Today we left Namche for Tengboche, a long day as we faced a 6.5 hour trek with a 600m vertical ascent at the end to rise into Tengboche. It is hard to explain but these tiny trails are the road system of this Kumbu region of Nepal. Literally, there are no roads into this part of Nepal – everything is carried in by yak, donkey, or porter. The porters are amazing – they carry up to 220 pounds (100 kg) on their back up these trails. And the trails are tiny – and steep – and very rocky. We saw one porter today carrying sixteen 8 foot 4x4 poles. It is truly amazing.
Our trek winded down for most of the day and we had lunch at a nice restaurant at our halfway point. We continued down and crossed a river across another prayer flag covered bridge and then we began the ascent. Unfortunately, we had lost 200m over the first half of the day so we were faced with a 2.5 hour climb up 600m to Tengboche. But, we reached finally reached Tengboche at 12,716 feet (3876m). Tengboche is very small, there is only the lodge, a few stores, and the monastery which we will journey into tomorrow to conduct more of our monk EEG study. Our lodge is incredible on the outside but the inside – well…
We sat inside the lodge and relaxed and unwound after the hard climb. Our guides served us tea and cookies and we were happy to be here as tomorrow is a rest day. Suddenly, people began to stream outside – the wind was up and the mountains were coming into view. We had an incredible view of Ana Dablam to our right and then suddenly there it was – Mount Everest – off in the distance over the Nuptse and Lhotse ridges. We go to bed with our goal in sight.