Dispatches - Everest Base Camp Trek #4 2022

October 18, 2022

Follow the 2022 Adventure Consultants Everest Base Camp Trek Team as they made their way through the ancient trails of the Khumbu Valley to Everest Base Camp, during the post monsoon season October 4-21.

The Adventure Consultants Everest Base Camp Trek 2022 #4 Team includes:

Trekking Guide:
Chhiring Sonam Sherpa – Nepal

Team Members:
Dan Graves – USA
Martin Staley – USA

Trekking Sherpa:
Tashi Sherpa – Nepal

4 October 2022

Everest Base Camp Trek Begins

4 10 Welcome Dinner incl Guy SuzeOver the couple of years that Covid has effected the entire world with lock downs and quarantine restrictions, here at Adventure Consultants we chose to postpone all of our trips to the Himalaya and throughout the world for the safety reasons. But now that the world is starting to reopen and tourism businesses are safer to run, we are proudly running our trips back to the Himalaya. And that being said, our first Everest Base Camp trek officially kicks off today.

We started our day with a gear check for Martin and Dan, making sure that they had all of the trekking gear they need for this trip. This was followed with a team briefing, outlining the trek and what our plan is for the next few days. Both Martin and Dan are super excited to get on the trail.

After the trip briefing, we enjoyed a welcome dinner, a traditional way to kick off the trip. Our company CEO, Guy Cotter and the General Manager Suze Kelly also joined us, which is the greatest pleasure and a great opportunity to chat about some of the many climbing experiences they have to share with us. And of course they had much advice and lessons we learnt while enjoying our dinner.

We have a city tour planned for tomorrow. Please stay tuned for more updates. Martin, Dan and Chhiring for EBC Gokyo trek

5 October 2022

City Tour

1 More ShaduNo visit to Kathmandu would be complete without a city tour! The bustling city is located in a bowl shaped valley at the base of the Himalayan range, and is often referred to as the 'City of Temples' due to the many ancient pogodas and stupa dotted across the city, seven of which are now protected UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

30 3 Boudanath SKWith a rich history centered as a crossroads between ancient Indian and Asian cilvilizations, Kathmandu has evolved with a colourful blend of both Hindu and Buddhist cultures. There is a lot to see and do in the city, from Swayambhunath, the famous Monkey Temple, to Dubar Square, Pashupatinath, and the bustling tourist market of Thamel - you could easily spend several days exploring. Today the team managed to take in Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath and Boudhanath.

With the city tour complete, our team is ready to start the next phase of their journey with an early wake-up call tomorrow ahead of their flight to Lukla where the trek begins! AC Office for Chhiring Sonam Sherpa. Photo left Shadu on the streets of Kathmandu by AC Archive and right Boudhanath Stupa at night by Suze Kelly AC Archive.

6 October 2022

Helicopter Flight to Lukla and Beyond

6 10 Heli team CSSWe were picked up early in the morning for our flight to Lukla, the gateway to the Khumbu Valley and start of the trail to Everest Base Camp. As we approached to the domestic airport, the rain started coming down heavily, which delayed our flight. It looks like the monsoon in Nepal is not over yet. As we called it “hurry up and wait”, we’ve been told to be ready whenever the sky clears for our departure. Meanwhile we are given a crew room to relax which I can’t thank them enough.

After a couple of hours of waiting finally Mother Nature allowed our flight to Lukla. It wasn’t pleasant weather, but we got to see many hilly areas, paddy fields and many magnificent natural water falls along with many tiny settlements. After an hour, with much relief and excitement we landed at Lukla, and everyone is motivated to begin our journey. Tashi, our assistant Sherpa and the porters met us at the airport to assist with our bags. After brunch, we head out for Phakding. It took about couple of hours to trek through the outstanding Sherpa villages, crossing multiple suspension bridges along the way. The trail is  adorned with beautifully crafted Mani walls and villages all have prayer wheels and beautifully painted monasteries. Eventually we arrived at Phakding, our home for the night. Everyone feels great. Tomorrow, we’re heading Namche, initially a main trade center for Tibet and Nepal, now a modern tourism hub in the Everest region.

