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Thu 08 Nov 2012 08:02 » Jon

The route from Monjo to Namche begins fairly calmly, meandering along the river and occasionally crossing one of the crazy swinging suspension bridges. After an hour though, it starts climbing, and goes on and on until you get to the village.

Even when we did finally reach the village, the climbing continued as our lodge is right at the highest point of Namche. It isn’t quite as plush as the one in Monjo, but does still have a warm shower for about £4.


Once we’d settled in and had some lunch, most of us headed down into the village to have a look round and check out the shops. Like in Kathmandu, most of the shops sell very dodgy rip-offs of the major brands, but there are a couple of shops selling proper gear for about ten times the price. I ended up buying a couple of hats (one real, one local, which turned out to be quite restrained compared to the people coming back with down boots, gillets, etc.

I haven’t worn the local hat yet, as it’s emblazoned with the words “Ama Dablam”, and I haven’t decided whether wearing it before summitting might jinx the expedition. Rich and I bought matching hats, and the team’s initial reaction was negative, but they seem to have mellowed. Luckily the Mountain Hardwear one was less controversial.

After a meal of pizza, chips and spaghetti (they’re good at carbo-loading here!) the group read, chatted and played cards. The game of choice is called Uno, but has been renamed Momo, in honour of the Nepalese dumplings. At various points during the game, players have to shout “Momo” or “De-momo”, and the whole thing can get quite agitated.


I took hours to get to sleep last night and woke with a bit of a headache. Breakfast was a bit of a struggle, but things improved as we climbed up to the Everest View Hotel, about 300m above our lodge Namche, and I was feeling pretty good by the time we sat on the terrace for some hot lemon.

The view was amazing. Ama Dablam looked pretty terrifying, but we were advised to take things one day at a time and focus on getting to the next tea-house, rather than worrying about the ridiculously steep climb we’ll be facing in a couple of weeks’ time.

Ama Dablam looked especially impressive as it looks bigger than Lhotse and Everest (to the left), but we’re hoping that’s just perspective, rather than unwelcome movements of the tectonic plates.

We made it back down to Namche for a great lunch of veg curry with some Nepali bread, pasta and potato cakes. This afternoon we’re relaxing again before heading on to Deboche tomorrow.


  1. Ger? It all reminds me of my recent honeymoon in the Maldives…
    3 times a day we’d have to get off our sun beds, struggle along the beach to fill our faces with food in the restaurant only to them have to turn around and struggle all the way back down the beach again. They didn’t call it acclimatisation but I’m sure it’s the same thing.
    You must be quite worn out, I was, anyway, I don’t know about Uno but I’d recommend Jenga to break up the tedium ;-)
    Enjoy and be careful out there :-)

    Comment by The Chief Otter — November 8, 2012 @ 20:26

  2. Pizza, chips, French toast…? Are you really blogging from a mountain trek?!!! All sounding great & glad to hear you’ve had some hot water to shower in!! How many in your team by the way? H x

    Comment by H — November 9, 2012 @ 00:32

  3. Pizza and chips? a 3m climb? And there was me feeling bad for enjoying lunch without you. All sounds pretty comfortable so far.

    Comment by James — November 9, 2012 @ 10:35

  4. Why do you people always do this?! Surely you understand a man has to eat? The pizza and chips was nice, but only compared to the usual food. It wasn’t exactly Zizzi or Pizza Express. And I ate it wearing a fleece, a primaloft jacket and a woollen hat, to avoid freezing.

    Anyway, this is just the walk in – life will be very different once we reach basecamp. Although there is a rumour we may have a DVD player and projector…

    @H – 8 clients, 2 groupies trekking to basecamp, 1 guide, 4 Sherpas, some yaks, and hopefully a cook at basecamp.

    Comment by Jon — November 10, 2012 @ 11:34

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