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Trek Diary : ONE STEP CLOSER - EBC (PART2) Documented & Written By Sachin Kable

By 01:12:00

Contd.......We were finally in Kathmandu to begin our journey. 

Caught an early morning flight from Kathmandu to Lukla,The runway I believe is one of the shortest in the world and has airplanes landing on a slightly uphill slope as they head straight for the mountain side.  

The flight to Lukla is a 40min, nail biting flight through the snow clad ranges. But you find a sudden sense of peace when you peep through your window to see the The mighty Mount Everest.

No seat numbers are allocated so you can sit anywhere you want, try to get one on the left to get the better view of the Himalayas.

It’s a quick landing and an immediate exit out of the airport, the exit gate is full of porters waiting to get hired. If you are thinking of hiring one, this is the best place becase as you go higher their charges increase or you may not even get one.

Trek Itinerary :

Day1: Lukla-Monjo

Day2 :Monjo-Namche Bazar

Day3 :Acclimatization@ Namche Bazar

Day4 :Namche Bazar-Tenghboche

Day5 :Tenghboche - Denghboche

Day6 : Acclimatization @ Dengboche

(Detail to be covered in Part 3) 

Day7 : Dengboche to Lobuche

Day8 :Lobuche to Gorakhshep to EBC to Gorakhshep

Day9 :Gorakhshep to Pangboche

Day10-Pangboche to Namche Bazar

Day11-Namche Bazar to Lukla

Day12-Lukla to Kathmandu.

DAY 1 - Lukla to Monjo

Altitude: Lukla-9302 ft    
Monjo-8563 ft
Altitude Loss: 739 ft.

Date: 9th March’15, 9.30AM
Trek Distance: 10.4km 
Time Taken: 6 hrs.

Temperature: 10° to 21° C
Gear: Track pant, Polyester T-shirt, Windcheater, sun cap

Hotel: Monjo Guest House
Expenses: NPR 1500/-

First day of the trek, bright sun, blue sky, warm air and we were full of energy. We hit the track and started walking, chatting, adjusting our backpack several times so that is sat correctly without pain, however reality hits you when your backpack starts  feeling heavy and your back does get sweaty.

The hike from Lukla to Monjo is mostly a descend for 3 to 4km and after that it is a mix of both. When you see a steep ascent followed by descend you are near Monjo.

If you feel really tired there is another option of staying at Pakhding, just  an 1 hour before Monjo. 

We reached Monjo around 4pm and as we got close to sundown the temperatures began to drop compelling us to switch into our  warm clothing. The home was a quaint wooden cabin , definitely warm and very welcoming. 

Hotel owner served us with much needed hot herbal tea and some snacks, I had a nice hot water shower ( knowing that this would be a luxury I would crave for over the next few days) and retired for the day only to rejuvate for the next leg.

DAY 2 - Monjo to NamcheBazaar

Altitude: Monjo-8563 ft.
Namche Bazaar – 11286 ft
Altitude Gain: 2723ft.

Date: 10th March’15,
Start Time: 11.00AM

Trek Distance: 5.1km,
Time Taken: 5 hrs.

Temperature: 5° Centigrade.
Gears: Track pant, Polyester T-shirt, Windcheater, sun cap.

Hotel: Kumbhu Lodge
Expenses: NPR 2200/-

Permits for the treks in this region are issued at the end of the Monjo village at a cost of NPR 1500/-.

The route passes along Dudh Koshi river, beautiful Rhododendron trees, surrounded by huge mountains, trek through rocks and bright sun light.

We crossed 3 bridges before starting our final ascent for Namche bazaar, it is very tiring and almost steep all through .

We refilled out bottles at an arrangement created for trekkers by the Nepalese government, rested for some time, clicked some photographs, had the much needed energy boosting dry fruits and started climbing again.

Reached Namche Bazar at around 3.30 pm, We chose to rest at the Khumbhu lodge one of the most expensive and well known stops in this village. 

We had a sumptuous lunch @ 4pm and crashed soon after. The dipping temperatures really squeeze the energy out of body and you tend to feel a lot more tired that you actually are. 

DAY 3 - Namche Bazaar Acclimatization

Altitude: Namche Bazaar – 11286 ft

Date: 11th March’15,

Temperature: 5° to 15° Centigrade

Gears: Soft shell pant, Polyester T-shirt, Thermal, Windcheater, sun cap

Though it was called Rest/Acclimatization Day, it was not, we had to visit Khumjung Village and come back.