For daily updates about the expedition , please stay tuned. Thank you from Chhiring, Martin and Dan. So long from Phakding.

Photos by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa (above) The team ready to roll, (below) One of the many suspension bridges the team crossed today and A monastery and spining mani wall (or prayer wheel) that we walk through almost every town in the Khumbu valley.

6 10 Suspension bridge CSS6 10 Prayer wheels CSS

 

7 October 2022

Into the National Park and Namche Bazaar

7 10 Trachside waterfall on way to Namche CSSThe weather we have experienced over the last couple of days is quite like the monsoon. But as the saying goes, the show must go on! So we packed our bags before sitting down for breakfast, so that our porters can leave earlier and get to our destination on time. After a hearty breakfast, we followed them and set out for Namche.

Even though the path was pretty crowded now that the main fall season has started into the Everest region. We enjoyed our walk through the small Sherpa towns with the sounds of Dudh Koshi river rumbling alongside us and Yak bells that definitely helped us concentrate on the walk. We soon arrived at the Sagarmatha (Nepalese name for Everest) National Park entrance, registered our permit and then to stopped for lunch at Jorsalle, a small town before Namche (3,440m). Soon after the lunch, we walked along the banks of Dudh Koshi river to the base of Namche Hill. From here the trail went steadily up. Maintaining a slow pace, controlling your breath and staying focused were the main goals for this type of hill. As the altitude rises, our bodies start feeling the thin air.

7 10 Namche Bridge CSSAlthough half of the day was raining, we reached Namche just before 3pm. The first thing we look for in the lodge was to find a place to hang out rain soaked clothes and of course a hot lemon tea, our favourite hot drink so far to warm up the body. We had very great evening and are looking forward to our well deserved active rest day tomorrow. More to come form Namche Bazaar, till then Namaste from Chhiring, Dan and Martin.

7 10 Namche CSSPhotos (above) Waterfalls cascading down beside the trail, (right) The Namche Bridge and (left) Arriving, somewhat damp in Namche. All photos by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa.

8 October 2022

Exploring Namche

8 10 Tenzing statueToday being an active rest day, we started our day waking up a little late. Weather seems to be still overcast. After breakfast, we hiked to the National Park Headquarters, expecting a great view of the surrounding peaks, including Everest, Lhotse and the majestic Ama Dablam. But, unfortunately cloud covered the peaks. We spent some time hanging about but there was no sign of any clearance. We then went to the Sherpa museum where hundreds of year old Sherpa traditional household items and costumes were displayed in a typical Sherpa house. Not only that, there’s more information regarding the rapid changes in the Khumbu region in recent years, both traditionally and culturally, including details on how building methods have changed as we now build in a modern way.

The other exciting part of this museum was regarding local flora and fauna and, of course, the surrounding peaks and the equipment that has been used and upgraded since the late 50’s. Very fascinating and educational museum to visit. We walked down to the main town for lunch. Dan and Martin wandered around the town afterwards. By the time we sit for dinner, the sky was super clear with many stars were visible, I was able to take few pictures before it disappeared into the cloud. Tomorrow we’re heading to a beautiful Sherpa village of Phortse (3,850m). We are hoping for the better weather. Thank you all, Chhiring.

Photos (R) Cloud shrouds the normally outstanding view from the Tenzing Norgay Sherpa Memorial. (Below) Inside the Sherpa Museum and Clear sky behind Khunde Peak at night by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa.

8 10 Sherpa Museum8 10 Khunde Peak

9 October 2022

Namche to Phortse in Perfect Weather

9 10 Martin Dan Everest Lhotse AD behind CSSFinally the weather clears up and we’re super excited! Soon after we were done with breakfast, we started our day climbing briefly out of Namche. The view from the trail is spectacular with Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam and many other surrounding peaks within our sight leaving us speechless. About an hour after setting out we stopped for tea at a small town, Kyangjuma. Within a couple of minutes of walk from here , the trail diverges into two routes. One that goes to the right, which is the main Everest Base Camp trail, and the on the left a trail to the Gokyo Valley, which we took as an alternative to the EBC trail. Within an hour, we reached Mong La (3,970m), standing in a pinnacle of a ridge, and we stopped here for lunch.

