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The Everest Journals: #4  A snapshot of the Khumbu Valley.

By: Mike Swarbrick,  April 03 2005

 Dingboche, Nepal. Elev. 4,410m.

 Now this is Godís Country.

We walked into the courtyard of the Tengboche Monastery at 3,840 m. two days ago.

To the Sherpa people, this monastery is the most signifigant in the Khumbu Valley and is nestled in a clearing that is surrounded by a number of snowy peaks ranging from 6 to 7,000 m. The view includes one of the most beautiful, monolithic mountains in the World, Ama Dablam. My Sherpa friend Lakpa Tsiri (Chiri), tells me that he was part of an expedition that climbed it last fall and he sayís it was a hard climb. When you get a chance to see the photo, Iím sure youíll agree with me, that it looks like a nearly impossible mass of jagged rock, ice and snow.

Our campsite this night was at the end of a stunning downhill walk through a rocky Rhododendron forest. The subtle, soft sunlight, weaving itís way through the branches and lush greenery reminded me of the bush in North Toronto my friends and I used to play in as children. The sparkling streams and dirt trails meet here and there, crossing each other, forcing one to leap from rock to rock in hopes of keeping shoes and socks dry. The stars from this valley were dazzling because there is no artificial light to dim them. The three quarter moon hung above and cast an eerie amber glow on the dark ominous mountain ridges far above.  It was a cold , clear night, freezing half the water in my bottle but I heard no complaints from the rest of camp the following morning over coffee in the crisp clean air.

     Our five hour walk today brought us up and over huge, ragged glacial moraine that rose steep over the Dudh Koshi River and into Dingboche, one of the last permanent settlements enroute to Mount Everest.

I hope that I have been somewhat successful in painting you an adequate picture of our amazing surroundings here in the Khumbu valley.

All the best,

Mike. 

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