It is very important to train your body to climb and then return to lower altitude, it help our body to acclimatize faster.

Also it is during this short trek that you get the first clear view of the Mount Everest, there are two route to reach Khumjung village

One is steep and other is normal, from the mountain side of Namche, follow a highest peak and you are on right track to Khumjung.

 For other route take a left from Namche, ascending in the direction of helipad and the route will take to the same location as route one.

We reached top, it was heavy snow all over, temp at the top was in the range of 1 to 2 deg even @ 11am.

 The route was full of snow, mud and slush. We had started at around 9am and return back by lunch time by 1pm, had lunch, relaxed a while and enjoyed peace in this paradise.

Day4- Namche Bazaar to Tengboche

Altitude: Namche Bazaar – 11286 ft
             Tengboche-12600 ft
Altitude Gain: 1314 ft

Date: 12th March’15,
Start Time: 9.00AM

Trek Distance: 8.6 km
Time Taken: 7 hrs.

Temperature: 2° to 12° C

Hotel: Himalayan Lodge
Expenses: NPR 2000/-

Day 4 hike was a flat walk for about 80% of the route but the last climb of almost 2000 ft from the Dudh Koshi River after we cross the bridge was strenuous.

Definitely stop for lunch in this area as there are a number of tea houses and will provide you with options.The following trail bestows you with the views of great Mount Everest, Lhotse, Pumori peaks and Ama Dublum on your right all the way till Tyangboche. 

We reached the lodge , holding on to our aching muscles and sweating although at near freezing temperature and in desperate need of cup of hot tea. The lodge was full of trekkers and each ones enthusiasm only rejuvenates you. 

Day 5- Tyangboche to Dingboche

Altitude: Tyangboche-12600 ft, Dingboche-14340 ft
Date: 13th March’15,
Start Time: 8.30AM

Trek Distance: 10.7km
Altitude Gain: 1740 ft
Time Taken: 7 hrs

Temperature: 5° to 10° Centigrade.
Gears: Track pant, Polyester T-shirt, Thermal, Windcheater, sun cap.

Hotel@ Monjo: Sonam Lodge
Expenses: NPR 2500/-

Started off early in morning after a nice and healthy English breakfast of basic porridge and eggs. My backpack had started giving me trouble , the  daily wear and tear had bent the metal plates of my backback and it  was not resting properly on my shoulder and load  was not uniformly distributed on body. Our hip is suppose to take the maximum load, however the complete load  was acting on my shoulders.

This route is completely snow laden and the track marks were also not clear, we lost the track and proceeded in  the wrong direction. After 15 to 20 min walk, we realised we are on wrong track and not a soul was there to ask for directions, we were too long lost to turn back and went on with our instincts and finally joined the main trail. 

Trail is the mix of all terrain, snow, rocks, ascend, descend, plans, river and bridges. For us it  was the longest trek till now, not any sign of Dingboche in sight. 

Everybody on the way tells you different timing to reach the Dingboche ranging from 2 hour to 4hour. 
After crossing a bridge of Dudh Koshi river there was a ascend of 30min. It was past 3 pm and the temperatures started to drop and weather condition got worst, heavy winds followed by snow fall worsened the condition.

The climbing mountain was full of loose rocks and they started to rollover as we approached the mountain top which I hoped would be the final stop at the village of Dingboche , but it was a gorgeous plan terrain completely covered with powder like fresh snowfall. 

After another hour we finally made it to Dingboche and checked into Sonam Lodge.

Day6- Dingboche Acclimatization

Altitude: Dingboche – 14340 ft

Date: 14th March’15,

Temperature: 1° to 7° Centigrade.

Gears: Soft shell pant, Polyester T-shirt, Thermal, Fleece Jacket, Windcheater, Fleece Cap.

Hotel: Sonam Lodge
Expenses: NPR 2000/-

I repeat acclimatization day does not mean a day of rest and we chose to hike up a small mountain trail in the village and visit a Gompa at the top, its approximately a 1500 ft hike and a good short trip to acclimatize your body. 

Here I really started to feel the scarcity of oxygen in atmosphere, even the climb to the first floor dining hall was a task.

We gathered our days pack, water bottles and set out.It  was a very steep ascent without any defined route but with only the peak visible.

The mountain side was covered with sea buck thorn bushes , locals use these berries to make local tea . The climate was changing for the worse so we decided to turn around and made sure we reached base by 12 noon.

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