Last night was an early night. I think I finally crashed at 10pm, which some of you will know is about 3 hours earlier than my normal bedtime.
I woke up early today, but opted to stay cocooned in my toasty warm sleeping bag instead of venturing anywhere, because everywhere that wasn’t my toasty warm sleeping bag was damn cold.
After lounging for probably an hour, and then chatting with Rick for another, we were suddenly interrupted by chanting and drums seemingly coming from the floor above ours. This was probably shortly after 7:30am, so we decided to take it as a sign to get out of bed and get moving. This is, of course, when we looked out our window to see the snow capped peaks as the sun rose behind them.
Let me tell you, greeting the morning with chanting, drums, and an indescribably beautiful mountain view is like no other way to greet the morning.
After breakfast we started our trek – approximately 400m up to the Everest View Hotel. The goal of today was not to actually make headway on our trek to base camp, but to acclimatize to altitude. Fortunately Rick and I have both had experience at this altitude (and slightly higher), so other than being slightly winded from the act of hiking up 400m, we felt fine. No headaches, no dizziness, no problems.
The views on this hike were amazing. We had a spectacular view looking down on Namche Bazar. We had an even better view into the valley below and the vista of mountain ranges beyond. And of course, there was Everest, whose peak is so high that moist air is transformed into cloud as it passes over it. Due to perspective Everest doesn’t look to be the tallest mountain in the world, but the cloud production suggests otherwise. Peaks that appear nearby were cloud free.
Because this trip continues to blow all of my expectations out of the water, we opted to have a very civilized drink at the Everest View Hotel as we sat in awe of Everest. Alan and I opted for coffee, while the others had tea or hot chocolate. And so we sat with our drinks, laughing, snapping photos, and enjoying an incredibly beautiful day surrounded by some of the most spectacular mountains I have ever seen.
Of course, between the conversation, during those brief silences, I sat there humbled by the view, and reminded once again of how lucky I am to be enjoying such a scene. Luckier still, I got to share it with my friend Rick. Life really can’t get much better than this.
Tomorrow the trek towards base camp continues. We’ve been informed that the weather is expected to hold until the 24th, but we should expect snow for Christmas Day and Boxing Day – when we are also expected to reach base camp. Here’s hoping if it does snow, there’ll be a break in the weather long enough so that we can get some even better views of the world’s highest peak.