All Things Yak on the EBC Track

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Meeting Yaks on the Track

On the Everest Base Camp trek you might see mountain goats, magnificent eagles and other beautiful birds but the yaks were my favourite along the trail.

These hardworking animals are the delivery vans on the EBC trail. There are no roads. Everything goes up and down on the back of a donkey, yak or a porter.

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Yaks between Shomare adn Digboche

The First Rule of the Track – Stand Aside for Yaks

I loved the sound of the yak bells as they approached. Hearing the bells is a signal to find somewhere safe to stand on the mountain side and wait while they pass. The first rule of the track. If you are caught standing on the outside of the path you risk being knocked off the side of the mountain. The baby yak in the video had his own plans about which path he would take.

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The walled sections of grassland above are yak pastures between Shomare and Dingboche. Not only do these wonderful animals carry packs and food up the trail they also provide fuel. The woman was collecting dung from the yak pasture to dry to use for cooking and heat.

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A young girl resting with her basket full of yak dung behind her.

Shop front Everest Base Camp Trail

Yaks, well really the naks which are the females, provide milk which in turn is made into cheese which you probably will find on top of your pizzas on the trek.

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This guy just would not move. I really think he wanted his photo taken. Say Yak Cheese!

Many travel experiences provide possibilities of  interactions with animals, wild ones if you are lucky.

Some animal travel memories of mine are seals on Kangaroo Island when I was a child, monkeys in Bali, passaperos (dog walkers) and their packs of dogs in Buenos Aires, llamas in Argentina and a day spent riding camels in the desert in Rajasthan. But hundreds of dolphins in the mouth of the Gambia River was probably my most magic wildlife experience. It took us totally by surprise and was amazing. Do you have any special memories of animal encounters while you traveled?

Other I things I loved on the Everest Base Camp Trek.

Unbelievably most of the photos and the video show yaks without loads! Which means they were on return journeys. The photos were taken in 2015 when the season was extremely slow after the earthquakes. I’ll have to get a good full load photo next time.

 

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28 thoughts on “All Things Yak on the EBC Track

  1. Hi Louise, I’ve just read in the comments, that’s your voice and laughter I can hear in the video, how lovely, it felt like a real insight and made me laugh too. Best wishes, Julie

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  2. Loved this post Louise. What wonderful animals they are. I agree that animals are pretty special and can really enhance an experience and place. Kangaroo island is such a great place too. We had some amazing up close and personal wildlife encounters there. Fantastic photos as usual. xo

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  3. I never thought of a yak as being good looking. But these yaks seem to have quite a personality and handsome face. My guess is that they are well taken care of. Enjoyed your photos immensely. No matter where I travel, but mine are not exotic places, I make friends with whatever dog I meet. 😀

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    • Yes they are very well taken care of. They are a vital part of the life and livelihood of many. Ha ha re the dog. I am a bit wary of dogs in Asia but I like dogs. I surprised to see so many dogs along the EBC trail actually. They looked to be attached to families not stray which was good.

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  4. Hello Louise. Your stories and pix bring back great memories for me. I was in Nepal in 1982. Trekked on many of the trails you were on, I suppose. I was with a small group. We didn’t go to EBC. The highest point we went to was Kala Patar.

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    • Hi Neil, My husband ( the Trainer) in my blog first went to Nepal in the early 80s and did a short trek in the Annapurna region. Ah Kala Pathar that’s the real highlight of the trek and the highest point. Base Camp is below Kala Pathar but about 5km further on than Gorak Shep. Thank you for visiting and the comment. We love the place, Louise

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        • If you can make it 16 days it’s better. You will have less problem going up a bit slower. On the inside !!! And they pass you. Don’t try to pass them. Stand aside. YAk pace ois good Mark. i am quite pleased that you have been able to get some info from my blog. I usually don’t get feedback like that. I have a lot of views outside of the reader so they don’t normally comment. Hope you have been training. Stairs are good. I will be interested in which you prefer more Annapurna or Base Camp. September can still be a bit wet and cloudy for the EBC area. Go to EBC in October if you can. I’m very excited for you, If you want to email for any info feel free. theyearitouchedmytoes@gmail.com Leave me a message in one of the comments sections if you do because I forget to check that email all the time. Louise

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        • Thank you. Appreciate the offer of info. I will def ask a few questions. I walk and hike a lot her in Tassie. Did 25 ks on the mountain here yesterday. But good advice. I will ensure I am as fit as possible.

          Good advice re October.

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  5. Thank you for the great photos and video, Louise. Your blog almost makes me think that I could give in to my husbands wishes and give EBC a try!!

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  6. great post . Those animals are precious. I don’t think we have yak here in Canada… As for transporters of goods , mules are used at the Grand canyon when the trails are narrows. When people book a tour to go down the canyon, they travel on mules also.

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  7. Great to read about the delivery van yaks Louise! They are amazing animals. I’m not sure what my most memorable animal encounters would be but definitely the yaks would be up there. Also the cows in Switzerland, their melodious bells ringing.

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  8. This was wonderful! I loved seeing the yaks, and the video was great. Is that your voice? I can hardly think of a favourite wildlife experience – the Top End/Galapagos/Andean wolf in Ecuador/llamas and vicuñas/Amazon including a pink dolphin – though your description of hundreds of dolphins in the Gambia River sounds truly amazing.
    Alison

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