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Everest Base Camp - Day 4 (Namche Bazaar - Phortse)

Phortse Travel Blog

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Clouds rolling in up the valley.

Our route exiting Namche was similar to that of our trek yesterday, but instead of climbing towards Shyangboche and the Everest View Hotel we proceeded along a trail lower in the valley.  The initial segment of trekking was pretty flat for Nepali standards (but we were generally ascending the entire way with some short sections of steep up and down).  There were no real good views today.   Clouds were quickly sweeping up the valley; rolling in, around, and even through us all day.  Had the occasional close in view of the river valley, but nothing of any of the far off peaks.  Instead we did get to see a colorful Impeyan Pheasant, the Nepali national bird, some wildflowers, and more flowering rhododenron.

Stopped for tea and snacks and Kyangjuma (3550m - 11647 ft).

Still descending to the river.
  Shortly after this break, we turned off the main Everest Base Camp Trekking route to follow the path towards Gokyo.  The Gokyo path continues up the Dudh Kosi valley while the main trail follows the south bank of the Imja Khola.  We had decided to take an alternative route up and across the Dudh Kosi to Phortse, then following the north bank of the Imja Khola tomorrow where we would meet up again with the main trail in Pangboche.  Descending we would follow the main route so this would add some variety to our trekking.

The Gokyo route climbs steadily and steeply to Mong (3973m - 13035 ft) where we stopped for lunch.

At the Dudh Kosi River.
  A small family runs this restaurant and their little girl elicited many smiles and laughs from the crowd.  On the way to Mong and at the restaurant we saw views of Phortse where we would be spending the evening.  The only problem - it was across the valley and the Dudh Kosi was nearly 400m below us.  Immediately after lunch we started the descent.  Passed through Phortse Thanga (3680m - 12073 ft) and then descended a bit more to the small wooden bridge over the river.  Paused to refill water bottles in the river as needed (and treat said water as well) before beginning the climb back up the other side.  Once we reached the top in Phortse (3810m - 12500 ft) we entered into a wall of cloud cover that dropped our visibility to 20m.  Later in the day into the evening visibility dropped to maybe 5m or less.
Thamserku View Lodge - there weren't any views on this day though.
  Everything was obscured by the envelope of clouds.

Nothing much to report for the evening.  More cards and conversation before and after dinner.  Phortse is a very small village, but spread out on the hillside above the confluence of the Dudh Kosi and Imja Kola.  Even if we wanted to go out and explore, the potential of getting lost in the cloud cover kept us all inside leading up to dinner.  Besides it had gotten quite cold and damp outside in the clouds.

So now we are in Phortse, tomorrow we head for Dingboche and the real high altitude starts to hit us.  Feeling pretty good right now, maybe a slight headache in the morning that quickly goes away when we start walking (probably a sign of shallower breathing at night when sleeping).  Hopefully we all (myself and my companions) will continue to feel good as we ascend.

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Clouds rolling in up the valley.
Clouds rolling in up the valley.
Still descending to the river.
Still descending to the river.
At the Dudh Kosi River.
At the Dudh Kosi River.
Thamserku View Lodge - there weren…
Thamserku View Lodge - there were…
Spring wildflowers in the Himalaya…
Spring wildflowers in the Himalay…
Looking down towards the Dudh Kosi…
Looking down towards the Dudh Kos…
Impeyan Pheasent (Nepals National…
Impeyan Pheasent (Nepal's Nationa…
Chorten commemorating the 50th ann…
Chorten commemorating the 50th an…
Sign on aforementioned chorten.
Sign on aforementioned chorten.
Looking backward on our trail...
Looking backward on our trail...
...and looking forward on the trai…
...and looking forward on the tra…
More wildflowers
More wildflowers
A different flower on the trail.
A different flower on the trail.
Flowering rhodendrons
Flowering rhodendrons
Kyamjung.
Kyamjung.
Lunch break in Mong
Lunch break in Mong
This young girl provided much ente…
This young girl provided much ent…
A squatter!
A squatter!
Descending to the Dudh Kosi from M…
Descending to the Dudh Kosi from …
Phortse on the other side of the D…
Phortse on the other side of the …
At the Dudh Kosi River.
At the Dudh Kosi River.
Lost in clouds at the lodge.
Lost in clouds at the lodge.
Tree enshrounded in mist.
Tree enshrounded in mist.
Tree from earlier photo (minus the…
Tree from earlier photo (minus th…
Phortse
photo by: Kramerdude