A short intro video capturing some of our journey so far courtesy of @sandro.g.h , the coolest chilled extreme cameraman capturing my expedition as we go.
A welcome ‘rest day’ in Dingboche at 4,410m altitude starts with a hearty breakfast and then an acclimatisation hike up Nangkartshang Peak to gain around 400m of elevation where we take a break and enjoy the stunning mountain views.
A quick yomp back down to Dingboche and we drop our backpacks at the lodge and head to the cafe for coffee, lunch and Wi-Fi (the latter been an almost constant question between everyone if they have a signal, a wi-if code or some other means of connecting with the outside world to post stories, photos and news of our trip on instagram (you can see mine at @stevedavis72) or the many other social media platforms, those who have sponsorship are firing photos off to sponsors those who don’t are boring family members with yet more photos of mountains - like me, sorry!
A lunch of Everest burgers, cake and coffee leaves us prepped for an afternoon nap before assembling our packs for the next section of the trek tomorrow to Labouche at 4,934m for one more nights sleep before we reach Everest Base Camp on Tuesday.
Dingboche is a Sherpa village in the Khumbu region of north eastern Nepal in the Chucking Valley and has a population of around 300 permanent residents, the village is made up in the main of coffee shops, bakeries, lodges and small shops selling last minute trekking gear and chocolate treats to the 1,000’s of trekkers that would normally pass through on the way to Everest Base Camp or going onto climb Ama Dablam - like most of the route, many are closed because of COVID but hopefully will return to prosperity next year. I can’t resist taking a photo outside the ‘snooker club’ which is supposed to be one of the world’s highest billiard parlours but do wonder how on earth they got the table up here!
Trekkers often stop here for a couple of nights to acclimatise and sitting in Cafe 4410 right now writing this looking at the mountains outside and sipping a tasty latte I could be in the alps having just stepped off the slopes, the clear panels on the roof lights allow the sunlight to stream in making it cosy warm - something I haven’t been since we left Kathmandu!
The village sits next to the Imja River and has kilometres of stone walls, apparently picked from the valley floor to create areas for agriculture and to plow the fields - the work it must have taken to do this is mind blowing.
Flash floods are a natural phenomenon in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region but with the retreat of the glacier due to global warming it leaves enormous glacial lakes formed by a remaining moraine wall, this wall acts as a natural dam, trapping the meltwater from the glacier and leading to the formation of the lakes. The moraine wall being naturally formed is fairly unstable and can eventually break leading to catastrophic flooding, an early warning system has been put in place to give some warning if the unthinkable happened but its likely the devastation left behind would take considerable resources and time to repair. Villages along the valley are implement risk management policies to put in place what protections they can as, if and when it hits, help and assistance from outside the valley region is likely to take considerable time to come so plans and strategies must be put in place to protect life themselves and and be self sufficient in the aftermath.