The day trek today was fairly flat with steady inclines and declines through out the day. During the day I dropped my camera and chipped the zoom lens. Appears to work ok although some of the focusing is playing up a bit. The drop in oxygen content in the air is noticeable now with breathing becoming slightly more difficult uphill.
Along the trail we overlooked several traditional farms with this house and fences built from local stone. The fences extend around the paddock they farm and around the house normally. Larger farms also have additional plots fenced by stone mostly all around the same size.
The mountains over looking the valley have some very impressive ice and snow formations.
Traditional grazing ground of the yaks. Yaks feed on the vegetation and get photographed by tourists. So I couldn’t help myself and did a poor photo bomb attempt of a poor innocent yak trying to enjoy it’s 15 minutes of fame.
Along the trail are many bushes of the local seabuckthorn (Hippophae) berry. It is a small orange – red berry that grows on a bush with small leaves. Is apparently high in vitamins C & E and is used in a number of local traditional medicines. The taste of each berry varies a fair bit and is a bit sour. Personally I enjoyed the taste but the opinion of the taste varied greatly within the group.
The seabuckthorn bush survives due to it’s rigorous root growth and because of this is now being used to reestablish vegetation in erodes areas in the region.
Throughout the Nepal Himalayas the tourism has brought a lot of money into the region. As a result of this there is construction in all the villages.
The new construction is based on stone a readily available resource but using modern techniques. Availability of materials is limited due to remoteness of the area and limited access to transportation. Old style huts still dot the landscape.
Most of the day consisted of small inclines with a steep climb shortly after morning tea. We trekked beside clear flowing streams in valleys caused over time by the ice flows then climbing into open plains above the ice flows nestled between huge mountain ranges. Many of the trails are washed out during the melt or monsoons and need to be rebuilt for the tourists each time.
As we carried just our day packs with what is just necessary for a trip for the day our porters and yaks continue to take all the groups baggage up the mountains.
As you climb up the mountains don’t forget to take some time to look behind you and enjoy some of the fantastic views. Wide open valleys nestled between the giant mountains of the Himalayas. A lone yak feeds in the wide valley below.
The moss that sits on top of the rocks in the streams form a comfortable place to take a break on the trail.
Ground cover with small blue flowers covers the landscape.
As we got up in the morning you could tell the group was excited as today was what we had come for, in a few short hours we’ll be sitting at Everest Base Camp.
Leaving Lobuche we headed out on narrow tracks that are at times a few feet wide and several hundred metres above the ground. At other times we were trekking in wide valleys.
Then there was a sign that we were heading in the right direction.
The vegetation at this time is sparse with the the trek into base camp becoming a challenge to rock hop amongst the many large rocks that form part of the trail.
Although very limited there are some beautiful flowers that line the path to base camp,
As well as the flowers, some birds and other other animals find refuge and live in the mountains.
We finally reach the area of the base camp. We trek across the rocks towards the many many prayer flags that mark the spot. Celebrations and screams fill the air as the group reaches the spot that marks where base camp is. Some enjoy the moment a bit more then others.
The Everest base camp area is basically a big glacier mixed with rocks and a lot of dust. The size of the glacier is impressive and hard to get the true perspective in film.
Large pools of water and ice are formed by melting ice in the warm autumn sun.
Once the celebrations are complete as well as all the photo taking we start to head towards Gorak Shep for the evening. Thinking about the 4am start to see the sun rise over Everest.