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