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Yaks always get the right of way
It was quite cold in the morning. As we set out we were dressed in the warmest clothes possible. After about 20 minutes of walking as we reached the chorten it got so warm that I wanted to get rid of the down jacket and cool down a bit. The funny thing is that, every other trekker felt the same thing. We were all getting into lighter clothes near the chorten.
Tserring is amused by something
Its a long walk to Lobuche. Meera and Tserring wait for me to catch up. Look closely in the picture, there are atleast 2 sets of trekkers walking ahead of them on the trail. The landscape is truly vast here. A beautiful place for walking.
Okay, Meera decides to change now
You are looking great
Frozen stream and juniper bushes
We cross several frozen streams that were draining the water from the mountain we were walking. These streams start high on the mountain.
A Yak grazes on the high slopes.
The mountains in the Himalaya are so tall, this is the widest setting on my standard telephoto lens and the peak is almost occupying the whole frame. Further up the trail I will not be able to accommodate the whole mountain in a single frame. I have to switch to a wide angle lens.
The wide angle lens is on and all the mountains have suddenly become smaller which is what I don't like about wide angle lenses. Although they capture the vast expanse beautifully, they don't convey the sense of scale. Compare this picture with the previous picture and you'll know what I am talking about. The mountain in the background is the same. There is a lot more of the scenery in this picture. But the mountains don't look as big. But they are big, much bigger and taller than any of these pictures show them to be.
The beauty of the place is unbelievable and the scale is unlike anything found elsewhere
Thokla or Dhugla. This is where we stop for lunch.
I felt so happy as I entered this place. I knew most of the folks seated there. I met almost everyone of them either at Dingboche or Namche. I went around saying hello to the folks I knew, made some new acquaintances. A gentlemen from Sri Lanka came and introduced himself and we chatted up and as it would turn out, we would meet him several times again on the trail on the way back.
As lunch we had this ascent to deal with. It looked simple but it had everyone really tired. I don't know if it is some optical illusion or just the altitude. The climb took almost forever and the trail kept going up and up and yet you could see the top just there in the distance. From the map it is a 300 meter ascent, meaning a gain in altitude.
That's the hotel we just had lunch at. We are struggling up the trail.
If you are doing the Dingboche to Lobuche trail, don't start celebrating early if you have reached Thokla and you think you have already covered half the distance. The good time begins after lunch.
We have climbed higher. We can still see Thokla down below.
On top, there are many memorials for climbers who lost their lives climbing Mt Everest. This one is for Babu Chiri Sherpa.
This one is for Scott Fisher. You will know about Scott Fisher if you have read the book "Into thin Air" by Jon Krakauer. The book is a very interesting read about the 1996 Everest disaster on May 10 1996, the worst tragedy in the climbing history of Mount Everest where 8 people died on Mount Everest during summit attempts.
Memorials for other climbers who lost their lives on the Mountain. There are at least 216 people who have lost their life climbing the mountain as of 2009. Many times it has not been possible to retrieve the bodies from the mountain. There are known to be at least 120 bodies on Mt Everest.
We have reached the vicinity of the high peaks now. Gorakshep, Kala Patthar and Mount Everest Base Camp are straight ahead. Imagine a straight line from Meera to the mountain behind her and that's where Everest Base camp is. Although it looks very close by, it will take us at least 2 days of walking to get to base camp. The next day we will reach GorakShep and base camp the day after.
Lobuche is up ahead. One can see Mt Pumori 7165 meters, the tallest one in the picture, Lingtren 6713 meters and Khumbutse 6639 meters. Mt Everest will be towards the right in this picture. But you cant see it from here as it is blocked by Mt Nuptse 7864 meters (not visible in this pic)
You can see a bit of Nuptse towards the right.
We are tired and feeling very cold by the time we reach Lobuche. After tea at the hotel, I step out to get some sunset shots. This is Nuptse. Mt Everest and Lhotse although taller peaks are blocked by Nuptse.
A wide angle shot. To give a sense of scale, as it would appear to the unaided eye, the top of Nuptse would be about 60 degrees into the sky if 90 degrees were what would lie above your head.
Click here to view the next album from the Everest Base Camp Series