Day Seven Shomare to Dingboche 2015 Trek

Day Seven – Shomare to Dingboche Monday 28 September 2015

Yaks coming back from the Base Camp.
Yaks on the way to Dingboche. I loved the lime green leaves that provided a flash of light contrasting with the dark green heath type plants featured in this landscape.

We walked for three hours today.

The yaks that had arrived the night before at our lodge were brought down from the hill early in the morning. They were loaded up on the lawn in front of the lodge. A vet (well possibly not a vet as such) came to attend to one of the yaks so we witnessed the ointment and injection procedure while we waited for our breakfast.

Which reminds me it usually is a good idea to order your breakfast the night before and your dinner a bit beforehand to give the person cooking time to get organised.

We said goodbye to Ngima (means Sunday) and her husband Lhakpa (means Wednesday) from the lodge. Sherpa people’s first name is always the day of week. This can be confusing. Ngima and Lhakpa spent some time explaining this the night before.

After a steep ascent out of Shomare  it was a lovely walk over heavily rutted but flat grassy tracts of land. We passed lots of yak pastures and a woman gathering dung for fuel. We didn’t know it at the time but India had put an embargo on goods going into Nepal. Nepal’s gas comes from India which meant no gas was coming in either. This may have accounted for the lack of  donkey trains as they carry the gas up the mountains.

I met two people coming back from Everest Base Camp who really raved about it. The actual Base Camp has the reputation for not being very picturesque and really the view from Kala Patthar is the highlight of the Everest Base Camp Trek. One woman suggested we go to EBC in the morning rather than the afternoon, which we did.

Talking to a trekker coming back from Base Camp.
Hearing about the trail people’s experience of Base Camp and the weather was always good. Our porter waiting patiently for me.
Above the yak pastures on the trail to Dingboche.
One of favourite days walking into Dingboche past yak pastures.

Had a great warm shower in a spacious shower room outside. It was our first opportunity to wash clothes and have them dry on the following acclimatisation day.

The Trainer met the team of marathon runners (field of 30) who were walking to Everest Base Camp to run the Everest Base Camp to Namche Bazaar Marathon. It was rescheduled after the earthquake from May until the end of September. The Trainer knew about this because of his research and was excited to finally get a chance to meet and talk to them.

Dingboche was a big surprise because I hadn’t seen many good photos of the town. It was magic walking in along the valley being totally surrounded by massive mountains. The Trainer was also taken with Dingboche and after the trek we both agreed it was one our favourite spots. It would be a great finishing spot if someone trekking didn’t want to go all the way to EBC. There are lots of walks to do from here apart from the standard walk above the village above the stupa.

Walking into Dingboche with the river below.
Almost there – walking into Dingboche

At this altitude an Everest Base Camp Trek would have an acclimatisation day and it would either be in Dingboche or in Periche depending on which way you walked in.

As it is a village people stay two nights there are a few WiFi cafes and I had the best chocolate croissant fresh out of the oven.

Other day treks off the Main Everest Base Camp Trail from Dingboche would include a hike to Chukhung up the Imja Chola Valley. The guide books say that is a three to four hour trek. This hike goes through Bibre.

Day Six Phortse to Shomare

Everest Base Camp Trek

Heads in the Clouds

Clouds blocking a great view

Sitting in cloud hoping it would lift

We walked up out of Phortse and then up forever. At the top it was very cloudy (dherai mukpa) which was disappointing as the views would have been spectacular but because we were trekking at the very end of the monsoon season there were still clouds around and we could not see a thing.

At Pangboche and went inside the monastery or gompa here while our lunch was being cooked. It is the oldest monastery in the Khumbu.

