Nepal – Everest Region

Everybody knows the statistics; Everest, also known as Sagarmatha by the Nepalese and Chomolungma by the Tibetans, is the highest mountain on Earth, at 29,028ft or 8848m. First successfully climbed in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay from the British Expedition led by John Hunt, it has now been climbed by around 2,500 climbers. There have also been some 210 deaths on the mountain, or slightly more than one death for every 12 summiteers. A grim reminder that whilst nowadays if you have the money you can virtually buy your way to the top, it is still an extremely hazardous venture.

Everest from the summit of Mount Kala Pattar (5545m).Β  In the foreground is the Khumbu Glacier, the summit of Everest is the dark peak against the central skyline, with Everest West Shoulder directly in front and Nuptse (7879m), apparently the tallest peak in the picture, because of the perspective, to the right of them. Changtse (7550m) across the border in Tibet, is to the left. Lhotse (8501m) can be glimpsed to the right of Everest, behind Nuptse.

 

Cairns to climbers who have died on Everest, near Dhugla (Thokla). And a very sobering sight they are, too. Some have plaques, some simple inscriptions, many are anonymous. As you walk further up the Thokla Pass, you look back to this line of cairns on the ridge.

 

Local transport. A caravan of dzo – a cross between cattle and yaks – pass stone seats provided for travellers. Dzo tend to be both larger and stronger than yaks, an obvious advantage in an animal used for carrying heavy cargoes! They can also go down to lower altitudes than yaks, who are adapted for life at high altitudes.

 

Traditional door in old house, Khumjung village, near Namche Bazaar.

 

Inside The temple of Tengboche monastery. Although the temple is beautiful both inside and out, my dominant memories are of sounds – the chanting of the monks at puja, when I sat in the temple one afternoon, completely unable to meditate, since I could not focus on anything except my freezing feet. Also the sounds of the bells, drums and horns that woke me at 7 o’clock in the morning – beats an alarm clock any time!

Entrance to Tengboche Monastery and Temple.

 

Khumbu Glacier at Lobuche.

 

Ama Dablam from Khumjung village. In the foreground is one of the schools built by Sir Edmund Hillary, rightly revered throughout the Sherpa community for the huge amount of work that he and his Foundation put into improving the lives of the poor in this area.

 

Traditional house in Khumjung.

 

Himalayan Accentor on top of a cairn on Nagartsang Peak . This is a 5083m ‘Trekking’ Peak, ie one that can be ascended without having to use climbing skills. Apparently in America cairns are referred to as ‘ducks’, due to their shapes. So, for American bloggers: Bird on Duck.

Looking down onto the Khumbu Glacier . Although looking rather like a rubble-strewn pathway, in places one can see the bluey-green ice. Here it shows clearly around a glacial lake. As I watched, I could hear the sounds of cracking and splitting as the glacier ground it’s way incredibly slowly downhill.

 

Yak skull on mani stone with katas (silk scarves) and prayer flags. Cairns are not always simple piles of stones.

 

Yak train crossing new bridge near Phunki Drengka. The old bridge was washed away.

 

The old bridge. Testament to the tremendous power of floodwater.Β 

 

Khumjung Gompa, where a yeti skull is kept.

 

The yeti skull.

 

Sunset, and Ama Dablam appears through the clouds.

 



Looking south from Dengboche.

 

The Spirit of the Himalaya.

 

Moody autumn shot just outside Lukla.

 

Nuptse (on left) and Everest (on right) at sunset, from Tengboche. In February 2008, when I visited, I saw nothing but clouds and mist. When I returned in October we were treated to the most marvellous sunset and sunrise.

 


Monks blowing conch shells at morning puja, Tengboche monastery. The monks at the top left hand window are blowing the shells that make a hoarse, trumpet-like sound, during the sunrise puja.

 

Autumn colours.

 

Prayer wheels.

 

Ploughing a field with a wooden, dzo-drawn plough.

 

Namche Bazaar from above.

 

Carved Mani stone near Tengboche.

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76 thoughts on “Nepal – Everest Region

  1. Did you see the movie “Everest”? Sadly the extraordinary efforts of the locals tend to go unrecorded. The late Sir Edmund Hillary stands out in his determination to ensure their reward, if not their recognition.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I haven’t seen it, yet. I shall do at some point.

