It would be one more gruelling day for us. The elevation plot below shows that the net altitude gain between Namche Bazaar and Debuche was about 1,100 feet but for that we had to lose 3068 feet and climb back 4149 feet!!
After the initial climb from Namche Bazaar we reach the Army camp. It was then a plain walk with occasional ups and downs for next 90 minutes. The view of Everest was visible for most of our journey but it was Ama Dablam that stole the show on that day. It just looked spectacular and after each turn we felt that we were almost near that mountain!!
At this stretch Subbu had nose bleeding. It subsided after sometime and he looked ok. It was the first sign that not everything was right.
|Fields after Namche Bazaar|
At Sanasa, a path deviates to Gokyo lakes. Our original itinerary had Gokyo Lake with crossing of mighty Cho La. But later we felt that we were not “prepared” for such a touch trek. Finally we decided to stick to the “easiest” route to EBC!!
That path then continuously went down to the base of the valley. We were now at an altitude lower than Namche Bazaar. Now it was time to climb up!!
The final climb to Tengboche involves a steep climb of about 2500 feet but it is often underestimated by climbers. It is as touch as Namche Bazaar climb and comes at the end of the days trek. The climb starts immediately after crossing the hanging bridge at Dudh Kosi River. We had to register at an army check post here. Samir told that this would be the last check post.
|Hanging bridge before the climb|
In spite of the altitude, I had an easy day. But I felt not everything was right for Subbu. He seemed to be slow that day. This was atypical of him. He had an infection just before starting the trip. It was very similar to my Manasa Sarovar exeperience. Few days before the start, I had an infection. I was still on antibiotics when I landed in Kathmandu. But due to Tibet permit issues, I got an opportunity to rest at Kathmandu for few days. Subbu did not have that luxury. So as he started falling back, I felt that the infection was keeping him performing his best.
|Snow capped mountain at Tengboche|
After two hours of continuous climb, we reached Tengboche. One cannot miss the imposing monastery here.
The stay options at Tengboche are limited. Since we were one of the first to arrive we had all hotels at our disposal. But we decided to go as per our plan and walk down to Debuche, a 20 minute journey downhill. We choose Everest Lodge to stay which indeed was a pleasant place. They had few books in their restaurant and also had a small TV in their Kitchen with Hindi channels. Both kept us engaged for rest of the day!!
|Ama Dablam soar behind Deboche|