Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

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This Will Be Awesome

Everest 2016  •  March 29

First night in the Khumbu… I slept from 10 PM to 3:30 AM, still getting over my jet lag.  It was amazing to lie there in the dark, listening to the Dudh Kosi rushing below the tea house.  Outside, it was intensely cold, and very clear—the storm had passed!

Nice breakfast, then on the trail.  Perfect, spectacular weather, a complete change from yesterday.  Evidence of the quake, but again lots of rebuilding and progress.

The village of Monjo comes to life in the morning light. (Photo: Kim Hess)
The village of Monjo comes to life in the morning light. (Photo: Kim Hess)
A mani stone on the way to Namche. (Photo: Kim Hess)
A mani stone on the way to Namche. (Photo: Kim Hess)
This home in Monjo sustained major damage, and is no longer inhabited. (Photo: Kim Hess)
This home in Monjo sustained major damage, and is no longer inhabited. (Photo: Kim Hess)
A girl watches the sunrise approach in Monjo.
A girl watches the sunrise approach in Monjo.
Learning how to use the toothbrush... fun! (Photo: Kim Hess)
Learning how to use the toothbrush… fun! (Photo: Kim Hess)
The school at Monjo.
The school at Monjo.

We arrived at the park gate after a few minutes, and checked in with the authorities.  This provided a great chance for a team photo.

I am still not sure about the origin of this... perhaps lots of broken glass happened in years gone by. I cannot recall seeing any broken glass, and very, very little litter on the whole route. I suppose the cans are much lighter, so that is good. (Photo: Kim Hess)
I am still not sure about the origin of this… perhaps lots of broken glass happened in years gone by. I cannot recall seeing any broken glass, and very, very little litter on the whole route. I suppose the cans are much lighter, so that is good. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Welcome indeed. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Welcome indeed. (Photo: Kim Hess)
All good advice... if only people took this to heart. (Photo: Kim Hess)
All good advice… if only people took this to heart. (Photo: Kim Hess)
The loads carried by these porters are simply unbelievable. (Photo: Kim Hess)
The loads carried by these porters are simply unbelievable. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Team awesome poses under the Sagarmatha National Park Gate.
Team awesome poses under the Sagarmatha National Park Gate.

Down to the river again, where the trail meandered through beautiful farming country, and crossed a couple of cable bridges.

Our first crossing of the Dudh Kosi today. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Our first crossing of the Dudh Kosi today. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Rafa and Tanya prepare to cross a bridge with the greatest of ease.
Rafa and Tanya prepare to cross a bridge with the greatest of ease.
This is how I roll in the Khumbu. The video is worth it.... (Photo: Kim Hess)
This is how I roll in the Khumbu. The video is worth it…. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Cristiano rocks the suspension bridge. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Cristiano rocks the suspension bridge. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Jerry crosses the bridge in high style. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Jerry crosses the bridge in high style. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Kim's conquest for the day. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Kim’s conquest for the day. (Photo: Kim Hess)
The river is beautiful... and intensely cold!
The river is beautiful… and intensely cold!

The most beautiful bridge is the double bridge… just as last year, we crossed the top one, with striking views up and down the valley.

The double bridge comes into view.... we will take the upper one. (Photo: Kim Hess)
The double bridge comes into view…. we will take the upper one. (Photo: Kim Hess)
We definitely let these guys pass before crossing the bridge.... (Photo: Kim Hess)
We definitely let these guys pass before crossing the bridge…. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Kim negotiates the upper bridge with the greatest of ease. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Kim negotiates the upper bridge with the greatest of ease. (Photo: Kim Hess)

The bridge marks the beginning of a hill that rises about 1,500 feet to the town of Namche.  I recall feeling tuckered out by this section last year, but not today.  In fact, these two days so far have felt very different to me.  Maybe it’s the training… or maybe it’s my attitude, which is far more relaxed this time.  I know exactly what to expect, and that allows me to focus on the moment and enjoy the hike.  Regardless, it is a beautiful trail that leads to Namche.

Along the way, we stopped at the same viewpoint we used last year.  A perfect view of Everest.  More snow on the summit block than last year, no doubt about it.  Reassuring and fulfilling to lay eyes on her again.  This is why we are here… This will be awesome.

Hello, beautiful. Did you miss me?
Hello, beautiful. Did you miss me?
This will be awesome.
This will be awesome.
Pretty clear where Kim is planning to go...
Pretty clear where Kim is planning to go…
Cristiano and Jerry are excited to be here.
Cristiano and Jerry are excited to be here.
DSC00525
Justin Merle: IMG guide extraordinaire.
Team Awesome 2016, Everest in the background.
Team Awesome 2016, Everest in the background.

We were also delighted to meet some old friends on the trail: Nima Karma, Sherpa Fura, and Tshering Paldourche.  Being here feels more and more like coming home, in a way.

Nima Karma Sherpa, one of our amazing guides from last year, at a nice chance meeting on the trail.
Nima Sherpa, one of our amazing guides from last year, at a nice chance meeting on the trail.
Sherpa Fura and Tshering Paldourche just below Namche.
Sherpa Fura and Tshering Paldourche just below Namche.
Justin Merle & Mingma Tenzing Sherpa, awesome IMG guides.. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Justin Merle & Mingma Tenzing Sherpa, awesome IMG guides.. (Photo: Kim Hess)

Namche is in great shape, which is so reassuring.  This region was hit hard by the second quake in particular (May 12, 2015), and some structures did not survive.  But, most did, and there has clearly been lots of construction activity since then: Things seem to be in excellent order.  In fact, some things seem even better than before, such as the beautiful water-driven prayer wheels now under construction.

Namche Bazaar! (Photo: Kim Hess)
Namche Bazaar! (Photo: Kim Hess)
A hearty welcome at Namche. (Photo: Kim Hess)
A hearty welcome at Namche. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Prayer wheels at Namche. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Prayer wheels at Namche. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Animals are raised in and around the town of Namche. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Animals are raised in and around the town of Namche. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Robust infrastructure work all over Namche, a very good sign. (Photo: Kim Hess)
Robust infrastructure work all over Namche, a very good sign. (Photo: Kim Hess)
These structures are new! Beautiful new housings for water-driven prayer wheels, to be installed soon. (Photo: Kim Hess)
These structures are new! Beautiful new housings for water-driven prayer wheels, to be installed soon. (Photo: Kim Hess)

The Khumbu Lodge is our home for the next couple of days.  Tomorrow will be a planned rest day.  I am looking forward to it.

Fit and well.

Word of the day: Righteous

4 thoughts on “This Will Be Awesome

  1. All great news! Looks like the weather has definitely turned in your team’s favor. Fantastic photos by you and Kim (please say hi for me!).

  2. That is really beautiful! I like how you took photos of the places you knew were beautiful! I loved the one of Mt.Everest in the clearing.

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