Everest Base Camp Trek Day 2: First glimpse of Mount Everest

by Dave from The Longest Way Home ~ February 8th, 2012. Updated on June 30th, 2012. Published in: Travel blog » Nepal.
First Glimpse of Mount Everest on base camp trek in Nepal

First look at Mount Everest on the Everest Base Camp trek, we won't be seeing that again for a while! (click to enlarge)

A view of Mount Everest

Today we make an attempt at reaching Namche Bazaar which is a popular trading village along the Everest Base Camp Trek trail. The trail is all up with a few little flat stretches. Last night I slept well under big thick blankets. This morning there was no water due to frozen pipes so it looks like my two weeks of no washing is about to begin. Tea Tree oil is my savior. As are pancakes, big ones.

It also helps that there is no one around. No sign of other trekkers at all. It looks like at this time of year the mountains are reserved for the solo travelers and locals restocking their tea houses.

First glimpse of Mount Everest

Narayan chats with a few locals about the conditions ahead as we stop by some ladies selling oranges. Where quite they get oranges from I don’t know.

But it’s here I glimpse Mount Everest live and in all its glory for the first time.

Framed between some tall trees it looks majestic in the distance. And, very far away.  Not to mention, quite high up. It’s only now you begin to realize just how much further you have to go by foot!

Suspension bridge in Nepal

Nothing like an early morning suspension bridge to swing you awake ... I let the dog go first!

Locals leaving the high grounds on Everest

As we move on it seems that there’s more of a mass exodus than incoming flux of people on the trail. Locals stacked high with blankets, baskets of kitchen ware and bags of clothes are all deserting the cold high grounds in droves.

“It’s one of the coldest winters we’ve had,” answers Narayan. “They’re going down to the valley to wait it out”.

Winter is here and the sensible are seeking the warmth of lower ground for the duration or the season.

“They think it will snow any day now …” he finishes nonchalantly.

I frown. If it snows it means the trek is over. We can’t make the passes if it snows.

Don’t snow. Not yet.

At that moment we decide to cancel our side trip to Gokyo. A stunning mountainous area giving possibly the best views of the entire region. It was a  fast decision. One that was made so that we might make it to Everest Base Camp before the snow.

One sacrifice to accomplish something else.

Hopefully it would not be in vain.

Like to know more about places to trek in Nepal? Check out my list of treks in Nepal with maps of the areas.

Prices start to rise on the trek to Everest

A Dal Bhat Dinner last night was 300 rupees. Compare that to Kathmandu of 80 rupees (yes, I’m that cheap). It’s not just the difficulty of food up here that causes the price increase. It’s the fact that you have no choice.

Regulated by local authority, every year the prices go up. This is off set by the fact that in Nepal rice prices have shot up by nearly 50% in the last year. The small country sandwiched between the two giants of India and China is under pressure to feed its own. Let alone its number one income source: the tourist.

Suspension bridge in Nepal with yaks

Then again looking at a suspension bridge with a background like that is pretty amazing

Welcome to Namche Bazaar (3800m / 12467 ft)

We arrive into Namche on the Everest Base Camp Trek route in time for a late lunch. I am already feeling the strain of the trek. Whether it’s the altitude, or the fact I’ve not been well over the past few months I don’t know.

These are now the first thoughts of all those long hours sitting around recovering from illness that may be holding me back. These are the first inklings of a larger battle I face on the trek. The mental battle.

Stopping every hour or so to re-tape up my disintegrating boots is not helping matters. I’ve lost nearly all my grip within a day’s trek. Now with tape wrapped around the top one-third I’m off-balance and relying on my heels for a proper grip.

I am hoping Namche Bazaars famous market from Tibet will provide me with a new pair of emergency boots. Otherwise it’s starting to look like I might not make it.

Coming Soon:

Day 3 of the Everest Base Camp Trek (acclimatization and shopping)

Note this is not live, the trek took place in December/January

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17 Great responses to Everest Base Camp Trek Day 2: First glimpse of Mount Everest

  1. Nate Yomadic says:

    Is the altitude getting to you at this point? What altitude did you commence the trek at? Did you feel acclimatised?

    • Yes, I started to feel the altitude just before Namche. Quite a lot, so we spent 2 nights there.

      Lukla is 2,850 meters = 9,350 feet which is no problem.

      Kathmandu by contrast is 1,400 meters / 4,600 ft.

      Main problems on this trek is the time of year, winter. And a very cold one at that.

  2. Smart move with the tea tree oil! Also, pickup baby wipes if they have em at the bazaar! Too bad there’s no quickie shoe repair guy around. I suspect they must be somewhat good.

    ps. can’t believe people move things over that narrow rickety looking bridge. scary.

    • Yep, I’ve a stash of baby wipes. More on the shoe repair in a few days. Strangely Nepal’s shoe repair system is v.bad! Tailors no problem, shoes …

      So long as you don’t look at the big metal ropes on the suspension bridges … and the broken bits … it’s okay(ish)

  3. Anna's World says:

    Really enjoying this series thanks for writing it out is so much detail. So much to look forward to. How any notes did you take a day?

  4. Jurgen says:

    Hi Dave,

    What an epic journey!

  5. Victoria says:

    Once again, inspiring tales of adventure and tenacity. There’s nothing more difficult when your body and mind are fighting with each other. One saying stop, the other urging you on. Kudos! Enjoy. And thanks for sharing ;-)

  6. Ryan says:

    Good luck with your journey – I hope you get those boots.

  7. John Dwyer says:

    The first view of Mount Everest is really something special, isn’t it? I was travelling with a group of friends on a Landcruiser from Lhasa in Tibet to Kathmandu when we saw the north face of Everest for the first time. It instantly silenced us and we had to stop and just stare. It’s a wonderful memory.
    Hope those boots hold up. I have my fingers crossed for ya.

  8. i would freak out on that bridge. i am loving this series – and hoping you’re feeling better.

  9. Samantha says:

    How much is it travel from lukla to namche bazaar? Each trek I’ve looked at is around $2,000 ?!? What is the cheapest way to do it?

    • Lukla to Namche Bazaar? Not sure why you would go all the way for such a short trek? But yes $2,000 is far too much for just one person. Cheapest way to do it? Trek there yourself! Otherwise have a read of my article on trekking to Everest base camp. Finally if you would like a guide recommendation the feel free to email me.

      • Samantha says:

        A friend and I are going to southeast Asia and are stopping in Nepal on our way. We don’t have a lot of time but are allotting ourselves about a week to catch a nice glimpse of Everest and leave with a good experience and feel for the culture. Are there any other ways you suggest?

  10. Megan Jones says:

    I can’t imagine the exhilaration you must have felt when you saw Everest for the first time. It must have been quite a rush, but I would doubt that you also felt something kind of like doom. So far still to go and wondering what you were thinking when you planned this trek. Keep it up. I’m sure you will reminisce about these moments for the rest of your life!