Nepal Everest Base Camp – EBC Part 2 of 3

 

This Everest Base Camp post is Part 2 of 3.
Read Part 1

 


Day 5 – Wednesday, November 20th
Acclimation Day in Namche Bazaar

Pretrek meeting notes:

  • 7AM Breakfast
  • Day hike to the top of Namche to see Mt. Everest
  • Bring 1L of water

Today we had breakfast and then prepared to go on a short acclimation hike. The hike took us 1.5 hours to reach the top (3,800m).

Here’s a view of Namche Bazaar from behind. The town is situated in a semi circle on the side of a mountain, facing (and surrounded by) more mountains.

Along the hike, we found a nice photo op location. We had to crawl through some bushes to get up onto this rock. It was worth the short detour.

The hike was all uphill. Along the way, we saw a new hotel that was being built. The workers were chipping away at a pile of rocks to shape them into bricks to use for the hotel. We also saw helicopters dropping off construction material. That’s a long ways to deliver!

At the top, we got a chance to look at Mt. Everest and snap photos with it. The hike down was okay. Overall I felt not too bad climbing, especially when taking it slow.

Namche Bazaar is cold, but nowhere as cold as we were about to experience over the next few days. In Nepal, when it gets cold, the locals take yak poop and turn them into these flat discs. The poop can most commonly be seen drying in piles on the outside walls of homes, later to be used to burn for warmth.

When we returned to our new tea house, we had lunch.

The new tea house was nice, and perhaps nicer than the previous one. But the food from the previous one was better. Overall, not too big of a difference (although our view was even better).

After we settled our room, we went to look for the monastery. We had to hop a wall to get to it. We walked around the perimeter of the monastery, spinning some prayer wheels along the way, before arriving at a super large prayer wheel. There was also a door that led into the monastery. We took a peek around.

This giant prayer wheel is at least 10 feet tall. It filled an entire room! These prayer wheels are meant to be rotated clockwise.

Further along the way, we caught some views and a helipad.

The mantra scripts are beautiful. Wish I knew what they read! Namche Bazaar is a special town, really glad that we got to spend an extra day here to explore.

Later on at night, we went shopping again. I got a EBC shirt and large coaster. Back at the tea house, we got ready for bed and hung out in our rooms. Dinner was at 6:30pm. We played a new game called “Space Team.” We went out one last time to shop for some last minute items and then came back to chat in the common room. It was a fun day.

Surprises:

  • Nice rooms
  • Free charging
  • Electricity and lights in the room
  • Table in the room!!

 


Day 6 – Thursday, November 21st
To Pangboche (3,900m)

Pretrek meeting notes:

  • 7AM breakfast
  • Monastery along the way
  • We will trek 7hr hike to the further town (1.5hr longer)

Today I decided to not poop in the morning. I just went later on at lunch time. We met for breakfast at 7am and started the trek at 8am. The hike was good and we got to the lunch location at 11:30am.

There are dogs all along the trek. Here’s one of a little puppy!

Again we had beautiful weather and views.

Did you know that yaks typically live above 3,500m elevation? Also, do you know the difference between a yak and a nak? A yak is male and a nak is female.

Continuing the hike, it was a bit harder. I noticed people were struggling to go up the hills. We played some music during the hike.

This was the entrance to the town that a monastery was located in. The details painted onto the ceiling are super intense.

We were supposed to stay here for the night, but our guide wanted us to head out further to the next, next, next town to “beat the crowd.” Looking back at the photos, it would have been nice to stay here actually.

Eventually we ended up at a monastery. We had to take off our shoes to go inside.

After we kept going towards the place where we were staying. That part of the hike was very cold and unenjoyable. It felt like we were the fellowship of the ring travelling through the mountains.

As the sun began to set behind the mountains, the weather got a lot colder. The last hour or so felt like it dragged on forever. Even after we got into town, the tea house that we were staying at was far away still.

When we made it to the tea house, people were not happy. Vanessa’s friend came to visit at our location. Now everyone is taking diamox together. We all took our oxygen levels and pulse.

Today I got to wear new socks. It was loose. The deodorant on my feet worked well for preventing blisters. Tomorrow, I get to wear a clean shirt.

Surprises:

  • Electricity
  • Cold
  • Frozen water in the pipes
  • My oxygen level was at 92% (highest in the group, average was around mid-80’s)

 


Day 7 – Friday, November 22nd
To Dingboche (4,350m)

Pretrek meeting notes:

  • Carry 3L+ of water
  • 7:30am breakfast, 8:30am start
  • 2.5-3hr hike total
  • lunch at next tea house
  • Start diamox if you need it
  • Start checking oxygen level everyday

It was a pretty cold sleeping in Pangboche, but at least we had a nice view of the Ama Dablam mountains. Everyone’s breakfast was surprisingly good… so good that we took our sweet time to eat. We didn’t leave until probably 8:30 or 9am.

There was no electricity in the tea house that we stayed at, so Erick put his portable solar panel to use. We were able to charge most of our cell phones.

I got my period this day while trekking. I didn’t have anything to use so I had to use toilet paper. Luckily we arrived fairly quickly. Basically by 11:30am or so.

