Day 177: E.B.C. trek day 3, acclimitization day, Everest Hotel Viewpoint (3880m)
Namche Bazaar Travel Blog› entry 216 of 260 › view all entries
Thanks to the people I met here and/or travelled with: Mark & Lindsay (Canada)
Ac cute Mountain Sickness, or altitude sickness is a very real danger in the mountains, of which on average three trekkers die each year. It can also be prevented very easily. The key to prevention of altitude sickness is allowing the body to adapt to the altitude by not ascending too rapidly. As a rule of thumb one should never ascend more than 300 vertical metres per day and you should always sleep lower than the highest point reached that day.
We stayed a second day in Natchez to aid acclimatization, so that there would be less risk of AMS later on on the trek.
Perched high on a hill-top, 400 metres above Natchez, lies the Everest Hotel, which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest hotel in the world.
The walk up was a tough, 30 minute climb, which rewarded me with one of the most awesome sights: my first view of Everest. To be honest, Everest didn't seem all that impressive in fact, since it is all but hidden behind Lhotse, the world's fourth-highest peak, and overshadowed in awesomeness by Ama Dablam, which is generally regarded as the Nepal's most scenic peak.
I bypassed the Everest View Hotel and opted for a small hill to the right of it, where I could enjoy the majestic vista all by myself. It was a wonderful sight.
After about half an hour or so I walked down again and bumped into Mark and Lindsay, the Canadian father and daughter who I had met on they first day.
We spend a wonderful few hours sitting on the patio of the hotel. Unlike the guesthouses in Namche and the other villages, this was a genuine hotel with all luxuries and mod cons available. In the old days rich people used to be flown in by helicopter, staying in pressurised rooms with piped oxygen, but these days this is no longer considered ecologically sound, so guests of the hotel will have to walk up, just like everyone else.
When our stomachs told us lunch time was approaching we walked the steep track back down to Namche.
All this was done without my guide. At the start of the trail Sanjeev had told me he wanted to wait for one of his friends to say goodbye, as he was leaving Namche today, and he would catch up with me at the top. I never saw him again after that. I was beginning to have my doubts about Sanjeev. While he was a seemingly nice guy, he also came across as very young, inexperienced and generally uncaring. During the trek he would usually walk in silence, never explaining anything about the surrounding mountains or trees or villages. While I don't need a guide who is constantly talking, I wouldn't mind getting a little more info.
When I came back at the guesthouse for lunch he was nowhere to be found. Although lunch is supposed to be included in the tour, I couldn't be bothered to eat all by myself at the guesthouse, so I joined Mark and Lindsay for a lunch in town.
When Sanjeev finally showed up (he had been sleeping all day) he did apologise for what happened, claiming that he went up but couldn't find me anywhere. I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
The rest of the day was spent pretty much the same way as yesterday: reading my book. When I finished it I went out to the book shop and bought another account of the same disastrous expedition, “Left for Dead”, by Beck Weathers.