29 Sep 2015

Everest by narlap

9/13

Star 0

Comment1

The day started early. Pitch black, ice cold, 5000m above sea level. On the bikes, through some serious military checkpoints and then 35km of switchbacks to get out first big taste of Everest and its surrounding peaks. My hands started getting very numb very early in the ride. We hit the first peak for sunrise and spent around an hour trying to fire off shots with crippled fingers. Then down the other side and into the valley. Another 30km before we reached Basecamp itself. Wow, Everest was right there , huge, glowing. I could not believe how close we were, you could see the glacier fields that the climbers have to cross. The mountain was smack bang dead centre. We churches into our monastery guest house in dormitory accommodation. Very basic and one step up from camping. Then it was back on the bikes to get even closer still. A 2km ride on a dirt track to a series of tents. Leave the bikes and hop on a small bus for another 2km or so. A police checkpoint this time, off the bikes and a slow climb up to a viewing area. A rocky field directly below, merging to ice and the glacier field. Huge granite colored mountains on either side and Everest front and centre, glowing arctic white, fully iced. Blue blue sky, not a cloud in sight. Maybe 10 people there. Absolutely awesome! Spent an hour, made phone calls of course, many photos with cold hands. Headed back to the monastery for an ice cold and well deserved beer. A chance to reflect. A year in the making and a dream come true. One hell of an adventure to get here and today the mountain delivered in all its glory. Spent the evening in simple surrounds, kept warm by a fire fueled with dried yak dung. at sunset Everest delivered its final show in full gold . I'm now sitting in bed fully dressed, covered in blankets, hoping it's not too bitterly cold tonight. The long journey home starts tomorrow.