Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Trek to Mt Everest Base Camp cont. THYANGBOCHE

You can read part 1 & 2 of my trek here and here

yak in the snow

prayer flags

Day six, we arrived at Thyangboche as it started to snow! I hadn’t expected it to be this cold as it was technically Spring. Snow isn’t ideal conditions when you’re in sneakers but it was SO pretty. I’ve never been in proper snow before unless you count the couple of millimeters that fell on my balcony in Wellington two years ago.

There is also an incredible monastery up in the mountains, it's the home of the Rimpoche of Tengboche  and the four of us were able to have the experience of sitting in on a two hour ceremony. Obviously it wasn't in English, but you could grasp what was happening. I'm not buddhist but it was still an honour to have yet another experience I couldn't have imagined, plus since I hadn't really read the itinerary it was a surprise! 

3867m in Nepal's spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism (no pics inside allowed)

At this altitude I was starting to get mild headaches but the altitude sickness was nothing like some of the other trekkers that we met. A few were seriously unwell and one guy decided to turn back. The only thing with the height that bothered me was the cold. Since I’m neither outdoorsy nor do I live in a cold city I had to purchase a fair amount of gear, from my pack to clothing to walking sticks to metal drink bottles, and as the trip was last minute I hadn’t been saving and didn’t have time to shop around or wait for sales so I was trying to limit my spending. I decided that instead of spending $150+ on a sleeping bag I’d use the one at home. If I had throughly read my packing list I’d have known I required a four season bag that was comfortable at -10°C  … My bag was three seasons, none of which were winter! Waking up to ice on the inside of our cabin was all part of the adventure. I can honestly say that I considered attempting the remainder of the trek in my (pitiful) sleeping bag.

2 pair socks, 3 pair pants, 4 top half layers, puffer jacket, neck warmer, beanie & 2 hot water bottles

a pony that came to frolic in the snow with Karen & I

The next day, was one of the most beautiful walk’s of the trek, it was no longer snowing but we left quite early in the morning to avoid the other groups, and the resulting mud from the melting snow. I think this was the day that we saw quite a few other people, it wasn’t as crowded as it can get in the peak season though. The hike was chilly but not freezing as the snow had stopped falling. Our group had a few laughs with whacking snow laden overhanging tree branches so the snow dumped on each other. Admittedly I did muck it up and managed to get myself once! Didn’t make that mistake again! ..or did I? :-(

Karen and I