Everest Base Camp Trek & Island Peak Climb: Return to Namche
After several nights in tents high in the mountains here sleeping in the teahouse in Chukung last night was warm and comfortable. The morning broke mostly clear, although a large cloud cap hung over Lhotse and Island Peak. Packing up from Chukung, we headed back down the valley, retracing our steps through Dingboche, Shomare, Pangboche, Deboche, Tengboche, etc. Leaving the high mountains of the Himalaya is like watching the world being reborn around you: yesterday we were on the summit of Island Peak in a world of ice, rock, and snow; we returned to Chukung where small shrubs and grasses survive and a few hardy crows venture; today as we walked small bushes sprang up, then a few sparse trees, and then forests, then flowering rhododendron. The smell of the air changes too, the dirt, trees, and yaks all adding to the aromas of the lower elevations. As we descended the valley today it was as if life sprang up around us with every step and the little things that went on unnoticed suddenly attracted attention: the bark of a dog, a warm breeze, flower petals.
Despite all being immersed in the scenes around us, it was still a long day on the trail, taking the better part of the day for us to return to Namche. We arrived tired from the trail, but marvelling at the arrival of spring in the days since we’ve been gone. It feels like ages ago since we first arrived here, with snow blanketing the village and the thin air burning our lungs. Now the fields surrounding town are turning green and the stairways feel far less daunting. It is great to be back in Namche after so much time up high and we all enjoyed the hot showers and great food.
Tomorrow we return to Lukla, descending further down the valley. We are looking forward to the final leg of the trek and will check in tomorrow evening from Lukla.
RMI Guide Linden Mallory