13 July 2009

Everest Region December 2003 - Day 3

Acclimatisation Rest Day - Day trip to Khumjung and Khunde

You can see a slideshow of my best pics from Everest on flickr.
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Khumbui Yul Lha (Khumbila)

Day 3 was a “rest” day, which meant we kept climbing, but slept in the same bed as the night before.
Glen was still feeling wrecked, so after making him climb nearly 300m to Syangboche, we turned him around and sent him back.

Syangboche airport (3720m) is “the third highest airport in the world” (below Bangda in Tibet at 4334m, and La Paz in Bolivia at >4000m). People have been known to get out of the plane here and collapse.

What was really crazy was the presence of such a heavy piece of machinery - used for levelling the airstrip - over ten days walk from the nearest road. It was flown in piece by piece and assembled in situ. I couldn't help but juxtapose this with the mani stone (with all the coloured syllables painted on), itself juxtaposed with Khumbui Yul Lha (Khumbila), the protector deity of the Khumbu region, more sacred even than Jomo Miyolang-sangma (Chomolungma, now called Everest).
And the building looks like it has been rescued from some English housing project.

We wandered up to Everest View Hotel, to see what it was like. There is a small lodge on the way that has just as good views, though missing Everest View's oxygenated and pressurised rooms. The view from each place is absolutely stunning. From left to right, Cholatse and Taboche Peak, Everest/Chomolungma and Lhotse on the far horizon, Ama Dablam looking equally washed out, and Thamserku looking very grand on the right.
Panorama from above Namche
From Everest View, we dropped down to Khumjung for some excellent apple triangles from the bakery, and visited the Hillary School (closed for the winter hols) and Khunde District Hospital, before dropping back down to Namche. By the time we got back to the lodge, we realised how hard we'd been working, just wandering around.

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As seen on Andrew Purdam’s Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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