April 16, 2012
MM Guide Deana Zabaldo reflects on life on the trail to Everest Base Camp. After her many years exploring the Nepal countryside with trekkers, there are obvious reasons that she keeps coming back. The first team is arriving home after a magical experience among the highest peaks of the world. Two more treks this spring and then we'll be back for another Everest Base Camp trek and our Tsum Valley Trek in the fall.
(All photos by Deana Zabaldo)
Day hike above Dingboche
"Above Lobuche, the world turns to stone and water. Miles of thick ice make up the Khumbu Glacier, and smaller glaciers reach down from 6000...7000...8000 meter peaks all around. A light snow sticks atop rocks, but still allows for easy hiking. A tumult of boulders make up the glacial morraine that we cross into Gorak Shep before noon. The town is coated in sugary snow. Although it was snowing all night and into the morning as we left Lobuche, the weather miraculously clears for afternoon views of Everest. Streams of thin clouds ensconce the mountains, opening and closing like the curtains on a stage. It's absolutely magical as it continues to clear and the views get better and better.
Hiking into snow-sheathed Gorak Shep
"The following day, we cross more of the moonscape and head out to Everest Base Camp, surrounded by looming mountains. Incredibly dwarfed by the landscape, the tents of EBC slowly grow from dots of color in the distance to life-size domes and squares. We are one of the only trek groups to be spending the night at Base Camp. That gives us the chance to relax, look around, and even sleep on the glacier!
Clear day on the way to Base Camp
"After a respite of lunch in our dining tent, we walk down to the Icefall, find the Himalayan Rescue Association set up, learn the Icefall doctors have completed setting the route through that most dangerous territory, and find the helipad just completed and ready for rescue. It's a cold night in the tents at a mere 3 degrees Farenheit, and everyone is glad for their warm bags and jackets. The snow outside literally sparkles in moonlight, and the mountains are aglow. When we wake, Base Camp is a silent outpost on the edge of the world that slowly comes to life.
Hiking out onto the Khumbu Glacier to Base Camp
"Finally we hike out to the comfort of Pheriche where 14,000 feet feels like thick air. From there we have a few days of beautiful hiking through alpine valleys, visiting a Buddhist nunnery, and playing games with our staff at tea time. Life is great on the trail...
--Deana Zabaldo, MM Guide"
EBC 2012 and the medical tent.
I woke up and unzipped my tent after spending the night at Everest Base Camp.
Helicopter coming into Base Camp.
The morning clears, and everyone is out.
We visit our guide Dawa Sherpa's house for tea and potato pancakes.