Everest Base Camp Trek by Shaun O'Boyle

Journal April 9, Surke 7,675 ft. Another good day of trekking, a tough 3 hour climb out of Khari Khola, had tea 3/4 of the way up, lunched at Poiyan on Dal Baht, then a further 2 1/2 hours we arrived in Surke. It rained last night in the low lands but snowed up higher, some beautiful views and incredible contrasts between the fertile valleys and the snow covered peaks high above. The trail is crowded with porters heading to Namche for the Saturday market, all sorts of items being hauled, rice, corn, chickens, yak meat, grain, they carry incredibly heavy loads of over 100 pounds all supported from a tump line on their foreheads.

Payday in Namche. These Sherpa porters have just finished a week long trek with 50 kg. on there back. Now its time to celebrate. They trek into Namche from all over Khumbu and beyond to trade at the weekly market for various goods like rice, kerosene, sugar, clothing, yak meat, chickens. These guys and 1 gal we're smoking and drinking up a storm.
Namche Bazaar (11,286 ft.) , center of the Sherpa culture. A beautifully situated village in a large natural bowl 2000 ft above the Dudh Kosi River. The place to stock up on supplies for the many possible treks that can be done from here. Also a good place for an acclimatization stop which is mandatory before heading up to higher elevations. There are many hotels and restaurants to choose from.
View of Namche Bazaar from the guest house window where I stayed.
Weekly market day in Namche, this is where many of the porters I saw treking were going. They come from all over Khumbu and beyond to be here and trade goods.
View from the mountain ridge above Namche Bazaar toward the Big Peaks. Everest is the Peak with its head in the Jet stream and the ever present blast of snow from the summit. Just in front of Everest is the Nuptse-Lhotse wall blocking most of Everest. This is the direction I was heading in, toward Thengboche monestary and Everest Base camp beyond.
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