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Published: September 26th 2010
Mount Everest and its surrounds must be every British persons dream come true? The vistas are without compare, the locals are incredibly friendly and like nothing more than sharing stories over a hot cup of Yak butter tea, for history buffs ruins abound and the wildlife would be enough to satisfy David Attenbrough for at least a whole series. Perhaps greatest of all however is the weather which would keep most of us in conversation for a life time.
Arriving in the blistering sun we faced rows upon rows of mountains. While I thought I would have had no issue at all identifying this iconic mountain - after all it was a constant fixture on the wall of the geography class room - embarrassingly I could not work out which one Everest was. I decided that maybe I had only been privy to Everest from the Nepalese side but later worked out that the abundance of clouds had been the real issue.
After reaching base camp and making myself at home in the tent where I would spend the night I was faced with what sounded like rapid gun fire. Upon exiting the tent I was hit with round
upon round of hailstones which were the size of large peas (not the petit pois variety) Seeking refuge so as to avoid bruising this carried on for about an hour. We were then greated with near gale force winds which kindly disappeared as quickly as they came to leave a clear view of Everest at sun set.
Feeling privelidged to have witnessed this ( I am told that many people come to Everest and the window of clear sky never arrives) I planned to get up for sunset but went to bed telling myself that whatever the weather conditions I had seen what I had come to see and a clear sky would merely be an added bonus.
At 6.30am I left the tent with stars still crowding the sky. While Everest seemed to have completely disappeared overnight, six inches of snow, the first of the season had fallen on base camp and instead of white peaks the mountains were completely covered leaving magical scenes.
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