icons/avalancheicons/bootscompassfacebookicons/gloveshandsicons/hearticons/helmeticons/ice axeinstagramminusmountainicons/pathsMap Pinplusicons/questionicons/guideicons/ropeicons/gogglesicons/stafftenttwitteryoutube

Mountain Madness Everest Base Camp Trekkers arrive in Namche!

April 1

We rose above a fog­gy Kath­man­du morn­ing on our flight to Luk­la and were sud­den­ly con­front­ed with a spec­tac­u­lar view of the Himalayas. A long, snowy and jagged line of mas­sive peaks…the moun­tains were spec­tac­u­lar! Some peaks loomed huge in the fore­ground, but not even 8000m. Every­one is excit­ed to be amongst the world’s high­est mountains.

We cruised up a val­ley, turned toward the green ridge and came in for a quick land­ing on Luk­la’s short, sloped run­way. Gath­er­ing bags and staff togeth­er, we made intro­duc­tions – Nepalis and Amer­i­cans both strug­gling with for­eign names. Check­ing out our porters, they seemed to be lack­ing warm cloth­ing. First they were con­vinced they would­n’t need it, but after some dis­cus­sion (and insis­tance), they agreed to go home tonight and pick up their warmer clothes. Keep­ing porters healthy is impor­tant both for their sake and for an effec­tive trip.

Head­ing out to hike, we start­ed pass­ing yaks, prayer wheels, and fields. A Bud­dhist retreat monastery was built into a cliff high above us. Fields along the way were plant­ed with cau­li­flower, cab­bage, car­rots, rice, and bok choy. After lunch and only 3 hours of hik­ing, we rolled into Phakd­ing, a small vil­lage down along the MilkRiv­er”, where we were stay­ing the night. Our porters, how­ev­er, did­n’t have much in the way of warm cloth­ing with them, so we sent them home for the night where they said they had warmer gear for the trek.

April 2

The air was crisp and clear with great views of Tham­serku along the trail as we hiked by the riv­er through much of the morn­ing. We then crossed the Hillary sus­pen­sion bridge, dizzi­ly high above the gorge and strewn with prayer flags, before climb­ing, climb­ing, climb­ing into Nam­che Bazaar.

Long before for­eign vis­i­tors made the town a mec­ca for apple pie, Nam­che was an impor­tant region­al town. Sit­ting at the con­flu­ence of three high alpine val­leys, Nam­che is where Tibetan car­a­vans, local Sher­pas, and low­land peo­ples all con­verged for trading.

We entered the vil­lage at its base, pass­ing through a paint­ed Bud­dhist gate” (arch­way) built to cleanse trav­el­ers of evil spir­its before they enter sacred val­leys and vil­lages. In the mid­dle of town are bak­eries, inter­net cafes, and shops sell­ing every­thing from yak bells to choco­late bars. A lit­tle fur­ther towards the top of town, we are stay­ing in a cozy lodge where din­ner awaits!

–Deana Zabal­do, group leader

Moun­tain views from the plane

Our group clean, fresh, and ready to hike

Spin­ning prayer wheels along the trail

Vil­lage home

New moth­er

Cross­ing a sus­pen­sion bridge

Yaks on the high Hillary sus­pen­sion bridge