Everest Base Camp Trek Wrap-Up
The trail to Phortse is one of my favorites, contouring high on the mountain and offering great views up and down the valley. As hoped, we run across a herd of ~25 tahr (wild Himalayan mountain goats) who are utterly at ease grazing on the steep hillside. We have left the main trail behind and find ourselves alone in the quiet of the mountain today. It’s a welcome change not to see another tourist the whole afternoon.
The morning we leave Phortse, we drop down to cross the river and have a stiff climb up the other side. After 2 weeks of hiking, however, it’s clear the group is generally stronger. At the top, we pause for some snacks and then cruise gently down to Namche through the afternoon. One more long day of hiking brings us to Lukla for a celebration with all our staff. Beers, sodas, and chocolate – before one last heaping plate of rice with chicken curry!
The following morning we slide off the side of the mountain on Lukla’s inclined runway, and we’re back in Kathmandu in an hour. The crumbling chaos has been transformed into a cosmopolitan metropolis after two weeks in the mountains. We can’t wait to revel in all the comforts of the city before a final party to celebrate and close the trip! Strangers three weeks ago, we are now all familiar friends. Once you’ve walked in the Himalayas, you are forever changed – and you will always feel connected to the people who have been there with you!
Many thanks to all our Nepali partners and staff who made this trip possible – especially Kili, Sagar, and Shankar in Kathmandu and Pemba, Dawa, and Yubaraj on the mountain!! You’ve been amazing! As always. I’m already looking forward to the next trip!
–Deana Zabaldo, Team Leader