Day 2: Part 1 – The Climb to Namche

This is the second of an ongoing travel log of the Courageous Girls trek to basecamp Everest. With so much incredible stuff happening, Day 2 of the trek will be a 2-part post. Enjoy.

It’s Day 2 of our amazing journey and it was really long and very tough. We all awoke extremely well rested from our previous night. The weather was 10 degrees. The whole team was in high spirits, though some of the Courageous Girls had never experienced this much cold. Hot lemon tea did the trick to bring everyone’s circulation back. Breakfast was at 6:30am and we were on the trail by 7:30. The sun was absolutely glorious though it was still quite chilly. Our plan for the day was to make it all the way to Namche Bazaar, going from an elevation of 8,563 feet / 2610 meters to 11,286 feet / 3440 meters – a quite steep gain.

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We were going to trek along the Dudh kosi, a river as white as milk, featuring many swinging suspension bridges. Our lunch break would be in Monjo which is the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park.

IMG_5443As we began, we started encountering many ups and downs, crossing multiple little towns along the way. It certainly was steeper than the previous day, though the views of the amazing mountains made it absolutely worth it. Multiple waterfall cascades brought a beautiful balance to the view of snowcapped peaks.

Our pace was slow but steady; as the previous day we all got too caught up with selfies and were stopping pretty frequently. Today, given our trek of up to 10 hours, the selfies were a bit more contained, though multiple traffic jams caused by the Yaks and Donkeys, gave us time to pause for a few.

The day itself featured 2 special events. First, our dearest friend, acclaimed photographer Lisa Kristine, had brought a special gift/donation from ArtWorks for Change – cameras for our Courageous Girls. Lisa told the girls that the cameras would be theirs for them to take pictures during this journey. At the end, everyone will submit their 3 favorite pictures which will be exhibited on one of ArtWorks for Change curations. The girls were so ecstatic after hearing the news.IMG_5433

The second special event was a very tender offering we all did to one of our Courageous Girls who was unable to make it to the trek due to being pregnant. We met her the night before we left and we all gathered to leave a very special offering for the mountain in her name.

As we were trying to make it to Monjo we got caught in the middle of the very famous Everest Marathon. This is a world-renowned marathon runs from Lukla into Everest Base camp and back. Only elite athletes can compete and seeing them passing by made us all trek a little stronger.

We finally reached our lunch spot of Monjo at around 11:00am. What amazing views. We all were quite exhausted, but with the right amount of hot lemon tea, the views and everyone’s sense of humor, we easily forgot what we went through. In mountaineering and trekking we have a saying, “The minute breakfast ends, lunch begins,” so after our tea orders, we immediately put in our lunch orders as well.

I brought an oximeter for measuring everyone’s oxygen capacity and blood pressure to make sure everyone was ok, and this has been the popular gadget to have. Everyone is constantly measuring their rate and trying to figure out who has the best blood pressure and oxygen.

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Our lunch restaurant was special as it had pictures of the first Nepali women to summit Mt. Everest, many of them from the Kumbhu region (the local region which we are trekking). The “must have” meal for lunch or dinner is the famous garlic soup. Once we smelled the garlic we all got inside and proceeded to have an amazingly yummy meal of the soup, Nepali Dal (lentis), rice and pickled potatoes and stew. We dined under the protection of Pasang Lamu Sherpa, the first Nepali Women to summit Everest. To top our gluttony we had a sweet tapioca style carrot pudding.

Please see Part 2 for the rest of the Day 2 updates.