9 10 Birch rhodo forest enroute Phortse CSSAfter lunch, the trail drops steeply down to Phortse Tenga. After crossing the Dudh Koshi river, we started to climb again, up through a dense forest of birch, rhododendrons and pine that ultimately takes us to Phortse Village (3,840m). The village is renowned as a climbers villages', where at least one man from the household is a mountaineer. It is also home to the Khumbu Climbing Centre, a reasonably new training facility for Sherpas looking to gain skills in mountaineering. It was great afternoon having a well needed nap and ready for our trek tomorrow to the alpine zone, Dingboche (4,240m). Chhiring, Martin and Dan for EBC Gokyo. 

Photos: (L) Martin and Dan with Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam in the background and (R) Trekking through birch and rhododendron forest enroute to Phortse by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa.

10 October 2022

Off to the Alpine Zone

10 10 Imja River enroute to Dingboche CSSWe awoke with a fine weather, but as soon as we were finished breakfast, the cloud rolled over the town. We started walking towards the Phortse hill that takes you along a magnificent higher route that eventually connects the main Everest trail at Pangboche (3,910m). It could have been outstanding views of Ama Dablam, Everest, Nuptse and Lhotse along with Thamserku, Khang Tega from the trail, but unfortunately we had the whole walk in a misty weather. We soon arrived Pangboche, the first human settlement in the Khumbu Valley. We visited the oldest monastery in the region, with it's rich 300 year history.

We then continue our walk to Shomare (4,040m) the small settlement where the alpine zone begins. We had our lunch here. Leaving the tree line behind, after couple of hours walk through the sparse alpine vegetation we arrived in the village Dingboche (4,410m). We plan to spend two nights here to allow our bodies to adjust to the increase in altitude. Chhiring for the AC Everest Base Camp Team.

Photos: (Above) Crossing the Imja River enroute to Dingboche. (Below) Post-monsoon alpine flowers and A yak grazes alongside the trail to Dingboche. All photos by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa.

10 10 Post monsoon flowers CSS10 10 Yak grazing enroute to Dingboche CSS

11 October 2022

Active Rest Day

11 10 North face Ama Dablam from DingbocheToday being an another active rest day, and we met with the the AC Luxury Everest Base Camp team that had been fortunate with the weather and had a good day for their visit to base camp. It was exciting to hear all about their trek.

We had a very productive hike up to 4550m before lunch this morning. After lunch was a relaxing time, some naps were had as we ready for our next destination of Lobuche (4910m) tomorrow.

Chhiring for the EBC Team

Photos: (L) North Face of Ama Dablam, (below) Island Peak from Dingboche and misty weather in Dingboche by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa

11 10 Island peak from Dingboche

12 October 2022

Snowy Weather to Lobuche

12 10 In a snowy weather through the highland pastureWe woke up in the rainy morning here at Dingboche, which wasn’t that great of a start the day. Continuous rained through out the night the drastically dropped the temperature then the night before. Without rush, we took our time, having a hearty breakfast and started our walk through the town towards the hillside before then continuing through big pastures till get a small town Dukhlha. We stopped for lunch here while the outside weather is snowy. Soon after the lunch in snowy weather, we walked towards the Dukhla Pass. This trail takes us directly up to the ridge where the area is covered with a memorial for the climbers who lost their lives climbing Everest and other surrounding peaks. We pay tribute to those great fallen mountaineers and continued our walk to Lobuche (4,930m).

