So now that I’ve finished the whole sequence I figured I’d post the whole listing here on one page in order, it will make it easier for people finding it for the first time to access, enjoy:
Posts Tagged ‘cho oyu’
Tags: breschears, cho oyu, everest, everest base camp, gokyo, gompa, gorak shep, kathmandu, khumjung, life, lukla, mong la, namche, nepal, renjo la, sherpa, thamel, trek, trekking, yeti
Tags: bigfoot, cho oyu, dhole, Gokyo Ri, life, machermo, nepal, tom slick, trek, trekking, yeti
On this day the group will be leaving to go over the Renjo La Pass (17,800) feet and down into the Thame valley. I had been thinking a lot about the pass, I’m not a good descender and there was a possibility that the descent would be icy and I just wasn’t feeling confident about it. The last thing I wanted to do was talk myself into a fall so I made the decision to go back down the Gokyo Valley and to Namche with a plan to meet the group in three days in Mende. My friend Phillipe had not been feeling well and he decided to make the trip down with me and one of the guides, Lhakpa. Breaking from the group meant no Yak support and so instead of light day packs we were carrying full packs, still not a ton of weight but definitely more than we had been carrying up to this point.
It was a sad morning saying goodbye to the group and we watched them as long as we could as they slid up the side of Gokyo Ri, heading for what looked like an impossible path to reach a notch in the mountains.
Finally it was time for us to go and we retreated down the Gokyo Valley, this time staying on the opposite side of the river which gave us new villages and vistas. We were heading for Dhole but our first stop was at Machermo a place I was very excited to be getting to. Why you ask? Well on the maps of the Khumbu Valley there is a notation at Machermo, “site of Yet attack in 1974, 3 yaks killed and woman thrown in stream.” Being as interested as I am in the Yeti, Machermo was certainly a high point on the trip for me, unfortunately I’m unable to locate my Machermo photos at this time, but they weren’t that exciting, just me by the village sign. The other thing both related to the Yeti and very interesting was the area just outside of Machermo, for the first time on the trek we found ourselves walking through actual forest including something that looked a lot like Spanish Moss on the trees. This really seemed like the first habitat we encountered that could actually support a large creature like the Yeti. For more on the Yeti check out the link below:
We made Dhole (13,254) in the afternoon, it’s a sleepy little village and we had a great afternoon sitting in the sun, having a beer and watching crows stealing food off of the packs on the backs of the yaks coming through the village. The lodge at Dhole had very little heat in the common room and none in the sleeping area and it may have been the coldest night of the trek. Getting up at 3AM to urinate and the water in the squat toilet was actually frozen, I was very thankful for my mummy bag that night it was going to be a cold morning.
Tags: cho oyu, everest, gokyo, gokyo lakes, himalaya, lake tahoe, life, nepal, phortse, trek, trekking
The morning was spent making the trek back down from Dingboche to Phortse, retracing our steps once again to meet up with my little beard pulling friend. A nice night back in Phortse but the lodge is crowded, the snow has created some log jams both going up and coming down the trails. Being at a lower altitude feels amazing especially when just days before this was the thin air we were getting used to.
The next morning we said goodbye to one of our group who was sick and would be heading down to Namche and then the rest of us hit the trail moving up again. The trail to Na was by far my most difficult trail of the entire trek. I don’t like exposed trails, I mentioned that earlier, and on the trail to Na we spent a very large portion of our seven hours of walking on the edge of about a 1000 foot drop off, with the trail winding out around outcroppings and the conversation for most of the day unfortunately centering on the guy who disappeared on this trail the year before. The physical part of the walk was not an issue, it was the mental drain of having to focus so intensely on where to put foot after foot after foot. By the time we reached the river drainage that led up to the lodge at Na I was spent, the last half hour was a long slow slog. The high point of the day as well as the most embarrassing moment was watching a 50-something grandmother come up over mountain trails carrying her 4-year-old grandson and moving at least as fast as I was, it put things into perspective.
The lodge at Na was a bit of a throwback to old trekking days, the outhouse was well outside of the lodge and a good distance away, the Yak dung stove smoked up the lodge and the rooms were chilly and our Yaks were huddled up against the wall under our window. However like the rest of the region it was beautiful, the shot below is the trail coming up the valley:
We lit out of Na, across the river and started upward again toward the Gokyo Valley, saw what were quite possibly snow leopard prints in the snow, very cool. We took a rest stop at the entrance to the Gokyo Valley on a little bridge over a raging river. I had been looking forward to seeing the valley, there are five sacred lakes in the Gokyo Valley and we quickly came upon the first. It looked a bit like a damned up wide spot in the river but was absolutely beautiful set against the snow. A little further up the valley we came to the second lake and it was magnificent, the lake is long and over a 100 feet deep. Looking back down the valley from the head of the lake and my favorite peak was gleaming in the sun, this instantly became my favorite spot in Nepal.
We spent a little time resting by the shore of the lake and then made our way up to Gokyo and the third lake. The first view of Gokyo (15,700 ft) was awesome:
The third lake was like a small Lake Tahoe set in the Himalayas, the lodge we were staying at sat up over it with a magnificent view and had attached with it the outhouse with the best view in the world:
The lakes as I mentioned were sacred lakes so there is no one on or in the lake in any way. The lakes remain perfect and calm framed against the snow-covered shores of Gokyo Ri (17,585) and in the shadow of Cho Oyu one of the world’s highest mountains at 26,900 feet and pictured below:
We had a rest day in Gokyo and I spent the day shooting, here’s a sampling enjoy: