Festival Celebrations on the Everest Base Camp Trek
Our fall Gokyo and Everest Base Camp trek is checking in from Dingboche today!
Mani Rimdu! It wasn’t until we arrived in Tengboche that we knew we had actually timed it perfectly. Dawa Sherpa and I had been getting conflicting reports for days on whether or not the Mani Rimdu — Nepal’s most revered and sacred Buddhist festival that is held each year at Tengboche Monastery — was still going. My research before I left the states led me to believe that we would miss it, so I didn’t talk about it much with the group on the outset of the trip. Dawa had talked to a monk down in Phakding that said it was over. I had asked some Sherpa in Namche and they said, maybe. We just didn’t know.
(all photos from previous treks)
Tengboche Monastery. Kayla Fenske photo
We made the long trek from Namche up valley, up and down and across the Dudh Kosi River and few times and then the final hot climb to Tengboche, which is beautifully situated on a small bench below Ama Dablam and the head of the upper Khumbu. Half the crew immediately went to the famed Tengboche Bakery to get coffee and cake. Chris got two of everything, per his normal modus operandi. Dawa and Kaji scrambled, and in no time we were in front of the High Lama to receive his blessing at sunset along with a hundred or so other folks. It was a special moment to say the least! Next morning we got to witness the series of rituals and mask dancing that makes Mani Rimdu such a sight. The monastery was packed with devotees, locals, and trekkers and it was an amazing thing to take part in. We are feeling very fortunate to have timed it so.
Sunrise in Tengboche. Neil Asaba photo
Today is an acclimatization day and then tomorrow we make the long climb to Lobuche underneath the huge towers of Taboche and Cholatse — home the Himalayan climbing hard man. It’s clouding up a bit and we might get a bit of light snow, otherwise skies are sunny and cold. We check in again from Gorak Shep in 2 – 3 days.
On the hike to Dingboche. Kayla Fenske photo