12 10 From moraine with Nuptse and pumori in the backgroundEveryone felt great even though the weather was not favorable for us. After much needed hot drinks, we settled in our room for the afternoon nap as it is still snowing out there. By 4pm the weather cleared, couldn’t believe that the weather changes within a couple of hours. We took the opportunity to walk to the moraine for our first views of the Khumbu Glacier with a fantastic panoramic view of Pumori(7,165m), Lintren(6,714m), khumbutse(6,639), Nuptse (7,860m) and Everest base camp stands at distance as well Thanserku (6608m) , Khangtega ( 6782m) , Tobuche (6120m)and Cholatse (6440m) to the south. The cold wind is picking up in the valley, so we left this super view point and returned to the warmth of our lodge. With an anticipation of getting a fine weather like this for our rest tomorrow , we went to bed soon after dinner. We are now closer to our final destination, so please stay tuned for more updates. Dan, Martin and Chhiring signing off from Lobuche.

12 10 Stunning sun set view over NuptsePhotos: Above left, in snowy weather, right from the moraine, Nupste and Pumori in the background and left sunset over Nuptse. By Chhiring Sonam Sherpa

13 October 2022

Lobuche Rest Day

13 10 Dan Pumori Khumbu GlacierIt wasn’t a pleasant morning even though the weather was super clear. Martin had altitude sickness during the night and we made a decision to send him down even though it wasn’t a serious issue. As we always stand for the company motto “safety first”, with a heavy heart, I sent Tashi and Kancha, our Porter to Pangboche with him. It definitely feels better when you’re in a lower elevation.

Dan and I had a hearty lunch and we hiked about 200m above Lobuche village. The stunning view of the Khumbu glacier and the surrounding peaks were just amazing. A routine of afternoon nap was a bonus and focusing on our ultimate goal to get Everest Base Camp is what we are doing now.

 

13 10 LobucheWe just heard from Tashi that they have arrived Pangboche on time and are having a pleasant rest there and Martin is feeling much better. We wish him the best. Early to bed today and excited for tomorrow as we head to our final destination, Everest Base Camp(5364m).

Photos: (Above) Dan with Pumori and the Khumbu Glacier behind and (Below) Lobuche Village by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa

14 October 2022

Kala Patar Spectacular!

14 10 Dan on Kala Patar CSSWhat a morning at Lobuche to start the day. We started the walk through the Lobuche village that takes us to the Changrhi Glacier. The trail today was pretty busy comparing the other days as the glacier trail is narrow and difficult to keep the flow of traffic moving. The stunning view of Khumbu Icefall which sits in the right corner of Everest Base Camp was fabulous. We arrived at Gorak Shep (5,160m) in time for lunch. We took couple of hours rest before we headed to Kala Patar (5,550m). The weather was just perfect, no wind and cold. The stunning  view of Everest and its surroundings are magnificent. We spent half and hour at the top and then descended to the pleasant point to observe the sunset view over Everest.  It’s just breathtaking. We  definitely missed Martin and wished he’s with us here but at the time he is having great time down the valley.

14 10 Everest Nuptse from KP CSSWe then descended back to our lodge. Dan is feeling great and we planned to visit Everest Base Camp early tomorrow morning. We are hoping for more beautiful weather like this and we needed as our final destination would be tomorrow. Chhiring Sonam Sherpa for the EBC team.

Photos: Dan on Kala Patar and Sunset over Everest and Nuptse by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa

15 October 2022

Everest Base Camp

15 10 Martin Khumjung TashiToday we visited the memorial park to pay tribute to Rob Hall, founder of AC and the fellow climbers who lost their lives in 1996 disaster which is situated on the way to Pumori Base Camp, off the route to Everest Base Camp. The trail to EBC seems to be owned by us as there are not any other trekkers around today. The sun hit base camp at the time we arrived. The cracking sound of the constantly moving of the glacier seemed loud today with no other noise around. This place would be filled with many tents in the pre-monsoon season but it’s very quiet this time of the season. We spent sometimes taking pictures, having snacks and then continued our walk back down to Gorak Shep and then further down to Lobuche for lunch.

