MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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April 27, 2010

Everest Base Camp Dispatch: First Views of Everest!

We do not have rest days on the Everest Base Camp Trek; we have acclimatization days. This means we still hike...uphill. Fortunately, we get stunning views from the half-day ventures. Leaving Namche Bazaar, the trail rises steeply--over 1000ft in 1-2 hours--and then levels off as we reach the Everest View Hotel. Aptly named, we have our first sweeping views of the valley we are ascending. Our climbing guide, Pemba Gyalje Sherpa shows us Everest and more...

(Pemba shows us the mountains here.)

Leaving Namche, we contour around the side of the mountain and are confronted with spectacular views once again. We spot wild Himalayan mountain goats in the golden brush and even a rare danphe--the national bird of Nepal--with iridescent plumage reminiscent of a peacock but in copper tones.

On the way to Tengboche, looking toward Ama Dablam. 
Deana Zabaldo photo

Leaving Namche, we contour around the side of the mountain and are confronted with spectacular views once again. We spot wild Himalayan mountain goats in the golden brush and even a rare danphe--the national bird of Nepal--with iridescent plumage reminiscent of a peacock but in copper tones.

Rhododendrons in bloom above Phunky Tenga.
Deana Zabaldo photo

Dropping down to the river and across the new bridge at Phunky Tenga, we have a picnic lunch and then climb in the heat of afternoon to Tengboche, site of the area's largest monastery. Just in time for afternoon prayers: the deep tones of monks chanting in Tibetan before an altar of butter lamps and a giant statue of the Buddha.

(See a video of the Tengboche Prayers here, posted with permission of Tengboche Monastery.) 

~ MM Guide Deana Zabaldo

 

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