We came in and walked out of Pangboche a totally different way from our 2013 trek. Our impression walking in was of quite a different village. The walk out past the helicopter rescue pad and lots of chortens and mani stones was interesting and the cloud broke and we had some sneak mountain views at last.  Continue reading

Day Five Khumjung to Phortse

Last updated by Louise Terranova 13 April 2019

A Quiet Day on the Everest Base Camp Trail

  • 26 September 2015
  • Time taken about 5 hours
  • 3790 – 3680 metres
  • Was actually a descent of 110 metres. In a way acclimatisation around the Namche Bazaar and Khumjung altitude was a total of four nights by staying at Phortse.
  • Phortse is also referred to as Phortse Tenga and Phortse Thanga (local spelling)

The clouds cleared in the morning and we took some video and photos before we left the village of Khumjung  while we still had mountain views. We had seen the spectacular views above the town on our 2013 EBC trek when we were there. The date was the 30 November for people wanting to know what the weather and the all important views are like at different times of the year.

View above Khumjung in December

Mount Khumbila is the larger brown mountain to my right.

Many treks go from Namche Bazaar to Tengboche possibly because some parts of the trail to Phortse are very narrow and may not be suitable for lots of trekkers. So the trail to Phortse was very quiet and we saw hardly anyone going in either direction.

Unfortunately, it was very cloudy most of the day so we missed some spectacular views. The walk up to Phortse after crossing over the river through rhododendron forests was lovely (even though they weren’t flowering).

Phortse is a very steep town so the walk up to the monastery at the top of the village was quite a walk. The village grows wheat and buckwheat. We saw the Rock Climbing Academy being built which will be fabulous when it is completed. The woman who owned the lodge we stayed at was lovely. I remarked on the coriander she was picking in her garden and she asked me if I liked it. To which I replied yes. So, she put it in the momos I ordered for dinner. They were the best I had eaten. Over dinner we had some Nepalese and English lessons with Basanta and ‘Nepal on a Shoestring’. We were the only guests and the only trekkers in the town. We had our first shower since leaving Kathmandu.

Phortse perched on the hill from the other side of the valley

Amazing seeing the towns perched on the hills from a distance

Late afternoon cloud in the small "forest" in Portse Nepal

The cloud really made these trees look beautiful and very moody.

Day Four Namche Bazaar to Khumjung

Steep Climb Through the Clouds

Friday 25 September 2015

Namche Bazaar 3420 – Khumjung 3780 metres 2.5 hours walk

Khumjung is the largest town in the Khumbu region.

Khumjung Everest Base Camp trek September 2015
Walking into Khumjung

The climb out of Namche is steep and we were in thick cloud. We could not see very far but sounds travelled up the hill to us – the chinking sound of the stone masons and the anthem and then music for a fitness program from the school below. I practiced my newly learnt Tashi Dele greeting, much to the delight of the Sherpas passing us. Possibly they were going down to prepare for the market the following day. The large market on the Saturday is very famous and sadly as we had changed our itinerary and we would miss it. Perhaps next time.

The landscape changes and reminds me of the moors in Scotland. The thick cloud made me focus on the low heath like plants. Spider webs bejewelled with water droplets reminded me not to forget the beauty at the ground level. Consequently, new Nepalese words included putali (butterfly), makura (spider) and makura zal (spiderweb).

IMG_1010

I was keen to see that the school built by Edmund Hillary had not been badly damaged by the earth quake which had affected Khumjung. I was pleased to walk into the town and past the school just as the children finished their half day Friday. Sadly, though the gompa near the school had been damaged.

Stupa at Khumjung in the Khumbu region of Nepal
Sadly the earthquake damaged the stupa at Khumjung

We found a lodge, organised our room and had lunch. Later we walked to the town’s monastery and home of the famous Yeti  skull (Wikipedia). The monastery was quite beautiful and worth the visit.

We were the only guests in the lodge and after our dhal bhat we watched a video about the life of Hillary.

We woke in cloud, walked straight up out of Namche in cloud and went to sleep in cloud.

See photos for our walk into Khumjung

Day Three Namche Bazaar Acclimatisation Day 2015 Trek

Altitude Acclimatisation or Rest Day ?

