22 July 2009

Everest Region December 2003 - Day 17

Luza to Khumjung

You can see a slideshow of my best pics from Everest on flickr.
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Looking back from just outside of Luza, we see Kyajo Ri (6186m), Cho Oyu (8201m) with the long snowy eastern wall, and probably the Kangchung Peaks, and of course the Dudh Koshi valley. We spent most of this exquisite morning traversing up high (400m above the river) on the western flank of the valley. Helen went absolutely berserk with the camera (fortunately a digital), taking 143 photos in one day! (We had previously averaged about 35-40).


I love this picture. It depicts the glorious conditions that we walked in that day. So long as we stayed on the track, we didn't have to bother about the foot of snow that had fallen. The constant grey and yellow-brown of the cold and barren winter landscape had been hidden under a white fluffy duvet. This part of the upper Dudh Koshi valley is superb. The feeling of height above the valley floor is significant and exhilarating. One thing that really improved our experience of this place was that we were walking downhill instead of climbing uphill!

Caution, steep verge.

Kangtega and Thamserku above Phortse, itself above the Dudh Koshi. Andrew and Glen are on the right hand side. We descended over 700m from Luza to Phortse Tenga, only to find we now had to ascend 300m to Mong. Mong is a brilliant place, perched like an eagle eyrie 700m right above the junction of the Dudh Koshi and Imja Khola.


Panorama from the eagle eyrie which calls itself Mong. Perched 700m right above the junction of the Dudh Koshi and Imja Khola.
Cholatse, Taboche, the village of Phortse, Ama Dablam, Tenboche (the monastery is partially hidden by the near trees), Kantega and Thamserku, and to the right, the Dudh Koshi Valley and the Everest View Hotel beyond the obvious tree. If you're not sick of QTVR panorama's, here's yet another one.

The day was getting on (you can see the low angle of the sun) and we had to keep going to get to Khumjung. We grabbed a quick family holiday snap (left), and decided to take the high road again, to see what "the stone steps" were like.

This was probably the worst day to do it, because the snow had turned each step into a luge track, with ice rendering every tread on an outward angle. Despite this treachery, we made it to Khumjung in time to find a lodge.


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

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