Today we woke to a beautiful blue sky and a fantastic view of the mountains. Since we were heading to a viewpoint above Namche Bazaar, we were hopeful that the weather would hold and we would get glimpses of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam. After a nourishing breakfast and 2 liters of water (… we are strongly encouraged to drink 4 to 5 liters per day), we headed upward and out of Namche to the Shyangboche viewpoint. This was a good test for us because we ascended from 11,285’ to 12,765’ which will be similar to the altitude we will be at tomorrow when we go to our next stop along the way, Tengboche.
Our Sherpa guides are doing a fantastic job of helping us maintain the “Sherpa Pace,” as we hike. This slow, but steady pace keeps our breathing under control and has allowed everyone in our group to feel strong throughout our hikes.
Along the way we passed a small, dirt airstrip that serves as the resupply hub for construction materials and other heavy items used in the villages above Namche, and the various mountain expedition base camps. This regional trans-shipment point is unlike anything you would see in the U.S. Instead of trucks for transportation, everything is loaded onto yaks, or Sherpa porters. The loads these men carry can be up to 100kg (220lbs)!
Ultimately we made it to the viewpoint, but the clouds had moved in. We were able to get a few brief glimpses of Ama Dablam and Lhotse. Finally we headed down, took a brief rest and enjoyed a cup of hot tea, then returned down the trail to Namche.
Tomorrow we are on the move again and are looking forward to more new experiences and sights.