Find your way to the Yeti Scalp of KhumjungIn 1960, when Desmond Doig, a British journalist, and Edmund Hillary were passing through the Khumjung Village, they stopped over at the home of an old woman and found, what was speculated to be, a Yeti scalp. Yeti is an ape-like creature who is said to live in the high Himalayas. Scientists have long maintained that this Yeti, roughly translated in English as Abominable or Dreadful Snowman, doesn't exist but locals continue to hold its legends as authentic stories integral to their culture. In 1960, Hillary and Doig somehow managed to convince the village people to take this hide-like scalp and have it inspected abroad. Though it later proved to be a hide from a goat-like Himalayan antelope, you can still visit the monastery it is placed in.Know before you go: The village of Khunjung is just 137km from Kathmandu. The local bus network in Nepal is quite efficient and you will easily get a bus till the Sagarmatha National Park. From here the village is a short trek away. To see the images of the Yeti scalp, visit this page.
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Everest Base Camp
We finally headed out on the final climb to Everest Base Camp, tucked into the mountainside under the sparkling Khumbu Icefall. Mount Everest up close and personal is breathtaking! You would be impressed even if this wasn’t the world’s tallest mountain. After camping there for a while we returned to Lobuje for the night. The next day we retraced our steps along the Imja Khola to Debuche. We hiked down a steep trail to the Dudh Kosi and climbed to Namche Bazar for the night. The final day of our descent, we had a long and leisurely trek back to Lukla from where we flew back to Kathmandu
Everest Base Camp Trekking Route
Flight to Lukla...Trust me on this one - The flight to Lukla is in itself an epic adventure...Its a 16 seater plane and ut takes half of an hour to Tenzing-Hillary Airport at Lukla. You get to see a brilliant view of the Himalayas during the flight and an adventure was awaiting before even starting to trek...the landing on the runway...so what's adventurous about it you might think...well the runway is just about 400 metres to the end of the cliff from where starts a deep gorge and then surrounded by the Himalayan mountains (don't forget Lukla is situated at an altitude of approx 9380 feet) ...after the safe landing we all cheered, clapped and whistled and said special thanks for the pilots...for an adventure before the adventure!!
The path from Namche to Tengboche (our destination for day 4) descends through a forest of rhododendrons and birch trees and levels off with the Dudh Kosi river at Phunki Tenga. The steep ascent to Tengboche begins immediately after crossing the Dudh Kosi. Probably one of the toughest climb on the trail so far. There are trekking spots near Tengboche that give you a great view of the first sunlight falling on Mt. Everest
We continued along the valley floor to Dughla where we stopped for lunch before hiking on Lobuje. The dramatic landscape around us changes as we continue to climb higher and higher. By the time we reached Lobuche, the temperature had dropped and we were walking among frozen rivers in an icy wilderness. The next day, we walked to the edge of the Khumbu Glacier then hiked up to the village of Gorak Shep, nestled under the soaring summits. We climbed up Kala Pattar (18,192') for a dramatic close up view of Everest.
We left Lhasa after several days having acclimatised to the altitude (but not to the yak butter tea), and headed towards the base camp of Mount Everest, stopping in Shigatse and Xegar for more acclimatisation and sightseeing. En route we saw many yaks, and stocks of dried yak-dung (which is used as fuel), and we stopped at several passes of 5000m or more, generally adorned with colourful prayer flags fluttering in the wind. At one pass it was snowing – at the beginning of August ! At the base camp we were fortunate to have blue skies and only a few clouds, and so had a relatively good view of Qomolangma ("Goddess Mother of the Winds") as it’s known in Tibetan.
Gorakshep to Pheriche ( 6 hr / 14,100 ft ): This was the toughest day for me. Kala Pathar, Everest Base Camp and journey back till Pheriche, all in a single day ! That too without a guide :D There was another challenge in front of me: to reach Pheriche before it gets dark. The same route had taken around 7 hrs in fast pace from Dingboche while coming. It was already 2:25 PM, when I left Gorakshep. That means expected time of reach at Pheriche around 9:30 PM. In no way, I could afford that. I had to double the pace, but the body had already faced enough for the day. There wasn’t any alternative, but to make it happen. The initial 30 mins path was bit tricky, the rest I literally ran, jogged would be more appropriate though. I crossed Lobuche before 4PM and reached Thukla around 5:30 PM. I climbed down that last stretch before Thukla so hurriedly that my right ankle was almost worn out. But this much of progress gave me a feeling that I would make it to Pheriche before dark. After crossing the bridge, there were three roads: the middle one leading to Pheriche. I followed that only, but after a few meters ahead I had had to take right and had climbed all the way down. But I went straight as there wasn’t any route visible that way. So I was going towards Dingboche. Though I knew this, I thought there would be a way down to Pheriche as it was visible while we came that way. And there wasn’t a single passer-by to ask or verify. It was starting to get darker and fear was getting a grip over me. After walking for some time, I got the glimpse of Pheriche; but it was down in the valley. And no route was in sight to climb down till there. I was high, very high than Pheriche's level. It was getting darker. Then suddenly, I saw someone coming on a horse, like a savior. He guided me a way to climb down that humongous height. In those prevailing darkness, I made my way to Pheriche before it was too dark. I stayed at White Yak Lodge. Barsha also had moved there by then. This was the best stay during the trek: with no crowd and over friendly hotel staffs.
10. Gokyo Ri TrekGokyo Ri is a peak in the Khumbu region, located just next to the Ngozumpa Glacier, which is considered the largest glacier in the Himalayas as well as in Nepal. The Gokya Ri trek includes a trek to the Gokyo lakes, and from the Gokyo Ri you can easily see some of the 8-Thousander peaks in Nepal, such as Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Everest. The Gokyo Lakes are one of the most pristine lakes in the world.
9. Cho Oyu Base Camp trekAnother relatively unclimbed and unvisited mountain is Cho Oyu, which is half in Nepal and half in Tibet. Cho Oyu is an incredible mountain for climbers, and the perfect trekking option because unlike the Everest, Lhotse and Makalu base camp, this one is relatively less populated. Even though Cho Oyu comes in the list of the highest peaks in the world, its beauty is unique.
Lukla - Everest Base Camp Trekking Route
The trail from Lukla to Phakding (our stop for day one) is a gentle descending one over looking farmlands and the Dudh Kosi canyon Pretty cultural as well with the trek route lined with mani stones (stones with religious inscriptions), chortens (buddhist temples) and prayer flags.
Naar and Phu
This is not an extreme trail, but more of a relaxed one that will let you ponder over the scenic beauty and the local culture. Start from Koto villiage in the Annapurna Circuit Trail and follow the small river that flows through narrow gorges and cliffs. At one point this trail even passes from under a majestic waterfall. Situated in the northern border of Nepal, Phu has two abandoned Khampa settlements on the way along with two local villages that constitute of lovely Buddhist monasteries. Naar, is towards the west underneath the beautiful Pisang Peak. This trek is a nice peak into the local culture and some out of way beauty. And to cap it all off you can cross the 5322m Kang La pass back onto the Annapurna Circuit, and see the entire northern sweep of the Annapurnas.