. As will like­ly be the theme of the trip, our New York trio plus dad tucked right in on the shoul­der of lead Sher­pa Mani and set an impres­sive­ly steady pace up the trail. Jason and Ana kept our good juju going steady, lead­ing the trekkers encir­cling mani stones and prayer wheels. Ricar­do, our Brazil­ian, got the short straw in Kath­man­du with a bad lunch some­where in his wan­der­ings, and suf­fered through the first day’s walk a lit­tle worse for wear. We tucked him in ear­ly with a few mag­ic pills. By the fol­low­ing morn­ing he was rosy cheeked again, and it was a full team laugh­ing and awestruck by the views on our wan­der through the Sher­pa vil­lages of upper Solu. Yak and mule traf­fic out­num­bered human traf­fic on our climb into Nam­che vil­lage, so it was a pile of dust-cov­ered laun­dry we hand­ed over to our sweet tea house staff this morn­ing. John, Lisa, and I dart­ed out to recov­er over a local Nepali ice here at the vil­lage pub.”

Sher­pa ladies singing and danc­ing in Nam­che, cel­e­brat­ing Losar hol­i­day and the full moon. Mara Lar­son photo

Man­dala artist at work. Jean Roalsvig photo

The team’s en route now for their acclima­ti­za­tion hike to the Ever­est View Hotel. Bernie’s Go-Pro’ing the climb for future Moun­tain Mad­ness web­site spots. Mike is chill­ing out and enjoy­ing the views, now that his long-lost lug­gage in Del­hi was heli­coptered up here yes­ter­day. Knut is main­tain­ing his usu­al casu­al stroll as if we’re still just out for a Sun­day walk back at sea lev­el. We’re all spoiled with the third straight day of blue sky mornings. 

More updates from Deboche and beyond!

~ MM Guide Mara Larson