I got a message from Tashi, Letting us know that Martin is having a great time with their great sightseeing around Khumjung. After lunch we headed to Pheriche (4370m) for the night. We are feeling much better being in the lower altitude at this stage. We’re excited to be reunited with Martin tomorrow at Khumjung. Early to bed as we’re super tired. Dan and Chhiring from Pheriche.

Photos Martin in Khumjung, Dan enroute to EBC and at EBC by Tashi Sherpa and Chhiring Sonam Sherpa.

15 10 Enroute EBC CSS15 10 Dan EBC CSS 

16 October 2022

Off to Khumjung

16 10 Reuniting with Martin in Khumjung CSS

16 10 Dan at Tengboche Monastery CSSIt has been a perfect weather the last couple of days and we’re super happy to experience fine weather when we needed it! After breakfast, we started descending to Tengboche. The first suspension bridge over the Imja River gave a fantastic view of Ama Dablam and finally into the dense forest of pines, rhododendron and birches where we ran into the Everest world record holder Kami Rita Sherpa who has summited 26 times! It was humbling to meet him and we were appreciative that he posed for photos with us. After photos with him and continued our walk to Phungi Tenga for lunch.

 

16 10 Dan meeting Kami Rita Sherpa CSSAfter lunch, the trail starting the short hill climb after crossing another suspension bridge. Martin and Tashi came half way through from Khumjung to meet us which was a great moment to have the team reunited. We shared many experiences over these last couple of days. After we settled into our lodge at Khumjung (3,790m), we went up to the small hill which has great viewpoint to watch the sunset.

Photos (Left) Dan at Tengboche Monastery, Meeting Kami Rita Sherpa and (Top) Reunited with Martin in Khumjung by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa

 

17 October 2022

Hillary Viewpoint and Namche Bazaar

17 10 Thamserku and prayer flags along the way to Namche CSSAnother spectacular day of fine weather here in Khumjung. After a break we walked through the village of Khumjung to visit my sister’s house for a tea before making our way back to Namche. We stopped at the Everest view point for spectacular views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kusum Khangkaru, Kongde, Phapchermo, Thame Valley and surrounding villages. A much different view today than we we first came through this area!

We then had a free day to wander around Namche and to buy some souvenirs for family back home. It’s an pleasure to meet Suze and the Island Peak team at dinner and we shared many experiences that we've had on our trek up in the valley. We still have one more long day hiking to Lukla tomorrow and then to the city next. The trip summaries will soon be posted. Thank you all for following our one of a life time experiences through a daily dispatch. Stay tuned for more. Dan, Martin, Chhiring and Tashi.

Photos (L) Thamserku and prayer flags along the way to Namche (Below) The team at the Everest View point and Hillary memorial by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa.

17 10 Hillary View Point CSS17 10 Hillary Memorial Park CSS

18 October 2022

Final walk to Lukla

18 10 Twin bridges NamcheWe woke to brilliantly fine weather this morning in Namche. We started early as it would be a long day to Lukla. We followed the knee cracking trail down to the twin bridge, through the banks of Dhudh Koshi River we soon arrived at Jorsalle for a refreshment break and then continued to Phakding for lunch. The trail was packed with many tourists as the main post-monsoon season for trekking in and around the Khumbu has begun in earnest. So of course not only do we see people but also those hard working donkeys, which are a means of transportation of food and other supplies, and we are seeing many more because the demands are high.

18 10 Crowded donkeys with Thamserku south face in backgroundWe arrived at Lukla in time and had a great quality time with our super hero porters and of course a great assistant Sherpa, Tashi. It was a great evening though we’re super tired. Anticipating for a great weather tomorrow for our helicopter scenic flight to Kathmandu. Thank you again for all your support following our journey and we look forward to join our future trips together with us. Namaste.

Photos: (R) The twin bridges at the base of the Namche hill, (L) Donkeys crowd the trail with the South Face of Thamserku behind and (below) the team back in Lukla where the trek began at the Paradise Lodge by Chhiring Sonam Sherpa.

18 10 team at Paradise Lodge

Intro Photo

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