Day 9: Dingboche (4360m)(Trekking: approx 6 hours)
From Thyangboche we descend through forest of birch, fir, juniper and rhododendron, to the nunnery at Debuche. Along the way we keep an eye open for blood and Danfe pheasant, musk deer and, high on the steep slopes of the valley, Himalayan tahr. After half an hour of fairly level walking we cross the Imja Khola River and gradually ascend to the village of Pangboche, where the peak of Ama Dablam dominates the skyline. We take lunch here and perhaps view the beautiful monastery that once housed a scalp reputedly belonging to the legendary yeti. In the afternoon our route ascends gradually high above the Imja Khola River and passing tea houses at Orsho before crossing river again and old glacial moraines, on the way to our lodge in the settlement of Dingboche. The scenery is spectacular and although Everest here disappears behind the Lhotse-Nuptse ridge, the huge peaks that tower above the eastern end of the valley are ample compensation. We are now almost completely above the tree line and, in clear conditions, can look out for spectacular sunsets here and on Ama Dablam. Today’s walk is quite tiring due to the altitude, so it is important to take notice of your trek leader’s advice and recommendations regarding rest and fluid intake.
The trip is superb: I'm very well, the weather is perfect and the scenery is spectacular. At Namche there are several Internet cafes, but nowhere else on the trek, so you won't be getting any more emails from me for a while after we leave here on Saturday morning.Kathmandu was as I expected: full of life, good food and friendly locals, but poor infrastructure and dusty and very dirty. We had a trip to the main Hindu temple, with cremations proceeding and crowds of devoted praying and making offerings. We also visited a Buddhist stupa, which was in contrast to the rest of the city: peaceful and clean. It is surrounded by a Tibetan community, with several reasonable looking hotels and lots of restaurants, and appeals to me as an area to stay when I return.
The trek for the first 3 days has been fairly easy, but once we leave here it will get harder and harder. We've trekked along a river valley, surrounded by forest and immense mountains. The only means of transport from Lucla - the town into which we flew from Kathmandu - is the path along which we travelled. It is highway, with many trekkers - in groups and individually - and enderless streams of porters loaded down with huge packs resting on their backs by a strap across their foreheads, interspersed with caravans of yaks also loaded down. All the materials for construction and all the necessities of life for all the villages we visit come in this way. The mountain sides are covered with small pine forest, except where it has been cleared for cultivation.The weather is crystal clear each morning, but cloud steadily increase during the day. The overnight temperatures so far have been about 5-6, and daytime about 13-15. I'm sure both figures will drop as we climb.There are 12 in our group: 2 pommies, 2 South Africans and 8 Aussies. We have the main guide, Tisha, who is very competent and experienced, supported by 4 assistant guides and several porters. The guides ensure that we travel slowly, allowing us to acclimatise and keeping the group together. I'm sharing a room with Trent, a 59 year old from Adelaide and a good bloke.Our room looks onto a large mountain, over which immense snow covered peaks tower straight up.
Day 7: Thyangboche (3875m)(Trekking: approx 6 hours)
From Namche Bazaar, we climb towards the park headquarters and follow a contouring trail high above the Dudh Kosi River. Above Namche the route to Thyangboche becomes visible with the monastery seen nestling below the summit of Everest and surrounded by other Himalayan peaks. On today’s walk there are opportunities to spot local wildlife including the beautiful Danfe pheasant, often seen among the birch and silver fir forest between Shanasa and Trashinga, and Himalayan Thar, on the high ground above the trail. After reaching the reforestation nursery at Trashinga, the trail drops steeply before crossing the Dudh Kosi River at Phunkitenga (3250m) where we take lunch. In the afternoon we pass water-driven prayer wheels and ascend, initially steeply, through pine, fir, black juniper and rhododendron forests towards Thyangboche. The monastery and our lodge are located in a beautiful meadow surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks in a truly peaceful and tranquil setting. The most notable peaks seen from here are Kantega, Ama Dablam (perhaps the most beautiful peak in the region) and, of course, Mount Everest.
Day 6: Namche Bazaar (3446m)(Acclimatisation Day)
We remain at Namche Bazaar for a second night to allow for proper acclimatisation to the altitude. Namche is a prosperous village situated in a large protected hollow. It gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for the lowland grains of Nepal. Today a limited amount of trade still exists at Namche and Tibetans are often seen in the village trading rugs and Chinese-made goods, clothing, salt and dried meat.
It is recommended that you take the opportunity to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the national park headquarters above the village. The stunning vista includes a superb panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest. After breakfast, a variety of options exists. Perhaps a walk towards Thami (3810m) above the beautiful Bhote Khola River Valley or a visit to the national park headquarters to see the interesting displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture. There is also a mountaineering display and information on the park’s flora and fauna. Your guides are on hand to offer advice and escort you on walks.
Day 5: Namche Bazaar (3446m)(Trekking: approx 4 hours)
Today the walking is a little tougher and includes a steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. From Monjo it is a short walk to the entrance of the national park, before we cross the Dudh Kosi River to Jorsale (2805m). The trek continues upstream on generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi Rivers, where we start the steep climb to Namche Bazaar. After crossing a large and stable suspension bridge high above the river, we slowly ascend at a steady pace. There are some fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse, Ama Dablam and Taweche (6542m) come into view for the first time. After arriving in Namche Bazaar, we enjoy lunch with the afternoon is free to bargain in the shops for Tibetan artefacts or simply relax and marvel at the beautiful scenery.
Hartley Lifecare Fun Run 5k 17 November Wagga Tri-ants Duathlon 10k/40k/5k 30 October ACTVAC Half Marathon 21.1k 28 August Canberra Half Marathon 15 May injured
Year to Date
Chip Time (3:47:13) Sydney 2005