Day 6 to Gokyo and Cho La Pass – Mongla to Dole

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Notes and Photos to Remind Us of the Journey

My notebook diary entry from my third trek

Sunday 30 September . 3975 – 4200 metres

Left late (stomach) 9:40 – arrived 2:10 pm. Walked down to Phortse Tenga (3808 metres).Had a lodge break and then UP to Dole. Good track, stairs and then flat.

Staying at Namaste Lodge (second lodge at the start of the village). Six lodges in total. New toilet. European toilet.

Lots of rhododendrons and shiny bronze barked trees and thorn bush, small rose hips.

Noticeable increase in prices.

Map the EBC trek and the Three passes of the Khumbu region Nepal
Map of the EBC trek and the Three passes
Track between Phortse Tenga and Dole
The pretty but continuous walk UP from Phortse Tenga to Dole

I have made some notes each day on all of our Nepalese treks. That way you won’t forget what the photos don’t tell you. My first note mentions a problematic stomach the morning we left Monjo. We were trekking independently meant we could leave when we wanted to, also taking into account the advice of the porter guide. Although it is best to leave your lodge early to get whatever sun there is later in the day before it disappears behind large mountains it doesn’t mean you have to leave when its still dark.

Unfortunately when we left Australia for the trek I was sick with a cough. So the steep climb up from Phortse Tenga down level with the river up to a height above Dole and down again took a lot of effort and a lot of coughing. I had to stop a lot to catch my breath and was exhausted when I arrived. Our porter knew one the people running one of the lodges so we stayed there on his recommendation.

Dole on the way to Gokyo in the Khumbu
The small village of Dole

Day 5 to Gokyo and Cho La Pass – Khumjung to Mongla

Sometimes First Impressions of a Place Are Not the Best

Mongla stupa September 2018
The small settlement of Mongla with its newly painted stupa.

The Sherpa woman was squatting on the side of the trail on the path looking over the edge of the hill. Yelling. She wasn’t hysterical but she was very animated. Nepalese people are very calm and yelling just doesn’t fit with their character. They are very accepting and you don’t see them getting angry. As we got closer I could see she was yelling into her mobile phone. Bad reception perhaps? Finally we were close enough to see the problem. The woman was yelling at two teenage girls way down on the slope, maybe one of the girls was on the other end of the phone, although she could probably have her heard without the phone. She was directing them to round up a yak who was eating in a cultivated area where it obviously should not have been. The young girls where having some difficulty catching the yak because of the slope. It was quite funny but then again it wasn’t.

Mongla the Second Time Around

We were almost into the very small village when we witnessed the escaped yak scene and the scene is seared into my memory.

Mongla on the hill September 2018
the view of the small village of Mongla from the Khumjung side
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Day 2 to Gokyo and Cho La Pass – Monjo to Namche Bazaar – a Short Walk

Mental Preparation and Climbing Slowly to Namche Bazaar is Key to a Successful EBC Trek

People planning to trek to Everest Base Camp read about the steep 600 metre climb to Namche Bazaar after crossing the high bridge over the Dudh Kosi river and gorge.

why you need to climb to Namche bazaar slowly

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Day 11 to Gokyo and Cho La Pass – The Pass

Confessions of a Scaredy Cat on Top of Cho La Pass

On top of Chol La Pass with the Porter Guide, Nepal

Is crossing Cho La Pass dangerous ? You bet it is.That’s me with the worried look on my face on top of Cho La Pass (5368metres / 17,611 feet). I’d made it to the top with a lot of help from our porter guide, I was still anxious. And scared. All I wanted was to get off the top and safely to our lodge in Dzongla for the night before weather set in. I could include a bucket load of expletives here but I haven’t, I’ll just let you imagine them. Lots of them.

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Thank You For Everest

To My Valentine Trainer

We met in Egypt. And had four days together. He made me laugh, something clicked and there was that spark. We talked about me visiting him in Milan but as a teacher it had to be the school holidays and it seemed way too long off. We exchanged details and said goodbye.

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The 101 on Trekking in the Everest Base Camp Region

Above Pheriche, Everest Base Camp Trek, Nepal
So much more than Base Camp

A Basic Overview To Everest Base Camp Trekking 

Maybe you’ve just returned from hiking to spectacular Machu Picchu and are keen to try the Everest Base Camp trek. Or you’ve been thinking about it for years but you know next to nothing about it, this post is for you.

Decide when and where you will trek twelve months in advance to give yourself plenty of time to prepare, research and train whether you are trekking with or without a tour operator. Being prepared for what the trek is like this is critical. Mental preparation is everything. Everything.

