See the first post for an initial synopsis of Coronado Mayor Richard Bailey’s attempt to scale Mount Everest.
Here’s Bailey’s second entry, posted two days ago, covering days three to five of his trek to Everest Base Camp:
Everest Day 3, 4, and 5 Recap
Day 3 – woke up after a ten hour sleep to an amazing sunrise illuminating the Himalayas. Also, finally shook the jet lag so feeling ready to tackle the day.
Today is an active recovery day where we get in a few hours of hiking but don’t actually gain in altitude. We spend most of the day exploring Namche Baazar – a historic trading hub and the gateway to multiple trails including, Everest Base Camp.
This entire region from Lukla to Mount Everest is all part of the Sagamartha National Park of Nepal. The trails are well marked and maintained to the same standards you would expect to find in our national parks at home.
Not only do you find trekkers from around the world on the trails, but you also find children walking to villages for school. They quite literally walk to school uphill both ways.
Yaks are also a common sight on the trail and serve two purposes – they help carry supplies to Everest Base Camp and their poop is burned by the locals to heat their homes.
In addition to yaks carrying supplies to EBC, porters also carry loads that are unbelievable to see. Some of the loads are over 100Lbs and the size of a king-sized mattress. I can’t help but feel bad for the porters doing backbreaking labor to support people like myself climbing a mountain.
I ask my guide about this, a local Sherpa named Nemi. She assures me that everyone in the region is grateful for the work and take pride in their profession. Nemi tells me that many locals start as a porter and then eventually become an expedition cook, a mountain Sherpa, and eventually a guide.
Tiny villages with history dating back hundreds of years are spread throughout the park and provide lodging to trekkers passing through.
On day 4, we make our way to the village of Tengboche. Home to the largest monestary in the Khumbu valley, the village is a common overnight stop for most visitors to the region. The monestary is beautiful and the views are incredible, but it is NOT warm. After several hours of hiking our group checks in to a local lodge.
One of the coolest parts of this trip is that it attracts people from all over the world. Each lodge has a common area where meals are served. Sitting in the dining area tonight are people from China, New Zealand, UK, Canada, and the US. All of us gathered around a central furnace burning yak poop for warmth.
On day 5 we make our way to the town of Dingboche where we’ll spend two nights. On the way, we pass through Pangboche which is home to a 16th century monestary and the region’s head Lama. This Lama conducts many of the Puja ceremonies at mountains throughout valley and blesses the climbers before they head up the mountain. The Lama gives a blessing and ties a string around my neck to protect me during my stay. I’m not Buddhist, but as one of my guides once told me, on the mountain you want all of the blessings you can get and I am feeling very grateful for the Lama’s words.
Pangboche is also where Nemi, our guide was raised. She brings us to her childhood home and introduces us to her parents. The hospitality of the Sherpas is truly moving.
After several more hours of hiking and river crossings, we reach above the tree line and arrive in Dingboche.
Our trek is currently on schedule to arrive at Everest Base Camp on Friday April 28 – then the real work begins.
See all of Bailey’s Everest summit posts here.