Alright, alright, alright…this may be a good opportunity for me to take off my shirt. No, maybe it isn’t. Because this is the photographic summary of the Himalaya trip and not the photographic summary of a middle-aged male stripper at Sarah Finkelstein’s bachelorette party. So here we go.
This is the view of the first really big mountain massive we spent time with. The Kongde – the mountain that sits just south of Namche. It is huge and is right into every visitors face. This image of Kongde, however, I took very early in the morning from Tyengboche, a day’s march away from Namche. It had snowed a little the previous day.
When we had our acclimatization day in Namche, we hiked up to an Everest View Point. As we sat there soaking in this spectacular scenery one of the many rescue helicopters landed and then took of again. Pretty cool. The latest generation of rescue helicopters can climb much higher than previous generations could. The older helicopters topped out at around 6000m. These latest generations actually can go much higher. There feature triple main rotor heads with shorter and deeper rotor blades and run at higher RPM, thus producing more lift than the traditional more slender two blades. Anyway, it was pretty cool to see the pilot take of and then pitch forward to shoot down the mountain side, shamelessly utilizing the ground effect. From Namche we trekked on to Tyengboche a buddhist monastery just below 4000 meters. Here I saw this very large prayer wheel.
Our next teahouse after Tyengboche was Pheriche. On the way we walked past many areas where the local lay stones with religious carvings and adorn the place further with prayer flags.Once in Pheriche we found the Mount Everest Memorial, commemorating all this who have died pursuing their dream or working on the mountain. When you look closely you can read George Mallory’s name. The more touching moment for me was, when I read the names of those who died in May of 1996.
On the way from Pheriche to Louche, looking back towards Thamserku and Kusum Kongri.
Khumbu glacier tongue, extending for kilometers, looking towards Thamserku, KUsum Kongri and Tobuche on the right. From Lobuche we headed towards Görakshep, the only point where we slept above 5000m and from where we ascended to the highest point of this vacation – Kala Pattar at 5550 meters.
A Yak drinking from a glacier lake at Görakshep. The view from somewhere along the way to Kala Pattar. The perfect triangular mountain o the left is Lhola, followed by the black top of Mount Everest and Nuptse in the foreground. On the bottom left you can see a bit of the Khumbu icefall through which climbers must make it on their way from Everest Basecamp to Advanced Basecamp above the icefall.Next will be images from Kala Pattar, showing Pumori, Mount Everest, Nuptse, Lho-La, etc.
bove: View towards Everest Basecamp, Khumbu icefall, Lengthen, Khumbutse and Lho-La.
Above and below: Pumori with prayer flags.
Above: Lho-La, Mt. Everest and Nuptse. Below: Nuptse – my favorite mountain. In the words of Stefan (of SNL Weekend Update Fame):”This mountain has everything!”
After this first major milestone – I am avoiding highlight, because every step up this point has been a highlight – we trekked back via Pheriche to Dengboche and Chhukkung.
Above: Stupa in Dengboche; Below: View from outside Dengboche towards Lhotse, Above: Shirts and Imja Tse (aka Island Peak).
Above: On the way to Dengboche with the base of Ama Dablam on the left and the faces of Thamserku and Kusum Kongri
Below: Ama Dablam beckons eternally with ever new and seductive poses and views. This particular view is about half way from Dengboche to Chhukkung.
And this about closes the photographic summary – let’s call it part 1 for now, because I am still processing images and might likely post a few more.