Mt. Everest (8850m/29,035') and Lhotse (8516m/27,939') the first and fourth highest mountains in the world with the Tenzing Norgay monument in the foreground. The first ascent of Mt. Everest is credited to Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa. This monument was built in 2003 in honor of Tenzing Norgay.
After 3 nights in Namche Bazaar we hiked 5 hours to the village of Deboche at 3820m/12,533′ where we spent the nights April 1 and 2 at the Rivendell Lodge.
Deboche is located 40m/131′ below Tengboche, site of the most well known Buddhist monasteries in the Khumbu. The team visited the monastery then went next door to the best bakery in the Khumbu. We sat outside enjoying freshly baked apple pie and chocolate cake under sunny skies with views of Everest (8850m/29,035′), Lhotse (8516m/27,939′), and Ama Dablam (6856m/22,493′).
The entrance to the Tengboche monastery.
Kurt and Fred at the Tengboche monastery.
Inside the Tengboche monastery.
On April 3 the team packed up to move to Pheriche (4240m/13,910′). Along the hike we were treated to a close sighting of a group of Nepalese mountain goats perched on a shelf directly above our trail. Moving higher the team passed through Pangboche where we visited Lama Geshe, a local monk who offered his blessing on our climb. His blessings included chanting, incense burning, and the presentation of a scarf an a choker around each trekker’s neck along with a delicate “head butt”. After our visit the weather turned cloudy and by noon light snow was falling. We stopped at a tea house for lunch then finished our hike to Pheriche with snow creating a thin blanket on our trail.
A Nepalese mountain goat watching us from a perch above our trekking route.
Fred and Kurt on a suspension bridge spanning a river filled gorge far below.
Fred getting a "head butt" blessing from a lama in Pangboche.
The weather cleared on April 4 and the team decided to take an acclimatization day hike above Pheriche where we got nice views of the surrounding peaks. Besides Everest there are many spectacular peaks in this region of the Himalayas. Every new bend in our route reveals more of these beautiful mountains. We feel humbled and truly blessed to be among these great peaks, many of which rise over a mile above us and are relatively unknown among the general mountaineering community. Peaks within our field of view today included Tabuche (6495m/21,308′), Cholatse (6335m/20,784′), and Arakam Tse (6423m/21,072′) as well as the more well known Island Peak (6189m/20,304′), which is one of the most popular trekking peaks in the region.
Located in Pheriche is a high altitude medical clinic that has been in operation since 1973. The Himalayan Rescue Association staffs it with doctors who provide service to trekkers and climbers in need of medical attention. The work done here over the past 39 years has led to a large contribution of what we know about high altitude medicine today. The team visited the clinic in the afternoon after our day hike where one of the doctors shared some insights on high altitude medicine then gave us a tour of the facility.
On April 5 our plan is to move to Lobuche (5290m/17,355′) Base Camp. Lobuche is another trekking peak in the area. It’s Base Camp will be a nice place to continue our acclimatization. We’ll spend three nights here then trek to Everest Base Camp! It looks like we’ll be “out of range” from the outside world during this time. The next time we expect to check in will be after we’re settled at Everest Base Camp.
We want to thank everybody for all your prayers and support during our journey so far. We look forward to being in touch again soon!!
A Sherpani girl in Pangboche.
Sherpa's in Pangboche cultivating their fields preparing for the upcoming growing season when the monsoons come in June.
Yaks being herded past our route as the snow began to fall en route to Pheriche. Yaks are the local beast of burden in Nepal and Tibet. They normally live above 10,000'.
Fred nearing Pheriche Pass (4218m/13,838') en route to the village of Pheriche in a white out while light snow continued to fall.
Fred (right) and fellow team member Bandar (left) crossing a bridge shortly before arriving at Pheriche.
Fred and Kurt arriving at the Himalayan Hotel in Pheriche, the tea house where they slept in for two nights.
Fred, Brad, Lisa, Vanessa, and Karl enjoying the spectacular views on a day hike above Pheriche.
Kurt and Fred pause on a ridgeline where rocks were stacked to hang prayer flags during an acclimatization day hike above Pheriche.
A Himalayan Griffon souring above checking us out during our acclimatization day hike above Pheriche.
SMI founder and guide Kurt Wedberg with Ama Dablam in the background. Kurt climbed this mountain by the Southeast Ridge in October of 1998.
A group picture at approximately 15,000' during an acclimatization day hike above Pheriche. Fred and Kurt are trekking and sharing Base Camp with them during their Everest expedition. Front row: Kurt, Lopsong Sherpa, Bandar, Brad. Back Row: Kevin, Jan, Andy, Karl, Dwayne, Lisa, Catherine, Mark, Ray, John, Jenni, Justin, Vanessa, Fred, Purna, Mingma, Atte, Furi, and Tashi.