Passing the passes

Passing the passes
A yak caravan crosses the bridge below Namche Bazar on the way back to Lukla, Photo Credit: Sujoy Das

In the shadow of the highest mountain lies a wonderland of luminous lakes, giant glaciers, Buddhist chortens and high passes

Sujoy Das
April 08 , 2014
02 Min Read

A yak caravan crosses the bridge below Namche Bazar on the way back to Lukla
Prayer flags, mani walls and chortens adorn the village of Ghat on the first day's walk to Phakding. The Khumbu is predominantly Buddhist and this is evident all along the trail to the Base Camp
My wife Paula passes a rhododendron arboreum in full bloom below the Sagarmatha Park gates near the village of Jorsale. The peak in the background is Khumbila, sacred to the Sherpas
Trekkers attend a prayer service at the monastery of Thyangboche, where Everest climbers come to be blessed. This premier monastery of the Khumbu hosts the famous Mani Rimdu festival every autumn
In the courtyard outside, a lama studies from the Kangyur (a compendium of Tibetan religious texts)
Spring turns to winter, as an unseasonal storm takes us by surprise in Dengboche and freezes the Imja Khola
A yak weathers out the inclement conditions with complete nonchalance
A dress circle view of Makalu, Baruntse, Island Peak and Chamlang greets us from the heights of Kongma La overlooking the emerald lakes below
Tibetan snow cocks forage for food near the lodges of Gorak Shep, while a trekker sets out for the final push to Kala Patthar
As we descended from Kala Patthar after sunset, the moon rose behind the west shoulder of Everest and we found Gorak Shep illuminated by moonlight
A trekker's headlamp leaves a white line in the moonlight while entering the lodge at Gorak Shep
The trail from Gorak Shep to Dzongla passes the Base Camp of Lobuche, one of the popular trekking peaks in the  Everest Region
The lodges of Gokyo and the third lake is dwarfed by the huge bulk of Cholatse (6,440m) as a trekker makes her way up to Gokyo Ri
Our Sirdar Shyam Tamang is overjoyed after reaching the Renjo La, the gateway between the Gokyo and Bhote Kosi valleys, while a trekking team makes its way down the pass to Lungden in snowy conditions


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