Everest Base Camp Trek & Island Peak Climb: Snowy Day in the Khumbu
A thick bank of clouds rolled into Namche last night as we left dinner, the fog giving the Himalayan village the look of a Maine fishing village. The cloud bank failed to lift overnight and by morning a light layer of snow lay across the stone streets and blue roofs of Namche with more snow lightly falling out of the mist. The usually vibrant town lay muted beneath the snow as we climbed out of the amphitheater and the world was quiet around us as we walked along the trail out of Namche. Snow continued to fall lightly during the hike and we hardly encountered others along the way, only a handful of porters and trekkers and a few dozen yaks.
For a couple of hours we made a long traverse along the valley’s side, the valley floor slowly rising to meet us at the village of Phunki Thanga. There we crossed a brand new suspension bridge built only last year to replace the rickety wooden construction used previously, before beginning the long climb out of the valley floor to the ridge top monastery at Tengboche. Although the clouds never offered to lift, the snow let up for a bit midday before returning half way up the hill to Tengboche. By the time we reached the Monastery several inches of fresh snow covered the ground, capping the white chortens and gilded crests of the large building. We retreated to a nearby bakery where we brushed the snow off of our shoulders and sipped cups of hot tea, gradually rewarming ourselves.
Continuing on from Tengboche, we descended the other side of the ridge for a few minutes to reach our teahouse in Deboche, sitting among the rhododendron trees covered in Spanish moss and new snow. We spent the remainder of the afternoon watching the snow fall and the clouds play among the trees and nearby valley walls. Despite the snow it was a wonderful day on the trail as everything was eerily quiet and calm with few passerbys and the trail largely our own. The team is doing well and sends their best to everyone at home. We have enjoyed everyones comments and well wishes.
RMI Guide Linden Mallory