Nepal - Gokyo valley and Everest Base Camp trek

Namche Bazar to Kyangjuma via Khunde and Khumjung


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Day 4 - Namche Bazar to Kyangjuma (3620m) via Khunde and Khumjung

You can walk from Namche Bazar to Kyangjuma in hunder two hours by following the contour of the hill above the Dudh Kosi river but there is little point in going fast when your pace will be limited by how much altitude you can safely gain per day.

In order to make a short distance a whole day affair we can ascend above Namche (it's a steep climb at first but it levels off after a while) towards the large sherpa villages of Khunde (there is a clinic there should you need it) and Khumjung which is considered the sherpa capital (Namche being the business capital). Most of the houses have been recently renovated, they all have good roofs. This isa very wealthy area of Nepal.

Everywhere you look, Ama Dablam towers above you and there are numerous prayer walls (also called Mani walls because of their inscriptions Om Mani Padme Hum)

A little above Khumjung, the famous Everest View Hotel, built by the Japanese in the 70s has good views of - not surprisingly - Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. A lot of the building seems to be restricted to the guests (not that I saw any, I don't think that business is very good since charter flights to the Syangboche airstrip were stopped) but you may have expensive tea or coffee on the terrace.

From Khumjung, it is only a short descent into the forest to Kyangjuma and the welcoming Ama Dablam Lodge of Tashi.





Day 5 - Kyangjuma to Dhole (4050m)

We leave Tashi's following the main trail very briefly and then turning left to follow the Dudh Kosi valley and head up to the Mong La (3,900m).  The path climbs steeply to begin with, but easing off.  There are a handful of tea houses at the top of the pass, allowing for refreshments before the steep decent towards Phortse Tenga. Once you have lost all the altitude you gained in the morning climbing towards the Mon La it is time to head uphill again, sometimes steeply for 2 to 3 hours through a forest.

We have now left the direct trail to the Everest region and are headed up what is often known as the Gokyo valley. This also means that we will see far less trekkers than we encountered up to now.

You come out of the forest very shortly before you reach Dole (4,050m) and from now on you are above the tree line.  

Dhole is a small settlement with around 6 small tea houses and some flat camp areas.

This is the first night above 4000m and often the point where people might start suffering the effects of altitude, often displaying headaches, lack of appetite, nausea and poor sleep.


A note on the two photos of Ama Dablam (6812m): Ama Dablam means "Mother and Pearl Necklace" (the perennial hanging glacier is thought of as the pearl). On the photos you can see two tents perched on the ridge below the hanging glacier. This is known aas camp 3. Looking closely you can also see around 9 people climbing 5 under the 'Dablam' and 4 or 5 just near the top right of it. These photos were taken on the 11th of November 2006. Two nights later a huge serac collapsed and swept away several tents at camp 3, killing six climbers (3 European, 3 Sherpa).
The tents and the climbers in the picture are not the ones that were swept away.


Leaving Namche Bazar - Rock inscribed with prayers


Terrace of the Everest View Hotel



The village of Khumjung and Ama Dablam



The village of Khumjung and Ama Dablam



Houses in Khumjung


Mani wall



Camp behind the Ama Dablam Lodge in Kyangjuma


Nangpa, the pet yak of the lodge owners



Summit of Ama Dablam



Two tents on a ridge just below the 'Dablam'



Descending from the Mon La


Kantega and Thamserku behind a ridge of trees near the village of Phortse



Himalayan thar


Himalayan thar



Abandonned porter's basket


Morning in Dhole with snow on the tents


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