Leaving the pleasant Sunrise lodge, the trail follows the ever-steepening Dudh Kosi River. Obie (6), Anna and Sherpa guide-in-training Khunga (16) went ahead to Monjo. Khunga plays with Obie and gives him lifts when he needs it. A cousin of Phula (camera assistant), Khunga is in year 10 at school and is taking his holiday to trek to the upper Khumbu for the first time. He still has two more years of school but this is a great opportunity to get started in guiding.
The others stayed behind to shoot some footage. Scott is doing double time shooting for David Breashears’ Glacier Works project and for Karina Oliani’s project. This led to a slow day for the team but they got some great images along the dusty trail. Meanwhile, Obie played ball with village kids and had a lot of fun waiting.
We climbed the Namche hill in a cool breeze and arrived at the village as the sun began to set, lighting up the surprising village of Namche perched on the hillside. It’s a terraced town with a bustling main trail full of locals and western trekkers and climbers. Kids chatter from the houses and donkeys and dokyos (yak/cow hybrid) rest after the big climb. Glancing into the houses, porters can be seen refueling after carrying their loads from Lukla. There are prayer flags and Mani stones everywhere. Dazzling peaks rear above catching the last light. We even caught a brief peek at Mt Everest and Lhotse at a rest break part way up the trail – the first look for Khunga and Obie.