These posts are reflections and images from my trek to Kalla Patthar in Nepal February 2017.
It was time to leave the relative comforts of Namche and make more progress towards EBC. Little did I know perched on the hillside one more morning looking at Everest that I was actually looking into the next few day’s route.
So we followed the yaks in the picture and headed up the trail. This trail is well-used by people and animals hauling goods, as well as trekkers and locals. Many stupas are passed by, with soaring views in every direction.
This is a mostly flat trail with a lot of yak and mule traffic. With every step, Ama Dablam comes into view and remains prominent through much of this section. I think this is also the first part where I got serious about sunscreen. I had a wide brimmed hat on and long sleeve shirt, but the sun exposure here and the fact that UV is much stronger at altitude reminded me to put some on my face and nose especially.
In the afternoon, we reached Phunke Tenga, after doing some rather steep downhill switchbacks. I remember thinking, “Ok we get to go up that on the way back…” This little town involves an Army checkpoint for your permits as well as a nice late lunch stop. I made the mistake of trying the spaghetti. The pasta wasn’t bad but the sauce had a heavy ketchup taste to it. Only did that once.
A solid meal here is a good idea since the climb to Tengboche is pretty relentless. Dusty, rocky, and with seemingly always more around the corner. For this however you are treated to spectacular views of Kangtega Peak all the way up. We took a lot of breaks along the way.
Tengboche is worth the effort. Peaks all around in every direction and a massive monastery in the middle of it. We got settled into our teahouse for the night and stopped in at the monastery for afternoon services. I have no photos of course but it was a solemn, beautiful event.
One thing about trekking that runs through the entire trip is the camaraderie. You kind of get to know who is on the trail in the early stages and keep running into them again and again along the way. One couple from Holland was going to ice climb a particular peak at the end. The two from Germany mostly kept to themselves. Basel from Syria was going solo but loved to talk about cameras. It was in our teahouse in Tengboche that everyone seemed to catch up to each other over meals. I noted this because it kind of fell apart after that. Different paces, routes etc. I did manage to put together a nice timelapse of sunset light on Mount Everest that evening. (Sony a7r2 and Zeiss 100-300mm)
I woke up next morning to see how the sunrise was looking. There was some kind of strange groaning going on outside which made me extra curious. I got my gear together and made my way outside as quietly as possible. Turns out the sounds were the monks welcoming the morning with a large conch from the monastery.
So the morning was welcomed and soft light danced across the various peaks. A very peaceful scene and I had it mostly to myself in the early hours.
We headed out after breakfast. Dingboche was our next overnight stay and destination.
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