MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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April 5, 2012

First Everest Base Camp Trek Takes Off

Mountain Madness is back on the trail to Everest Base Camp for spring 2012!

After receiving a blessing from a Buddhist lama in Kathmandu and doing some sightseeing, we took one of the world's most thrilling flights--to Lukla airstrip, gateway to the Everest region.

Everyone at breakfast, fueling up for a beautiful day in the Himalayas. Deana Zabaldo photo

During our first two days, the hiking was beautiful in the lush lower valley on the way to Namche Bazaar. Small children offered us flowers as magnolias, rhododendrons, primula, and cherry trees bloomed along the trail.

A young Nepali girl offers us flowers along the trail. Deana Zabaldo photo

In Jorsale, near the entry to the national park, we saw a small forest fire burning. Unfortunately it grew the next day, and we could see the plumes of smoke down the valley from Namche Bazaar. The army mobilized a crew with snow shovels and ice axes, and we hope they got it under control.

The forest fire between Lukla and Namche. Deana Zabaldo photo

We've continued up the Khumbu Valley with a little snow and a little sun, the combination making the landscape stunningly powerful. Staying in Dingboche for 2 days, our sherpas settled into tents, we warmed up by the stove in the lodge, and our yaks got a rest. (Actually, they're a yak-cow crossbreed.)

Yaks, sherpa tents, and guest lodges in Dingboche. Deana Zabaldo photo

From our acclimatization hike, we have incredible views of Ama Dablam disappearing in and out of the clouds, and of the village of Dingboche below. Tomorrow after another delicious breakfast from the Mountain Madness kitchen, we're heading up to Lobuche! 

 The back side of Ama Dablam swirls in clouds
above the village of Dingboche, and we hike to
15,680 feet for acclimatization. Deana Zabaldo photo

~ MM Guide Deana Zabaldo