Travel responsibly. Take nothing but pictures. Conserve.
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The town of Lobuche against a backdrop of Tabuche and Cholatse (left to right)
A lot of trekkers, guides and porters are heading up to Gorakshep. There is a bit of a social scene on the trail where everyone is catching up on news.
A train of yaks is making its way down and Meera is taking some pictures
The air was very cold in the morning and I needed something warm over my nose. It is absolutely essential to sort out gear before you start this trek. Some people take things a little lightly and don't seem to have adequate protection.
Okay, this one is properly covered
We rest for a bit before the ascent.
Tabuche, Cholatse and Arakam Tse. There is an Italian research center called the pyramid at this location that has a webcam relaying images of this very scene 24/7.
Check this link to see a live webcam image of what is like in Lobuche right now (you will have to move your mouse over the small image on the left):
The Khumbu glacier comes into view
The glaciers on the slopes of Nuptse
The Khumbu glacier in all its majesty
Its hard to estimate how big these blocks of ice are. But the glacier is a kilometer across in some places which should give a sense of scale.
Watching the Khumbu glacier was an unbelievable moment for me. I had seen it only in pictures and watching its vastness with my own eyes was a humbling experience. Again, these pictures do absolutely no justice to what the eye really sees. The vastness is truly immense.
The brown hill is Kala Patthar. The celebrated Everest views are all from that hill. It looks small but its quite a hike to get to its top.
The glacier is a kilometer across and is mostly ice. Snow compacts into ice and flows down mountain slopes and forms a slow moving river of ice. Due to the sheer weight of the ice it begins to grind the rock and soil into debris and because all the ice is moving or rather being pushed down by fresh ice forming at the beginning of the glacier, ice mixes with rock and mud. This happens for centuries and the ice ends up digging a large trench. The soil and rock that you see covering the glacier is a thin layer in comparison to the mass of ice below. Some of those rocks can be very large boulders the size of houses behind pushed around over time by very hard compacted ice. Hope this gives a sense of the immense process at work.
There is another glacier joining the Khumbu glacier at this point. It is actually 3 glaciers merging into 1 and then joining the Khumbu glacier. The Changri Nup Glacier, the Changri Shar glacier and the Gorakshep Glacier emerging from the left of Pumori in the picture which is the tallest peak in the picture. Hence we are standing on this elevated area of rock, mud and ice that we will see ahead.
The ice is visible now. The height of the glacier from where i stood is 40 feet tall and there is more ice below me.
After lunch we head up to a third of the way on Kala Patthar to catch the sunset. Mt Everest is the black mountain visible behind Nuptse. I would be climbing Kala Patthar once again after visiting base camp
The Khumbu glacier in the fading light
Mt Pumori and the peak of Kala Patthar
A close up view of the summit of Mount Everest
The following shots show the sequence of photos show the sunset as it happens
Mount Everest is the last to catch the sunlight as it is the tallest
Click here to view the next album from the Everest Base Camp Series