It is best to think of the acclimatisation day involving some walking above where you are going to sleep. We walked above Namche Bazaar to the helicopter landing strip and quarry. The day was cloudy and the sound of rocks being chiselled for structures over the stream near the stupa rang out across the arena shaped town.

We also visited the monastery and turned some of the many prayer wheels on the way up. On the path to Khunde we sat on a large flat boulder and looked out over the pines and down to the river way below.

After our walk at one of the town’s bakeries I remembered meeting a French woman in 2013 who had spent what I was still calling a rest day walking up to Khunde and Khumjung and back down to Namche. At the time I thought she was mad but she was walking to Base Camp in less days than us and so walking the large circle up to Khunde and Khumjung would have helped with her walk to Tengboche’s altitude the following day. I now know better than to call it anything else but an acclimatisation day.

For our 2015 trek we had decided to sleep a night at Khumjung. This was not the original itinerary. We had planned to sleep our second night in Monjo but we reached there by 11:00 and were feeling great so we decided to continue and climb to Namche Bazaar. We had our two nights in Namche Bazaar and then using the day up our sleeve on the following day we were then able to walk to Khumjung and sleep at a slightly higher altitude allowing us more acclimatisation time for the altitude. I am sure this extra day was one of the keys to successfully arriving at EBC without any issues.

 I now know better than to call it anything else but an acclimatisation day.

Trekking independently with a porter gave us the flexibility to make this change of itinerary.

Below are photos taken on our Acclimatisation Day on 24 September 2015.

Namache Bazaar, Main Trail Everest Base Camp Trek
Looking out onto Namche Bazaar
Namache Bazaar, Main Trail Everest Base Camp Trek
Above Namche Bazaar on the path to Khunde
Pines above Namche Bazaar September 2015
Stunning large black pine cones
Monastery at Namche Bazaar
Monastery Entrance

Day Two Phakding to Namche Bazaar 2015 Trek

The Traditional Day Two of the EBC Trail

  • 23 September 2015
  • 8:10 am – 4:00 pm
  • 2610 – 3440 metres
  • 830 metres ascent
  • option of staying at Monjo was factored into the itinerary

We weren’t in a hurry to leave the lodge and trekking independently we had the luxury of doing so because we had our own porter and we would decide when to leave.

The weather was a cool and there was a fine rain threatening. We knew what was involved in the climb ahead and we knew we had time.

View from room Lodge at Phakding
We were always grateful to have windowsill in our room because that somewhere to have our things and provide some organisation for the contents of our pack.


Day two of the main trail to Kala Patthar and the Everest Base Camp
Early morning mist outside of Phakding
DAmp stone trail outside of Phakding on the way to Namche Bazaar
Just outside of Phakding

Day One Lukla – Phakding 2015 Trek

Kathmandu-Lukla-Phakding (2610m)
8.5 km 3.5 – 4hours

  • Flying into Lukla
  • Remember downhill is never just downhill
  • Beautiful little villages
  • 8.5 km walk, took 4 hours in 2013, 3.5 hours in 2015
  • Lukla to Chheplung took us one hour
  • First bridge at Thado Kosi Gaton
  • Om Mane Padme Hum

Day One on 2013 Trek
Day Two on 2015 Trek
Itinerary 2015 Trek

Flying to Lukla
Main Street Lukla, setting out on Main Trail EBC Trek
Lukla to Phakding
Ghat on the Main Trail Lukla to Kala Patthar and Everest Base Camp
Main Trail to Kala Patthar and EBC
Main trail Lukla to Kala Patthar at Phakding

2015 Trek

Itinerary for 15 Day Everest Base Camp Trek

Our 2015 September to October 16 days trek to Everest Base Camp linked to day by day posts.