Basic Points About the EBC Region when you know absolutely nothing

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We’re Off for to Gokyo for Trek Number 3 in Nepal

We’re off to Trek in Nepal. Again.

Above Dingboche Everest Base Camp trek
Above Dingboche Everest Base Camp trek

Yes, I am in love. In love with the Nepalese landscapes and with the simplicity of the trekking in Nepal. A colleague asked me what’s the attraction with Nepal.

Why Go to Trek In Nepal?

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Nepal Captures Your Heart Forever

Himalayan Landscapes Are Forever in Your Heart

I have become addicted to wanting to walk in these landscapes. Forever.

Main Everest Base Camp Trail

That’s me on Day 13 of our Mount Everest Base Camp trek returning to Lukla. From the top of Kala Pattar we had the closest view of Everest, two weeks before I turned 58. That was October 2015. Now, we just have to go again. Back to see, and be a part, of these massive landscapes.

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Beautiful One Day Breathtaking the Next

A Photo is Worth a Thousand Superlatives

Above Pheriche, EBC Trek, Nepal

From the moment you walk out of Lukla to trek to Everest Base Camp the views are beautiful. The higher you go the more amazing the views, higher again the views become breathtaking panoramas. Looking through the hundreds of photos taken by The Trainer and our two treks through the Khumbu, the beauty is commonplace and you gravitate to the most spectacular photos. It is easy for a good photo to go unnoticed. Like this one.

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Things You Should Know about Trekking to Everest Base Camp

Tents of the 2015 Ultra Marathon Runners at Everest Base Camp
Tents of the 2015 Ultra Marathon Runners at Everest Base Camp

If someone says that they are trekking to EBC it doesn’t mean they have to sleep in a tent or are intending to climb Mount Everest.

It is not normal walking and Diamox is the key to managing altitude. Make sure you have it an I would tend to follow the trekking guides’ recommendation, as in experienced guides who lead treks on a regular basis. A slow trek is key to getting there without be sick. Altitude headaches can be really horrible. I’ve heard and read. We didn’t have any.

about Kathmandu, trekking to EBC and Nepal in general.

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Accommodation and Food on The EBC Trek

Eat, Heat, Recharge and Sleep on the Everest Base Camp Trail

Main trail Lukla to Kala Patthar at Phakding

The Shangrilla Lodge in Phakding in 2015. We stayed here on the first night and the second last nights of Everest Base Camp trek.

Our First Lodge Experience

I remembered the lodge pictured above from our first 2013 trek. We didn’t stay there then. Our flight from Kathmandu to Lukla was delayed about four hours due to fog. We were trekking solo, without a guide or porter and had no accommodation booked.

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Day Fifteen Namche Bazaar to Phakding 2015 Trek

Savouring the Last Days of the Trail

From Lodge to Lodge to Lodge

Lodge at Namche Bazaar

Leaving our lodge in Namche Bazaar was a bit sad. We had stayed there four times and a total of six nights with the acclimatisation days. It was in the middle of Namche, the owners and staff were lovely, the menu and food good and the hot showers wonderful.

Namche Bazaar and the Kwangde Range

Leaving Namche Bazaar and the Kwangde Range

Not long after we started out, Basanta our porter guide pointed out a Danfe or Danphe Nepal’s national bird, a beautiful large black pheasant with a metallic green head and a chestnut tail.

First and last view of Everest
First and last view of Everest
Lower suspension bridge over the Dudh Khosi taken from the higher bridge
Lower suspension bridge over the Dudh Khosi Gorge

We had our last look of Everest at the resting spot on the way down. We crossed the high bridge again across the Dudh Khosi gorge. The fourth time over it I was still glad to get off however The Trainer stands in the middle looking over at the view.

Back down on the old river bed we posed  for a photo together and watched some of the porters with huge loads of building materials slowly make their way up to cross the bridge.

The suspension bridges across to Namche Bazaar
The trainer and me heading back down to Lukla

We stopped at Monjo Lodge where we had stayed on the first trek and another place that I felt a connection to. Waiting for lunch in the garden in the sun we took some more happy snaps feeling relaxed, fit and happy. The Trainer, yes, my husband Sam looked really relaxed in the photos, his job was done. His training and planning had got us up and back without mishap. Following the no more than 300 metres increase in altitude a night had been a key factor I am sure.

