April 20, 2012
IMG leader Liam O”Sullivan reports that the team had a great time in the Namche area, and managed some nice acclimatization hikes:
“All is going well. The weather has been fantastic! After trekking from Phakding (8,600′) to Namche (11,300′) on Day 2, we completed a nice leisurely training hike yesterday. First we hit the “Everest View” viewpoint of Everest, Lhotse, and of course, Ama Dablam! It was spectacular and there were many hoots and hollers as we rounded the bend in the trail and saw all the peaks. After numerous pictures, we made our way toward the village of Khumjung (12,400′), home of our Sirdar (the lead trekking guide) Phu Tashi, where we were treated to yet another large meal which resulted in a noon nap (food coma) at the restaurant. After playing catch with a few of the local schoolboys with Ama Dablam rising above in the distance, we toured the local school before heading up to the monastery, where after a small donation we were treated to seeing a bona fide Yeti head!
After recovering from the excitement of that, we headed over to Khunde (12,600′). Here we visited the largest hospital in the region and spoke with one of the hospital’s two doctors. He is on call all the time! The hospital has four satellite clinics in the Khumbu, each in different valleys, with his catchment area extending all the way down to Phakding, where we stayed the first night of the trek. He reports his patients are wonderful, especially his pregnant patients who uniformly make their appointments, sometimes having to walk many miles uphill at elevation to make it to the hospital. We then made our way back down towards Namche, stopping by the Sherpa Museum along the way, where we were treated to pictures of every single Sherpa who has ever summited Everest, including a choice shot of our own co-leader, Kami. We reached the hotel happy to take off our boots and sit down for some yak sizzler and another ferocious card game of Hearts!”