Above Namche Bazaar

13th April, 2011- Hike up to Tengboche

Today, we left Namche Bazaar to hike up to Tengboche. It was a pretty easy climb for the first 9km down to the river, then it got markedly harder as we had to climb 600 vertical meters to Tengboche after crossing the suspension bridge.

We went to the Sagarmartha National Park museum just outside of Namche, and it was neat to see the history of the park, but the highlight for me were the photographs of the animals and plants living inside the park’s boundaries. While the Yeti wasn’t officially listed as an animal living in the park, we know better. In fact, the Yeti rain prophecy from yesterday came true as a mix of rain and snow showers started coming down just outside of Tengboche.

One of the highlights of the day was catching sight of Everest for the first time. In the morning, as with most mornings here, the clouds were nonexistent and we had a clear view of the peak. It doesn’t appear to be the largest mountain in the range and it doesn’t look very far away, but this is just the same illusion that led the British away from recognizing it as the World’s highest mountain more than 150 years ago.

On the trail, we are constantly walking by yak teams on their way down the mountain. At this time of year, they are all coming down empty after they have dropped supplies up at base camp.

Here in Tengboche, there is an oasis of a bakery that makes wonderful pies, cakes, and other pastries. I don’t have a sweet tooth, but I’m not turning down chocolate rum cake at 4000m either. We went to a ceremony at the local monastery that dominates the village, and afterwards the clouds started to roll in until we were in the clouds.

As for the daily tree update, we walked through a beautiful rhododendron forest (though it’s too high and too early to be in bloom) and we started seeing our first birch trees. The bark is reddish/orange. Also, the spruces here are much bigger. This is probably because they weren’t cut down and replanted like they were at lower altitudes. It’s hard to say, but they’re easily 100-200 years old. Maybe older.
-Matt Nassr
Mt. Everest view form above the Namche
on the way to Tengboche
Tengboche Monastery

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