Late September to October 2015

Day 1    Kathmandu 1210m  to Lukla to Phakding
Day 2    Phakding 2610m to Namche Bazaar 3440
Day 3    Acclimatization Namche Bazaar (walked above town) 3440m
Day 4    Namche Bazaar to Khumjung 3780m and more photos
Day 5    Khumjung to Phortse 3800m
Day 6    Phortse to Shomare 4070m
Day 7    Shomare to Dingboche 4360m
Day 8    Acclimatise Dingboche (walked to4900m)
Day 9    Dingboche to Dughla 4600m
Day 10  Dughla to Lobuche 4940m
Day 11  Lobuche to Gorak Shep 5170m and Kala Patthar 5545m
Day 12  Gorak Shep, Everest Base Camp 5300m to Lobuche 4940m
Day 13  Lobuche to Pangboche 3930m
Day 14  Pangboche to Namche Bazaar 3440m
Day 15  Namche Bazaar to Phakding 2610m
Day 16  Phakding to Lukla 2840m
Day 17  Lukla to Kathmandu

Day Eleven Lobuche to Gorak Shep 2015 Trek

Gorak Shep Next Stop EBC

What does it mean to trek to Everest Base Camp? Do you actually stay there? Not unless you want to sleep in a tent on very cold rocky ground and climb Mount Everest. Which incidentally is barely visible from Everest Base Camp (5300m).

The best place to see Everest from is from Kala Pattar (5545m). How do you get there? From Gorak Shep (5170m), the end of the trail for the average person. Not that you feel very average after walking from eight to eleven days to get there. It feels like walking to the Middle Earth.

Gorak Shep is pretty average when it comes to accommodation. Situated on what was once a lake it has a handful of lodges. But at that stage of the trek you just want a warm bed and a toilet and somewhere to have three meals – lunch, dinner and breakfast usually in that order and to go to what will possibly be the two most special and remote places you will go to in your lifetime. And when you have been there you will want tell the world.

Apart from walking to Base Camp also abbreviated to EBC the best part is the Himalayas spread before you in the most magnificent vista that will be hard to top. You see this from what I discovered was a fairly insignificant looking “hill” of which I had never seen a photo of. So here is one, so you know what you will climb to see that view.

Gorak Shep the end of the Everest Base Camp trek
Walking into Gorak Shep the end of the Everest Base Camp Trek

Looks insignificant in the scheme of things with all the massive mountains around it. Innocent even. But that little brown in the middle ground, Kala Pattar is 5545 metres high. It takes two hours to climb to the top, an elevation of 375m from Gorak Shep  via the trail on the right. The snow covered mountain in the middle is Pumori.

Louise and Sam Terranova were at Everest Base Camp at the very start of the trekking season after the Nepal earthquakes on 2 October 2015. Lodges had been repaired and the Khumbu was ringing with the sound of stonemasons building new lodges and repairing others along the trail.

A note about Pumori the big triangular mountain in the middle, it is off this mountain that the avalanche came as a result of the April 2015 earthquake. It dumped snow at Base Camp.

You can read an account from Svati Narula who was at Base Camp when the quake hit.

At Everest Base Camp

Louise Terranova with a man in a yellow wig at Everest Base Camp.
The yellow wig made it to Everest Base Camp too.

Yes that’s me. On the lap of a man with a yellow wig on. At Everest Base Camp.

In my mind’s eye I had pictured it. For over twelve months we had planned it and for six months we had trained hard for it.

We paid for the air tickets a week before the first quake. Twice we decided to cancel the trip, the second time only a month before we were to depart. But we had trained so hard and planned for so long, it was something we had to do, it didn’t feel right to cancel.

Back home with stories, memories and photos that still bring tears to my eyes it is without doubt one of the best things I have ever done. It is an amazing experience and the Everest Base Camp trail and the Khumbu is ready for trekkers. So if you have ever thought of doing it, think no longer, just do it. Train and prepare for a life changing experience.

Oh and the wig – it was a big hit at EBC and borrowed  for photos that will adorn shelves in Japan and India just to name a few.

Louise Terranova trekked to Everest Base Camp, 23 Sept- 8 Oct 2015

Earthquake in Nepal

Nepal and it’s people are beautiful. It has experienced such devastation and loss and has limited resources to respond. It is sad to see what has happened. When it is a place you have travelled it feels so much more real.