The Team

Dave Arjune
Gary Bews
Susan Carder
Paul Dietrich
Rod Guthrie
Chandra Kudsia
Sanjay Saxena
Sonam Badol

Traditional Tibetan doorway copyright Sanjay Saxena

musings from

Everest NBC

Travel Destinations
Overland from Lhasa to Kathmandu
via the North Face of Everest

Greetings from the Himalaya group.

Impressions from Everest North Face Base Camp (Oct 4, 2011):

Shegar to Base camp
Breakfast at 5:30 am and departed for Base camp at 6 am. Drive to camp from Shegar is all dirt roads and a very rough terrain. After 1 ½ hrs, gained an altitude of nearly 2500 feet to 16500 and reached our first viewing area for Everest.

bundled up for the sunrise at Pang La – Everest in the distant

It was freezing cold. Reason for the early start was to see the sun rise lighting up the Everest and other Himalayan giants.

The clouds that we had at sunrise drifted away and it turned out to be an exceptionally clear day and the views, though distant were great; lots of photos taken. From this vantage point, drive to camp was another 2 ½ hours; we went down following as usual zig zag dirt roads with plenty of bumps and then up again. As we reached the Rongbuk Monastery at 17200 feet, Everest suddenly appeared close, and beautifully lit up with sun light.

Sanjay was able to get a couple of rooms at the monastery guesthouse for us to stay; it is about 4 km from the base camp. Staying at base camp would have been in tents in a somewhat crowded area. Everyone appreciated the stay at the monastery (the adobe walls protecting us from the cold cold wind). After unloading luggage at monastery, went for a hike towards camp. Weather was perfect and Everest and other mountains right in your face. It was an exhilarating experience for everyone.

the view form the 'dorm' window

Wizard at Base camp
The card game Wizard was a hit with the group. Dave, Paul, Susan and Sanjay were nubies but they caught on fast.

So here we are in the small room at the Monastery (where we stayed 4 per room) with views of Everest, at the base camp playing Wizard at the improvised table consisting of various luggage pieces in dim light. I think we should send the picture to the distributors of Wizard.

Stay at Rongbuk Monastery - Dormitory Days are back:
It was 4 people per room, in small narrow hard beds with sleeping bags, had not had this experience since the college days. Any movement in sleeping bags made loud noises and of course everyone was using Diamox. It was an interesting night.

Kitchen at Monastery
Sanjay had arranged for his long time camping Chef Keeling, and some kitchen helpers to arrive there a day earlier to set up the dining tent, kitchen and a couple of outdoor toilet tents. Their location was some distance from the living quarters. Chef was excellent. It was extra-ordinary experience to eat such excellent food at 17,200 feet altitude with clear spectacular views of Everest. Talk about a room with a view!

Community toilet was a problem; you needed an iron will and a very flexible body to use it. Gary, with his usual initiative, found a little bench somewhere in the monastery and brought it into one of the toilets. It provided for an impromptu western style toilet. However, in the night, one had to travel some distance in pitch dark and freezing cold.

Everest at sunrise (above) and sunset (below)

Mount Everest:
Had perfect weather during the day, evening and night. We all had our fill of viewing Everest and other mountains. Sanjay had set up his camera equipment to take pictures over hours and in the night. Owing to perfect weather conditions and so many magnificent hours at the base of Everest, that it was decided to leave camp one day earlier and spend the extra day exploring Kathmandu.

Sanjay also did some "time lapse" photography, where he took one photo every 5 seconds for 2 hours and then wove them together as a movie. Its quite beautiful. Click on the video link below to see clouds dancing in front of Everest between 3-5 pm on Oct 4, 2011:

Hike to base camp
Personal note from Chandra: I wanted to hike to the base camp before leaving the monastery; others were not too keen and wanted to use the SUVs. Sanjay asked Sonam – our guide- to accompany me for the hike. Then Paul decided to join me as well. Hike felt great, I felt ready to hike to the advanced base camp, which was not possible, as it requires special climbing permits. The hike took over an hour, gained altitude of about 800 feet to just under 18000 feet.

One last group photo in front of Everest, before we started our two day drive to Kathmandu