      And yes, the Nepalese have a very high regard for Hillary. They appreciate the huge efforts that he put into his work there. Especially establishing schools – some of which, at least, he helped to build with his own hands.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you’d love it if you did, Dave, although it does involve a fair bit of hiking. Depending on the time of year, the weather is pretty reliable – there are trekking seasons, and also seasons when it’s just not a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful photos! Having studied the Himalayas in good detail in terms of its geology and tectonic mechanics, Everest is amazing! It’s cool to think that Everest is getting taller every year! You often forget that many parts near Everest etc in the mountains are habited and that there is large amounts of history! Great to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is remarkable. Youngest mountain range on Earth, I believe (from my geology days, xx years ago), and, as you say, still growing. The fact that fascinates me most is that because of its growth, the direction of the monsoon, and hence the climate of central Asia, has changed significantly in historical times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is indeed the youngest mountain range on earth! It’s incredible what can happen when a country collides with a continent! Plate tectonics are fascinating! The climate pattern alterations are very cool in this region.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful photos, Mick. Having been an avid hiker in my younger years, the size of those mountains in staggering. They’re spectacular. The photo looking down on the village gives a hint of how different life must be near the top of the world. Thanks so much for the tour. Amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was fascinated to read your blog but more so to gaze on the photographs. Its a wonderful region isn’t it? Remote; a bygone age but so fascinating. What is it mystery. It cant only be Mount Everest…. Anyway I loved to look at the photographs, especially the ones around the Monks. Thank YOU

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not just Mount Everest, no. Anything is mysterious if there is that distance – time or space – that we have never bridged, so that we cannot be certain of facts.

      Thanks, Jackie.

      Like

  5. My Dear Mick, So You are Not just a ‘Trekker,’ ambling about the Plains, but You have climbed the Everest ranges, that too Twice, though it might not be to The Peak. I find this, as an Armchair guy, astonishing! …Only now am I working myself up to walk 5 Kms a day!

    Very frankly, had/have seen many pictures of the Mt, many times, but NONE of them Touched the Reality and the Clarity You have presented. The very first photograph in Your post, and the one of Sunset give a person like me some Real Idea of that famous peak.

    All the pictures, along with the interesting write-ups and accounts, make Your post a very good read indeed.

    Thank You very much indeed for posting these things. Keep up Your good work! And may God give You Good Health. Hearty Regards. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is very kind of you, Swami. Some of the treks that I have done are, indeed, quite spectacular, but I really can’t claim that they were terribly difficult. Mainly a case of putting one foot in front of the other and keeping going (much like life itself, perhaps?).
      But if you find the photographs and the write-ups interesting, then I feel these pages are succeeding in a small way.
      Very best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank You, my Dear Mick! …Your pages ARE succeeding in bringing quite a bit cheer over here, across the seas, to the very places You have visited. …I am one of those ‘natives’ who has not visited them.

        Of course I love traveling, but I suppose I enjoy Company more than Nature! Which You MUST have had, of course. …Also, it never worked out that I could travel around very much.

        I HAVE visited 11 states in India, and been to Nepal twice, though. Enjoyable, and Satisfying, all of that!

        Thanks for sharing, and Please DO keep sharing! …Regards. πŸ™‚

        Like

        1. Thanks, Swami. It is interesting how we often explore our own countries less than we do ‘foreign’ ones – for all sorts of reasons, of course. Often, just the opportunity is never there. Equally, it is always exciting to travel to somewhere that is distant.
          Company is important too, naturally, and I have been fortunate that I have had my wife as company on many of these trips, although I have done just as many on my own.
          I shall certainly continue to put these posts up!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Your photographs are really stunning, Mick. Although I’ve never travelled, I almost feel I have been there by just looking at these wonderful images – you are a very talented photographer. What a beautiful area. I particularly liked the old traditional door, similar to your painting from what I recall. Also, the traditional village houses. I have always been interested in buildings and architecture although I’m far from experienced πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Meet Mick Canning – Story Teller, Writer and Photographer Par Excellence | a cooking pot and twistedtales

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