Day 4 to 6 of our trek to Everest Base Camp
If you’ve arrived at this post and want to find out how we got on with day 1 to 3 of our trek to Everest Base Camp and the reasons for doing so, then check out our first post here Our Journey to Everest Base Camp: Day 1 – 3 Lukla to Namche Bazaar.
If you’ve already read our first post on our trek to Everest Base Camp then great, thanks for following along with our journey and please read on :).
Day 4 – Namche Bazaar → Tengboche
The morning of day four began with our usual breakfast of honey porridge and milky tea before packing our bags and setting off for 08:30. This was the usual time we set off on the morning, a lot of trekkers leave earlier than this but the time seemed to suit us and Ram so we were all happy. Today’s trek began with a short, steep climb out of Namche, it took around ten minutes but really got the heart beating and was glad to get to the top of the path for a breather, never a good start when you’ve got to walk uphill straight after breakfast!
Once you reach the top of Namche you take the trail to the right which follows a ridgeway along the edge of the mountain for around one/one and a half hours with a couple gradual inclines and declines but mostly flat and easy going. Along the way you will pass the Tenzing Norgay memorial stupa, Tenzing was the Sherpa who accompanied Edmund Hilary on the first successful summit of Everest and is held in the highest regard in the mountains as a true legend.
We also caught our first glimpse of a golden eagle soaring high above us, we attempted to take a photo but was unsuccessful. Another new animal sighting was the Himalayan Tahr, a big hairy wild goat scrambling up a nearly impossible to climb mountain face. All along the trail we had great views of Everest and the surrounding mountains but that was soon to disappear as we started to descend, steeply down through a forest into Phunke Tenga (3250m) for lunch but not before we crossed the Dudh Koshi river on another suspension bridge.
With lunch over the 600m climb to Tengboche began, the big climbs always seemed to come after lunch which in our opinion makes it worse. We passed some water driven prayer wheels, went through a checkpoint and then the climb began. It took a steady two hours plus to climb up to Tengboche, Dom found this harder than the climb up to Namche as the trail wasn’t so covered by forest and the sun was blazing hot making it hard going.
After a few stop offs for breaks we had made it to Tengboche. Ram led us to the Tashi Delek Lodge, the lodge was really nice, with comfortable rooms, and shared flushing toilets, which is always nice. If you manage to arrive in Tengboche before 15:00 head over to the Dawa Choling Gompa (Tengboche monastery) where you can sit and watch the monks chanting, after a hard days trek it was very relaxing, unfortunately we wasn’t allowed to take any pictures but it was a great experience and we’d recommend it. The day ended with us watching the sunset over Everest and trying Dal Bhat for the first time for dinner.
Day 5 – Tengboche → Dingboche
After the usual daily routine of breakfast and packing our bags we were off on the days trek to Dingboche and it began with the path going downhill, today was going to be a great day with a start like that. We carried on descending down to Debuche before we got stuck behind a large group of trekkers and then a large yak train. Each time we came across a yak train it was always an experience, they seem to have a one-track mind and won’t stop for anyone. Just make sure you stop on the mountain side of the trail or you may find yourself toppling down over the edge. Once we passed the group and yak train we made the small climb up to the suspension bridge that crossed the Imja Khola before carrying on up a much steeper climb into Pangboche.
Pangboche is a fairly large village at 3,985m where the monastery is famed for containing a yeti scalp and hand, with the former being stolen. If interested you can read more about it here, Pangboche Hand. Once through Pangboche, we carried on up the trail to Somare at just over 4000m where we stopped for lunch. Lunch consisted of our favourite veg noodle soup and a boiled egg, the trick with lunch each day was to try and eat something filling but not stuff yourself as you’ll struggle on the trek after lunch. We found the noodle soup and egg was just about right. Once lunch was over and just as we were leaving Somare, Dom started getting altitude headaches, which would, unfortunately, stick with him all the way to base camp.
The trail between Somare and Dingboche was a fairly easy gradual climb which took around one and a half hours, but once again like yesterday the sun was very warm with hardly a breeze in the air which made it that bit harder. We arrived in Dingboche just after 14:00 and settled into the good luck lodge, the lodge was nice but the toilets stunk and you had to flush them yourself with a bucket of water. But there was a hot shower if needed, so not all was bad. The rest of the day we spent chatting to other trekkers staying in the lodge, having a wander around Dingboche before having dinner (Dal Bhat again) and heading to bed for 20:00.
Day 6 – Acclimatisation Day Dingboche, Including Earthquake!
We were woken at 05:30 by the weirdest feeling we’ve ever experienced, our bed and the whole room was shaking side to side. It took us a moment to realise it was an earthquake and then as quick as it had started, it had ended. It was a very surreal moment that neither of us had experienced before, and it’s quite hard to put into words how we felt. Neither of us felt scared at the time but afterwards, we realised it could have been a lot worse and perhaps we should of not just stayed in bed. At breakfast, we found out the epicentre was near Namche and had a magnitude of 5.4. At the time there was no report of damage or injuries, but once back in Kathmandu, we found out a local mountain guide had died on Ama Dablam.
Today was our second acclimatisation day, we had reached 4410m so needed a day to acclimatise to the altitude and change in oxygen levels. Dom woke up with his headache today and was feeling not too fresh after a bad nights sleep, so thankfully we only had to go on a couple hours trek up the mountain overlooking Dingboche. As soon as we left the lodge we started climbing up and the climb just kept going up and up with the ground underfoot being unstable and slippery it wasn’t the easiest going.
After an hour or so we had reached the highest point we would be going today at around 4700m. At this point the views were out of this world, straight ahead was island peak standing alone with Everest and Lhotse behind towering above it. To the right of us was the peak of Ama Dablam, which according to Ram is technically harder to climb than Everest even though it’s only 6812m high. Then directly behind us was the path we would be taking tomorrow towards Lobuche, surrounded by towering peaks. After 20 minutes of photos and taking in the impressive views it was time to head back down to the warmth and comfort of the lodge.
That afternoon we made our way to the nearby bakery to watch the film Everest, which was a bit surreal due to the fact that if you popped your head out the door you’d actually see Everest for real. The rest of the evening panned out like the rest, dinner, game of cards, huddle around the yak po0 fire and then bed.
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