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Published: October 13th 2005
I don't even know where to start! We have spent over an hour just reviewing our 250 photos, now narrowed down to about 50. I feel as though this should just be photos as I don't know words can do it justice. I don't know that I had an expectation, but we were at the monastery for 24 hours and it is mesmerizing to just stare at this awesome mountain! The view from the monastery shows just the mamouth size of the mountain. 5 miles further in you are at Base camp which is just a series of Army size tents, most selling tea and then some people who have choosen to camp there. The path into the mountain continues to be flat and barren, but they do not let you walk any further. At base camp you climb a small hill and can actually peer into the first glacier. As we sat at base camp and looked up....and up !!! one guy said, " and to think that it is still 70 miles away !!!" The morning was brilliant blue without a cloud in the sky, but very very cold, especially in the shade which is where the cart path
The trek did not quite materialize as we had hoped. It was to be a 4 day trek, but by the morning of the 2nd day I had the start of a full blown head cold! It wasn't much of a decision as I knew it would not make sense to keep going up. Our driver was staying in Tingri the 3 nights we would have camped and then he would have driven to the Passum, the last town before the monastery and waited for us there. So we decided to go back to Tingri and then just ride up with him to Passum, taking the bus to the Monastery. The trek was not exactly what we had hoped as it was a rough 4 wheel drive road most of the way. So we ended up seeing much of the trek in a vehicle. The first day we had some nice views of the mountains, and 2 villages but after that most of the way the mountains were hidden.The walk was just along a dirt road, a bit like walking a forest service road (+ 10,000 ft) in Eastern Idaho in Jan for 4 days. YOu could do
it, but was not quite what we had hoped. So instead we rested and enjoyed a slice of Tibetan life at our guest house.
The downside to driving the 1500 ft was we both experienced a bit more of the altitude with a very restless sleep, combined with now both of us with head colds, we were both feeling a bit lethargic which seemed to add to the sureal experience of staring at the highest point on earth!
The Everest Area is @ 400 miles west of Lhasa, but it took us two full days of driving to get there. Our vehicle was a late 80's Toyota Landcruiser that certainly had seen it's share of roads in Tibet. The last 150 miles were the roughest as they tore up the entire stretch and then were slowly putting in a new road. It was very dusty and the bridge culvert people were not keeping up with the grading people so about every 5 miles we would have to go off road to go around where the potentail bridges and culverts would be. I lost count of how many rivers/streams we went through nor how many broken down vehicles we
passed - some with minor flat tires, other trucks sunk to their axles in mud. The only mechanical problem we encountered was the loss of one rear shock on the trip back, no great loss though, because as we took it off, all the oil ran down the tube, so it really wasn't contributing any way. We were amazed that at no time we did not have to push our vehicle out. Much of that we give credit to our excellent driver.
At this point I am going to add Ed's email:
We arrived in the town of Tingri on Monday night, and negotiated with both the Yak man and the pony cart driver as to who would get our gear up the mountain the cheapest. the Pony cart guy won, he would take the four of us to Everest base camp in 4 days. The Spanish couple, Amedeo and Christina have done lots of hiking so we felt that we were all set for the trip. Our first day of "hiking " was actually walking up the jeep dirt road that the land cruisers use to get to the monestry. The views were fantastic and the elevational gain
was only about 750 feet. We pitched camp with the view of several 25,000' mountains and the wind roaring down the valley as the sun set.
During the nite, M's slightly stuffy nose caused by two days of dirt roads turned into a full blown stuffed head cold. This combined with the 14,500 ' ele. and the plan for three more nites camping at over 16,500', we chose the option of snagging a local horse cart guy to take us back to the town of Tingri and the guest house. We stayed there for two more nites and then took the Toyota up the same track that we would have hiked and met Amedeo and Christina at the Ronghu monastery.
We stayed here a nite in the guest house, 4 to a room, (better for heat) and then took a pony cart up to base camp @ 17,160'. The base camp area on the Northern side is much different than the southern Nepal side. We also have heard how much garbage is brought into the Nepal Side. The Tibet side is very clean and is not used by that many climbers because the track up the mountain is
so much harder than the Nepal side. The views were great but man was it cold. We did feel a bit affected by the elevation, we were glad that we had planned to stay only a few hours there and then get back to the monastery and catch the bus back down to where we had left our truck. We then drove out to the town of Shegar on the Lhasa to Katmandu highway and spent the nite.
The next day we drove to the town of Shigatse where we spent three nites and spent the days traveling around the surrounding area. We arrived in Lhasa last nite. Today we dropped off all our dirty laundry for the huge sum of $5 to do all our clothes and will probably spend most of the day at the computer and walking around town. We will also decide where to go in the next few days. There are a few places that we still want to see around Lhasa, but the colder weather is coming in. Our weater is still sunny, but the nite time temps are dropping lower and the snow level is dropping down to the tops of the
The view from Tingri
This was our first view of Everest from Tingri, a small village @ 40 miles North of Everest
mountains around Lhasa.
It is so hard to believe that three weeks ago we were sweating in Shanghai!!!!
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