Day 3 – Acclimitization Day in Namche (3440m) – morning hike to Everest View Hotel (3880m)
Today we hiked up to the Everest View Hotel, which is a 1.5hr 440m climb from Namche. We did this without day packs today (we usually carry about 5-7kg) and it felt much easier on our legs. On the way up the hill we got to see a large helictopter come in to land at Syangboche airfield, just a few feet above our heads! We got blasted by the downdraft which threw lots of dusty all over us (and we are getting dusty enough already without that!)
The views from the hotel were stunning and we enjoyed a (rather expensive) hot chocolate in the outdoor cafe. The temperature out of the wind and in the sun was very pleasant. The weather was fantastic with clear views of Everest, Lhotse and surrounding mountains. I was a bit cold on the way back so I went fast to keep warm, and did the descent back to Namche in 34 mins. Overall we are happy with acclimitisation so far with no bad effects of the altitude, although of course it’s much harder work to hike uphill with much more breathing needed for the ascent rate.
After lunch back at our lodge, we went shopping for the remaining equipment we need for the higher elevations and Island Peak climbing that won’t be provided by Mountain Monarch. We bought windproof overtrousers, thermal base layers, gloves and and an extra hat for Stef – all came to about $85 – obviously all chinese rip-offs, but OK for use on a single trip.
Then we found some real Illy coffee and toblerone and went to watch a movie about Everest and Tenzing Norgay/Peter Hilary called “Touching my father’s soul” that was showing in a bar nearby. Unfortunately it is strongly recommended not to drink any alcohol while on the ascent phase of a trek and/or at high altitude, so we had to skip the beer and have some lemon tea (and popcorn). The movie was very interesting but reinforced my opinion that I’m not interested in climbing Everest!
First view of Everest on the way up
Hot chocolate at Everest View – Everest is in the background on the left. Lhotse is to the right, and the sharp peak further forwards on the right is Ama Dablam