Namche Bazaar to Tengboche
We awoke earlier than usual today. A Gap Advenures and Intrepid Tour checked into our lodge “Camp de Base” yesterday and we didn’t want to have to compete for service or breakfast. We also didn’t want to have to wait in line for the bathroom. Lodges become more and more sparse as you go higher on the Everest Base Camp Trek and fewer toilets are shared between more people.
Up until now we hadn’t encountered crowds of people. It had been pretty quiet on the mountain and we liked it that way. Luckily, we are a day ahead of tours. They have to stay in Namche Bazaar for an acclimatization day. So we are moving on free from crowds of people for now.
Today was another difficult day making our way to Everest, but we felt stronger as our bodies have adjusted well to the altitude. While the climb was steep, we didn’t feel nearly as tired as the climb into Namche Bazaar two days ago.
The trail is well maintained on this portion of the trek. That is because of the effort and work of the man above. He has been maintaining this trail for over 40 years and has done a fantastic job. He takes donations from trekkers to pay his workers. We learned that the government doesn’t provide funding for the trail to Mount Everest. It is the efforts of people like him that keep the trails in the shape they are today. We gave him some rupees and his big smile said that he was grateful. We can’t imagine this work. It looks difficult and dangerous. Stacks of stones are laid upon one another building a retaining wall. Men perch themselves on the edge of the mountain as they do their work and face the danger of plummeting into the depths below. They earn every Rupee that they make.
We came across Pasang Sherpa and his donation booth just a little past a monument set up by the Norgay family honoring Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and all the Sherpa’s over the years that have risked their lives to get climbers up to the top of Mount Everest.
They are the unsung heroes of Mount Everest. Sherpas carry the heavy loads, set the ladders and ropes and take care of setting up camp while Climbers and trekkers catch their breath and try to survive life on the worlds tallest mountain.
We learned that a Sherpa is actually a name of an ethnic group from Tibet. The original mountaineers used the Sherpas as their guides in the Himalayas and the world has now adopted the name for porters in the Everest region. When we first asked our porter Sher if he wanted to become a Sherpa, we didn’t understand his reply that you had to be a part of the family. It was later that it was explained to us.
The EBC Trek Takes on a New Feel
We made it into camp at 1:30 pm and had the entire afternoon to ourselves at 3900 meters. The final push was once again a steady 2 hour steep climb. We put our heads down and huffed and puffed our way up. We didn’t stop for any photos or video and actually were surprised to cut the climb down to one and a half hours. We reached the prayer wheels of Tengboche just in time for a light snow to start falling.
At this higher elevation, the tea houses are much more like what we expected to see on our trek. They are very basic and rustic. The rooms don’t have heat and we have to walk outside and down some steps to the outhouse toilet. The water scoop bucket has a thick layer of ice on it and there isn’t any running water.
The snow fell lightly all afternoon and the temperature dropped dramatically. We warmed our feet with our new down booties that we bought at Namche and changed into some dryer clothes before heading off to see the monks chant at Tengboche Monastery.
Our guide Dipendra tells us that this is the most important monastery in the Mount Everest region. It is impressive.
The footprints or Lama Pagna Dorje from the 16th century are embedded in solid stone in front of the monastery. A place where he mediated and raced through the Himalayas riding the wind with his mind.
Apparently he sat on this stone for so long, his feet left their mark. He spent years traveling the world through the power of his mind and we believe the story. Especially after our yoga experience in Goa India.
He predicted that a monastery would be built here and surprise surprise…here it is.
It could not have been built in a more beautiful setting. To look at it, it is fine as far as Buddhist Monastery’s go, but to stand on its steps and look over the valley, it is extraordinary.
The Valley is wide and opens up to massive rolling hills giving way to the highest peaks on earth. And yes, Mount Everest is part of that view. We are told that Sir Edmund Hillary came back to survey Mount Everest from this spot because the view is so clear of the mountain.
The snow makes it that much more beautiful here.
We really feel like adventurers as we sit by the fire warming our feet and swapping stories with other trekkers by candlelight. There are 10 of us staying in this tea house and we are happy to run into Herman, a journalist from Norway who is climbing and writing about his experience in the Himalayas. We met him earlier at Lukla. His climbing partner had developed a stomach flu and they had to wait out a few days there. We were glad to see that he was well enough to move on.
When we head to bed, our rooms are freezing and it is so cold in the shared squat toilets that the water from the scoop bucket has caused a patch of ice to form on the floor of the bathroom. It is a slippery trip to the outhouse and as usual we have to make at least a couple throughout the night.
There is even an element of danger heading to the loo on Everest and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This trek is turning out to be an adventure of a lifetime in every aspect.
More posts on Everest Base Camp Trekking
- Everest Base Camp Aventure – Part 7
- Everest Base Camp Adventure – Part 6
- Everest Base Camp Adventure – Part 5
- Everest Base Camp Adventure – Part 3
- Everest Base Camp Adventure- Part 2
- Everest Base Camp Adventure – Day 1
- Everest Base Camp Adventure – The Arrival
- Packing List for Everest Base Camp Trek