Sunrise over Mount Everest continued from Kathmandu to Mount Everest Base Camp…
Over the following days our expedition team trekked to the villages of Khunde and Khumjung, or to the locals Khurnyung, that lie adjacent in a valley of Sagarmatha National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This part of the expedition held more memorable moments of Nepalese cultural sights. While hiking in this valley we looked up at the amazing Khumjung Gompa (“gompa” translates in English to monastery). It was destroyed by different reasons time and again since its first construction about 350 years ago. The ambiance of the gompa was the most interesting thing of all. Although lamas, Buddhist monks, carried out their daily chores in and out of the monastery, it was as silent as it could be. Another surprising artifact we came across the same day was a chance to see what the locals call “the skull of the mystical mountain animal”, known also as the Yeti.
Leaving these significant villages behind, I along with our expedition team headed up higher elevations towards Everest Base Camp, which still was a long distance away. As we went further up, the mountains got closer and closer, so close that for a moment I felt like I could touch them with the tips of my fingers. Days went by on the trails and we reached a very small village, home to a world-famous monastery named Tengboche Gompa, it is also known as Dawa Challing Gompa. The gompa rests at an elevation of 3,870 meters or 13,700 feet. The Tengboche Gompa is also the biggest monastery of entire Khumbu region. Tengboche is not only famous for the architecture and artwork of this monastery, but also as a viewpoint from where to see an amazingly close view of Mount Everest; closer even than that from Namche Bazaar. The breathtaking color combination of white mountains kissing the deep blue sky is spectacular, and imprinted in my mind a never-fading memory of incredible Everest.
As we got closer to our destination I felt uncomfortable and realized that our entire teams’ pace was ridiculously slowed down, and we were breathing heavy. The elevation had affected us, and come into play in a serious way, and it became a dominant reason for making the trek difficult. Finally we made it to Everest Base Camp at an elevation of 5,364 meters or 17,598 feet. This is not the highest point in Nepal, but I felt like I was at the top of the world. Upon reaching the camp I was excited and depressed. I was excited that I successfully reached my destination after days of tedious hiking, and was depressed for the fact that I could no longer see Mount Everest from any direction. I realized several other tall mountains rising ahead of Everest completely blocked our view. So here at Everest Base Camp all we could see were tents, tents and more tents, and people either getting ready to summit the peak or resting from the climb, and a lot of snow.
The next morning around 4:00 AM almost everyone in the base camp flocked up to Kalapathar, or Kala Patthar, which in straight translation means “black rock”, is at an elevation of 5,550 meters or 18,209 feet. Some call Kalapathar a mountain, and others a view-point to watch sunrise over the summit of Mount Everest. No matter what people consider Kalapathar, the view of the sunrise over the Everest was pure breathtaking. I forgot who I was… where I came from… what my name was… for a split second I thought I could spend my whole life watching the sun rise and set over Everest. I have no words to truly describe what I felt while watching the early morning light on Everest. All I am able to come up with is our Everest Base Camp Expedition was one hell of a trip of my life time!
To trek an expedition to watch sunrise over Mount Everest and to explore other locations in and around Nepal, contact Uzol at Wonderful Everest View Treks and Expeditions.