Love them or not the Everest Base Camp Trek certainly has many bridges to cross.For the personal trainer it was Bridge Love. Probably at first sight. He stood in the middle of the bridges looking over the edge enjoying the wind and the rush of water underneath. He put on his documentary maker’s hat and strolled across them making his commentary against the roar of the water underneath. At one bridge crossing he threw the camera at me and asked me to video him crossing the bridge. Not my idea of fun especially when he started jogging on the bridge while I was on it with the camera.
Yes bridges weren’t my favourite part of the trek. I remember the first bridge at Chheplung, being nervous and very glad when I had crossed it. It does get easier though as there are quite a few and then you go and do them in reverse.
The photo of the big bridge at Namche is enough to make you gulp when looking at a digital shot of it. When you are there in person it will make the adrenalin rush. The high bridge at Namche Bazaar is the big Mumma. You don’t take the lower one. The high bridge featured in the film Everest.The first challenge though, is getting up to the crossing point.
A few other points about the bridges. They are not all the same. Most of them are cable stayed steel suspension bridges usually festooned with people’s welcome or goodbye sashes they have been given. There is the funny boxed bridge at Thado Kosi Gaon. That’s the one with the umbrellas in the photo below.
There is the bridge before Dingboche across the Khumbu Khola within metres off the two tributaries meeting. If you trek to Everest Base Camp via Pheriche then you will have another bridge to cross instead. After that there is a small bridge at Dughla.
The traffic on the bridges is one way. You don’t want to be one the bridge if there are a whole lot of yaks or donkeys,porters carrying big loads will wait for the bridge to be clear or people will wait. You take turns and common sense prevails. I can imagine traffic joams if the track was really busy but both times we trekked in the Khumbu it was a slow season, last year because of the earthquake. If it is not busy then sometimes people will pass in opposite ways together.
- Thado Kosi Gaon (box bridge)
- At Phakding (suspension)
- At Tok Tok (small new stainless steel bridge)
- Near Bengkar (suspension)
- At Jorsale (suspension)
- Bridge to Namche Bazaar (suspension)
- Bridge before Tengboche (suspension)
- Bridge to Phortse ( instead of going via Tengboche) (suspension)
- Either one before Periche OR one before Dingboche (depending on your route) The one at Dingboche is pictured here.(top photo)
- One small bridge at Dughla not suspension