Although we arrived at Dingboche in the afternoon while the sun was shining, the air was still cold.

Also for the last hour+, this cutie pie followed me. We parted ways after we got into town, although I would have loved for him to follow me into the tea house, too!

At our new tea house, we ordered each upcoming meals — lunch, dinner, and breakfast, then got cleaned up. By 12:30, our food was ready.

After lunch, we rested and then later went out to a cafe in town. I had a milkshake and we played monopoly.

This cafe advertised that you get to charge one device for free if you spend a minimum of $5 or something. There was also wifi available if you were a paying customer. AND! Their bathroom had soap and running water. I can’t remember the last time I had soap to wash my hands with. What a treat. Plus their bathroom was clean and had toilet paper, woah.

Inside, the cafe was very crowded. There isn’t really anywhere else to go in town, so pretty much everyone on the mountain is at this cafe. There was an Everest movie playing. Everyone was glued to the tv screen except for us.

At 5pm, we needed to be back at the tea house for dinner. The tea house was packed! The rest of the night was pretty  much spent in the dining room where we ate, played some Rumi and prepared for the next day. Erick got sick though, so I gave him my hot water. We went to bed at close to 8pm. I read until 9pm. At night it was really loud with everyone walking around. Our room is right next to the bathroom.

Surprises:

  • I prefer the squating toilets
  • There is still electricity
  • The water is frozen here
  • I’m still doing okay

 


Day 8 – Saturday, November 23rd
Acclimation Day in Dingboche

Pretrek meeting notes:

  • 1-2hr hike to Nangkartshang summit (~5,000m)
  • 1L of water
  • Acclimation day hike
  • 7:30am breakfast, hike, then return by 11am

We went hiking nearby. The trek wasnt so bad. At first it took me at least 10-20 minutes to get used to the rhythm of the hike again, but it came easy after. We got some nice photos, too.

I ended up carrying up a beautiful rock from the bottom of the mountain up to the top. I placed it on a stack of rocks.

So many stacks of rocks and prayer flags.

A photo of our entire group at the top 🙂

The hike back down the mountain was fairly quick. When we got back, we ordered food. Now I’m waiting for the food to be served in about 30 minutes. Everyone is resting in their rooms until 12:30pm. Brian is reading next to me. Luke and Nikki are hanging, too (a couple we met).

After lunch is over, we will probably head over to the cafe again at some point. The rest of the day is as expected. Hang out, clean up, eat, pretrek meeting, read, sleep. I’m looking forward to the next two days. Summit is happening on day 10 of the trek (or day 8 if only counting the actual trekking days).

I hope that everyone makes it up and enjoys themselves. Plus, hopefully no one gets sick. I’m trying my best to keep my body in good condition so that I don’t get sick. Today I am wearing my clean shirt. Yay!

Surprises:

  • I won monopoly and Claude is upset

 


Day 9 – Sunday, November 24th
To Lobuche (4,910m)

Pretrek meeting notes:

  • 7:30am breakfast
  • ~6hr hike
  • The beginning half before lunch is easy, but after will be hard

This morning, I woke up with a headache. I ended up taking some Ibuprofen and downing a bottle of water with pedialyte.

During the hike, I enjoyed some time to myself hiking ahead of our group.

The water here is entirely frozen over. This portion of the hike was fairly flat, but had sweeping canyon views.

The building in the picture below is where we had lunch. If you look closely, there’s a line of people on the bottom right. We had to cross through the bottom of the canyon, over some boulders, small wooden bridges, and water.

Again, I love all the Nepali dogs.

Now came the up mountain climb. Below you can see where we ate lunch. This is about half-way to the top of our ascent, before coasting the rest of the day.

This was now the topish. Lots of people just hanging around up here and taking photos.

We saw the memorials of all those who died at Everest. That was kinda intense to read.

I think it’s important to remember all the lives that were lost by individuals and groups trying to summit Mt. Everest. It’s amazing the stories behind each person. Please take the time to read some of the ones that I’ve photographed below.

I took the opportunity to play with a block of ice, hehe.

It kept getting colder and colder, especially after we got to the top of the mountain. These flat plains stretching all the way to Lobuche went by slowly.

But finally a sign!!

We made it to the tea house in Lobuche at around 2:30pm. At the tea house, I had hot water and garlic soup.

Winston told the guide that he had a headache at the back of his head, and the guide said not to worry, soon enough we will all have the same problem.

Just when I thought the other places were cold, it was even colder here (of course). I wore pretty much everything to stay warm. If I was in my room, I hung out in the sleeping bag.

Now I am resting before the trek. Tomorrow we summit Everest base camp. It’s good to take it easy. All rest for me today. Btw, it is cold. Clean socks tonight (sleeping in them), and clean sports bra today! No more changing out of my hiking tops (bra and base layer), and now starting to wear bottom base layer.

Erick came by my room briefly to say hi before bedtime. Then it was off to sleep we went! Tomorrow’s the big day.

 


 

This concludes part 2 of EBC.
Stay tuned for the final post in the next coming weeks.

x Sarah

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