Mt Everest Trek: Day four

By Ian Connellan November 7, 2013
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AG editor meets a couple of setbacks, natural and otherwise, on day four of his Himalayan adventure.

Read more about the AG Society supported Ama Dablam Everest Trek in Nepal, run by World Expeditions. See a gallery of great images from previous Ama Dablam expeditions here.

DAY FOUR: Today we walked from Monjo, at about 2840 m, to our lodge above Namche Bazaar, at 3500 m. Soon after setting out we pass the entrance to Sagarmatha NP. Inside a dark room in the park office there’s a 3D diorama of the Khumbu Valley and its mighty peaks — now so close that it’s better to stay outside and look than slink inside and squint.

The track is quite crowded now, and the quiet tracks of yesterday are looking more and more like a bonus. We cross the Dudh Koshi at its confluence with the Bhote Koshi on a high suspension bridge and the going is all up from this point. It’s dusty and the track is busy with trekkers and trek porters and other porters carrying all manner of goods to Namche. The track switchbacks up and up; at a point about halfway up one of our sherpa guides, Bharat Tamang, points up the valley at a distant dark pyramid looming behind a high ride decorated with crenellated curtains of ice: “Everest,” he says. We stop and gawp and take pictures.

Further along the track I walk with trekker Linda Weedon, and we animatedly agree that everyone has their own reason for walking in Nepal. “The views, the culture, the physical challenge,” Linda says. “And the social aspects of walking in a group.”

A little way out of Namche we’ve stopped by a small food stall when we hear a roaring sound — a few of us think it’s a jet at first — and turn to see an avalanche cascading down a frozen creek across the valley, above the Bhote Koshi. The last steps into Namche are hard — tomorrow’s rest day with short walk will be welcome. Namche sits in a natural amphitheatre, its low centre a Stupa brightly decorated for the recent Losar festival — Tibetan New Year.

The streets are narrow and crowded with shops and stalls selling food and a lot of traditional handcrafts, but also a great deal of material aimed at Western trekkers and climbers. Every well-known brand of walking and climbing gear is represented. Signs spruik coffee, popular European foods and drinks and, perhaps most ubiquitous, telephone and internet connections. But there’s still a nice surprise amid this apparent commercialisation. When I stroll back into Namche later to try and get this blog emailed to Australia, nothing’s working: there’s a problem with the lines for the time being.

Everyone shrugs and says sorry, but no go. I’m almost relieved.

A portion of the profits from all AG expeditions go to the AG Society to assist in its work. Join us on an AG Expedition in 2010. Thanks to: AG Society Travel Partner: World Expeditions, AG Society Technology Supporters, Power Source Australia and Epirbhire.

More from Ian on his trek through Nepal:
Day one and two
Day three