Porters carrying building materials up the trail

Porters carrying building materials up the trail

Garden at Monjo Lodge Everest BAse Camp trek

Waiting for lunch in the garden at Monjo Lodge

Lodge in Phakding EBC trail

The lodge we stayed in Phakding on the way up and on the way down

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Day Fourteen – Pangboche to Namche Bazaar

One Trek and One Marathon

The trainer was very excited about seeing the marathon runners who had started early that morning from Everest Base Camp running past, all of us on our way to Namche Bazaar. The event, originally to be in May was rescheduled to October due to the earthquakes.

We left our lodge at Pangboche as doctors prepared the medical check point and lodge staff the water bottles.

View of Tengboche in the Middle Distance

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The Temple Gate in Tengboche (Thyanboche)

Tengboche Monastery Gate with mountain view behind Nepal
Tengboche Monastery Gate

The following photos show the track. The steep uphill climb (600m) had nearly killed me on our 2013 trek. Coming back down isn’t easy either.  It impacts on your knees so I use trekking poles. The track here has small loose rocks is slippery so the only way to go is slowly.

That’s me picking my way down with the trekking poles.

Runners taking their time

Everest Base Bamp Trek stones trail near Tengboche
Between Tengboche and Namche Bazaar

The trail from a distance… crazy

The hill to climb to Tengboche, EBC Trek Nepal
The hill in the middle of the photo shows the trail to Tengboche

Sanasa with women selling jewellery

Sanasa Lodge, Sansa Everest Base Camp trail
Everest Base Camp Marathon going through Sansa

The Finishing Point at Namche Bazaar

Everest Base Camp Marathon finishing line
Everest Base Camp Marathon 2015

Namche Bazaar from Above

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The view of Namche Bazaar from above. I had my sights set on the red roofed lodge in the middle, right. Our favourite lodge, our own bathroom and a hot shower at last.

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We had a drink at Café Danphe Bar to celebrate our successful, wonderful trek to Everest Base Camp. Huddled together in the bar we looked at all the photos the Trainer had taken. For the best of an hour I sat with tears streaming down my face, hardly able to believe the photos of the magical places we had just been.

Day Eleven – Lobuche to Gorak Shep and Climbing Kala Pattar

Everest Above Our Heads and Base Camp at Our Feet

EBC Trekkers standing on Kala Patthar in front of Mount Everest and above Everest Base Camp
The trainer, me and that yellow wig with Everest above our heads and Base Camp at our feet.

The Million Dollar View from Kala Pattar

And the Trainer’s Last Words

Day Eleven – Lobuche to Gorak Shep and climbing Kala Pattar (5545m)

People who have been to Everest Base Camp or have researched the trek know the highlight of the trek is not Base Camp but is the climb to Kala Pattar above Gorak Shep to view Mount Everest from the closest and highest viewpoint on the main EBC Trail. Many trekkers climb the hill in the dark to see the sun rise on Everest or in the evening to see the sun set. Climbing in the afternoon after first arriving in Gorak Shep and an early lunch is also an option.

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Day Nine Dingboche to Dughla

Day Nine – Dingboche to Dughlia     30 September 2015

Above Periche Between Dingboche and Dughla
Between Dingboche and Dughla

We retraced our steps into the town for the initial part of the walk and then took a trail along the side of the hills past yak pastures and herders’ huts. A few big trekking groups were walking out probably groups doing the trail in fewer days along the main trail.

It was great walk across flat plains, slowly going uphill with great views of Periche below. On the way we saw some teenagers carrying large baskets of dung and Basanta had an animated conversation with them.

After we arrived at Dughla we decided to stay at the Yak Lodge. One of only two lodges there which is probably why people don’t stop there. We had lunch in the sun with the beautiful blue skies and watched as trekkers came down from Gorak Shep. We met the group who had flown on the same flight into Lukla with us including a mother and daughter team from Queensland who flew on the same flight from Kuala Lumpur.

After a rest we walked up behind the lodges for a view of Dughla Lake which was almost completely hidden from view at the lodges. It was a two hour walk and wasn’t really a trail so we picked our way carefully to a good sitting spot. There were lots of juniper bushes growing on the hills. My wind jacket protected me from the cold wind which is why you should pack one even if it is a dry season.

Lake near Dughla Nepal

We stayed at Dughla to make sure we stuck to the rule of not ascending more than 300 metres. We didn’t want to risk altitude sickness and not make EBC.

Day Eight – Dingboche Acclimatisation Day

Climbing Dingboche Ridgetop
Hard and slippery acclimatisation day climb

This day was quite a tough walk above Dingboche to what is called the Dingboche Ridge Top, not that we climbed to the top. The views were magnificent and we had time to sit and enjoy them.

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