Everest Base Camp Trek Day 4: Climb to Tengboche Monastery

From Namche 3440m to Deboche 3820 m, crossing Tengboche monastery at 3860m

It is a  long day’s hike today. I had a hearty breakfast of omelettes and toast and set off along-with the others looking forward to more walking. I am feeling more and more energetic as we are gaining altitude, a symptom that I cannot understand, and which I choose not to question much thinking I may jinx it. But there’s no denying that I feel already on top of the world, and that every morning I wake up energetic and very hungry.

The first half of the day was not very eventful. There were a couple of things that broke the monotony – the memorial chorten built in memory of Tenzing Norgay, the sighting of the mountain goats clambering up the rocks, and the raptor I desperately tried to photograph. Reached Phungi-Thanga in about 3 hours – myself, Cheekala, Sudhir and Aditya being as usual in the lead. The benefit of this is we get to put up our feet for longer, and even catch a snooze before the others land up for lunch.

After lunch, there is a really steep climb up a hill, at the top of which is the Tengboche monastery. Its made bearable by the lovely red-pink rhododendrons in bloom.

Pink rhododendrons near Tengboche monastery

We take frequent breaks, and Mingma, our porter, who’s been walking with us most of today, smokes at every place we stop. Its a wonder he does not collapse from all that smoke, and the weight of my backpack. I chat with him a bit today – he stops calling me Aunty after today, switching to Didi instead. Thank God for small mercies. I feel sorry for him – he’s a very bright guy, and he’d doing nothing but lugging luggage. I feel a little guilty too – its my luggage he lugs for most of the trip.

The view at the top is fantastic. Tengboche monastery sitting grandly on the hill-top surrounded by all these snow-clad mountains. Here’s where the pics are better than the words.

Chorten with Ama-dablam in the background at Tengboche monastery

I go inside to pray. Yes, I do pray. Sometimes. Mostly when I am on mountains, since the last time I prayed was also on a mountain in Bhutan.

We are not staying at Tengboche, instead, we are walking further down to Deboche to the Ama Dablam hotel. The walk is through some lovely white-yellow rhododendron forests. I don’t mind the evening walk – its nice a peaceful. The hotel is not bad too, though the rooms are getting smaller everyday. I do my usual routine of “wet-tissue bath”, and join the rest of the gang at the dining table. In the evening I go out to try and photograph the mountains lit with the last rays of the sun – limited success there. I watch some local guys playing volleyball, itch to join them but don’t, and go back into the cozy dining hall. I am glad I bought my jacket – night temperatures are sub-zero and there is frost on the ground in the mornings.

Evening rays of sunlight lighting up a mountain side

One thought on “Everest Base Camp Trek Day 4: Climb to Tengboche Monastery

  1. Satish K Cheekala June 3, 2010 / 12:41 pm

    Rhododendron, heard this name for the first time. An awesome sight.

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