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Mountain Madness Climber

Gokyo Team Reaches Namche Bazaar

Nam­che Bazaar. Jere­my Allyn photo

Greet­ings from Nam­che! The 2013 Ever­est Bases Camp-Gokyo Trek team arrived here in good style yes­ter­day after spend­ing the first night of the trek in Phakd­ing. Our flight from Kath­man­du to Luk­la went with­out a hitch — no doubt in huge part from the help of MM Nepal Oper­a­tion’s Man­ag­er, Sagar, and our amaz­ing local staff. After sort­ing loads and tak­ing care of logis­tics, we met with our lead Sher­pa, Dawa, head cook Dambar (assist­ed by Shi­ba), and two oth­er Sher­pa guides, Kaji and Gelu. All in all, we have about a 20 per­son team of sher­pa, kitchen staff, porters; as well as 15 pack ani­mals that are oper­at­ing like a well-oiled machine. Right out of Luk­la, we passed by Dawa’s vil­lage and every­one got in a nice hik­ing rhythym through the rolling forest­ed ter­rain. Next week’s con­sti­tu­tion­al elec­tion is loom­ing and the air is filled with excite­ment and pol­i­tics and a clear opti­mism for Nepal’s future. It’s fun to see all the par­ty fly­ers dot­ting the vil­lages and route. 

Man­jushri Pro­tec­tor of Kath­man­du Val­ley at the entrance to Sagar­matha Nation­al Park
Jere­my Allyn photo

Steve and Leonie cross­ing one of the many sus­pen­sion bridges. Jere­my Allyn photo

Hik­ing up-val­ley from Phakd­ing is one of my favorite parts of this route — beau­ti­ful riv­er val­leys, super steep ter­rain, and long, high bridges adorned with prayer flags fly­ing in the wind. It all makes the high Himalayan alpine all the more mag­i­cal when you trav­el so high from so low. The group made good time and we arrived in Nam­che — the sacred cross­road of the upper Khum­bu — by 3p.m. and checked into the Camp de Base tea­house where Moun­tain Mad­ness has stayed for a num­ber of years. Last year’s spring EBC trek’s signed Amer­i­can flag adorned the wall, along with the pres­ence of numer­ous oth­er MM trips and climbs. When I saw Kaji’s name on the flag he had to laugh, as he’s been up here so many times in the last year (5 trips this fall alone!). I’m learn­ing how to say bring home the bacon” in Nepali.

Sus­pen­sion bridges across the Khum­bu. Jere­my Allyn photo

We are falling quick­ly in the Himalayan trek rhythym.…morning bed tea”, break­fast at 730 a.m., hike, hot lunch on the trail, spin prayer wheels, after­noon tea, hot tow­el, 3 course din­ner in the com­fort and warmth of the tea house, bed early…repeat. Today we made the steep hike up the walled cirque above Nam­che and on to the Ever­est View Hotel for drinks and our first views of the mid­dle part of our route. Ama Dablam looks snowy and winds were blow­ing hard off Lhot­se’s sum­mit ridge. Ever­est looked, well, huge! Temps are in the 50’s to low 60’s in the day and are dip­ping into the 20’s at night. Win­ter is com­ing! Word from the trail and oth­er climbers and trekkers is that the snows of the upper ele­va­tions are melt­ing fast and, though the temps are going to be super cold at night, the route to EBC and up Cho La to Gokyo are in good shape. 

The group hik­ing above Nam­che. Jere­my Allyn photo

Ever­est, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. Jere­my Allyn photo

Tomor­row we are off the Teng­boche and are going to be able to catch the tail end of Mani Rim­du — one of the most impor­tant and aus­pi­cious Tibetan Bud­dhist fes­ti­vals. It’s going to be a spe­cial day for the team. Every­one says hi!” to their fam­i­ly and loved ones. We’ll check in in a few days and post more pho­tos soon. Namaste and all the best from us!

~ MM Guide Jere­my Allyn

View of Nam­che Bazaar from above. Jere­my Allyn photo