Everest 2011: Dispatch 2 – Hiking to Everest Base Camp, Alone in the Gorgeous Khumbu Valley
Thamserku in the background
Text and photographs by Dave Hahn, a guide for RMI Expeditions and First Ascent. In May 2010 Hahn reached the summit of Mount Everest for the 12th time, the most of any a non-Sherpa climber. This time, he is leading a Bill McGahan and his 16-year-old daughter, Sara, on a bid for the summit. Follow the team's Everest expedition in dispatches here.
Dispatch 2: Deboche
The much celebrated 3G phone service is not so robust down here in the rhododendron forest at 12,400 feet above sea level, so please pardon the slight lapse in trip coverage as we pass through these benighted zones.
All is well with Bill, Sara, Dave, and Lam Babu Sherpa. We moved easily up from Namche yesterday, enjoying very light traffic on the trails. We seem to be a few days ahead of most of the big Everest teams. We conveniently flew into Lukla during a brief weather-window that few trekking groups were able to take advantage of, so the end result is that we have this part of the gorgeous Khumbu Valley to ourselves.
Walking the streets of Khunde
Conditions have mostly been cool and cloudy, although we've been granted grand views of Everest and Lhotse and Ama Dablam. The temps have been perfect for walking and we took advantage yesterday by cruising up the 1,700 feet Thyangboche Hill in one continuous push. A couple of cool and fizzy drinks out in front of the palatial Thyangboche Monastery and then we completed the day by descending a few hundred feet to Deboche. Last night was an easy one as we enjoyed a fine dinner in a comfy wood-stove heated dining room. The McGahan clan showed each other how to beat the stuffing out of their climbing guide at Yahtzee and then we each turned in for the night… beginning to delight in the loft of our expedition sleeping bags. We'll spend tonight here as well, letting our bodies catch up to the altitude and enjoying a last day (for the next eight weeks) among trees. Best, Dave Hahn
- Nat Geo Expeditions