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Nepal – Namche to Thame to Phortse Tenga – 12th/14th March

  • Day 11: Namche to Thame with a high point of 3950m

We opted to take a 2 day acclimatisation period by hiking from Namche to Thame which is an elevation gain of around 400m. It is recommended to do this perhaps more so if you’re flying into Lukla but we wanted to take advantage of the time and also the walk sounded really nice. Amata was still struggling with a cold and so we set off at around 9am perhaps later for the 3 hour hike to Thame, and we left a good few items behind which would make the journey a little easier for all of us.

This particular hike is a really beautiful one taking in the valley north-west of Namche through a few smaller dwellings and pine forests. There are some impressive mani-walls and scripted paintings on the cliff along the way and we stopped for our consistent cheese and crackers snack which did mean that we took a little longer to get to Thame. Dave was also in trainers which mean’t he had a pain free walk.

The hike into and upwards towards the Thame is again really rewarding with parts of the river frozen below and the mountains that engulf the village covered in snow. We crossed through a gate and before long we were in Thame opting the stay at The Sunshine Lodge, where we enjoyed a basic room, it was pretty dirty but the mattresses were soft which was fast becoming one of the most important things when we were getting a bed for the night. The food at Sunshine is pretty good, and the main lady put the fire on nice an early too.

That same afternoon we hiked upto the monastery overlooking the village of Thame, from here we enjoyed vistas looking back to the vast mountain ranges ahead of us, plus we had a further elevation gain of around 60m. When the weather started to close in we made our way down and got ready for an evening around the fire, dahl bat and random chat.

  • Day 12: Thame to Namche

We woke up to snow and a moan from Dave about the uncertainty of getting back to Namche through the snow wearing trainers! The whole of the valley was in a blanket of snow and we watched Amata and Joshua playing outside whilst Dave worried about his feet! He’d purposely hiked in trainers to give his feet a break from the boots but now he was thinking he wouldn’t make it back and would be stranded in Thame! All was not as bad as it seemed though as we came up with the ingenious idea of plastic bags around his feet and lots of tape! Plus the snow is very dry in this part of the world so it wasn’t too slippery under feet and so Dave managed to get his rhythm going again leaving us all at the back of the line!

The walk back was mainly in the snow and it was really nice to see the valley and mountains in a different way, up until now we’d enjoyed sunshine most days and so it made a change. When we got back to Namche it started snowing again and after checking back in The Moonlight Lodge we sat in the dining area and watched as Namche became lost in cloud and snow. By late afternoon it had all cleared and once again we could look down over the town.

  • Day 13: Namche to Phortse Tenga with a high point in Mong of 3973m

From now on we were on strict altitude gain wanting to stick to the rule of 300-400m elevation gain per day. We were all feeling well acclimated after trekking in from Jiri plus spending a few days in Namche and Thame but at the same time we didn’t want to risk altitude sickness. This time we left Moonlight with a considerably smaller bill and we were lighter again by leaving a few things behind. On this particular part of the hike we started out on the Everest trekking highway and after leaving Kyangjum we came to a sign heading to Gokyo, this was the valley where we would be trekking for the high point of the trip. We couldn’t see Everest anywhere but had great vistas of Ama Dablam, Nuptse and Lhotse some of the highest peaks in the world. (Lhotse is the 4th highest peak at 8501m)

There are some ups and downs on this part of the hike and a long traverse towards Mong where we enjoyed a decent lunch and tea at one of the lodges called Snow Land View Lodge, home to a very friendly lady owner who tried to coax us to stay the night by offering 3 extra servings of Dahl Bat and a free room! This was a tempting offer but we wanted to push onto Phortse Tenga for the night. From Mong it isn’t that far to Phortse Tenga which sits much lower at 3643m, a little higher than Namche. Opposite and further up is the larger village of Phortse which would take you to the other side of the valley.

In Phortse Tenga we stayed at The River View Lodge along with several other trekkers and guides making their way up or down to and from Gokyo. We weren’t anticipating meeting so many people on this part of the trek but it made for a good atmosphere at the Lodge even though the rooms felt like we were in a very dingy hospital ward. We even had to link up the wires on the lighting to give us some light in the room. The food here though is good and it was warm and cosy around the dining room fire. We were a little mischievous and ended up sharing a shower, mainly as we were steadily eating into our budget and the showers were 350 rupees each! We met several other Americans, English, Ozzie’s and Kiwi’s at this lodge.

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f2.0, 18mm f4, 90mm Tele-Elmarit f2.8 processed in Lightroom 3)

Related posts that may be of interest to you:

  1. Nepal – Phortse Tenga to Gokyo – 15th/17th March Day 14: Phortse Tenga to Dole with a high point of 4084m We had now been on the go for 14 days making our way...
  2. Nepal – Bupsa to Namche – 9th/11th March Day 6 Bupsa to Chaurikarka with a high point of 2900m By now we were averaging long days to cover the miles on the trek....
  3. Nepal – Gokyo to Namche to Lukla – 19th/21st March Day 18: Gokyo to Mong We were up early and breakfasted by 8am as we wanted to be on our way and get as far...
  4. Nepal – Gokyo Ri – 18th March Day 17: Morning hike up to Gokyo Ri 5360m We were up fairly early and opted to have some breakfast before heading up to the...

One Comment

  1. jan
    Posted 9 Apr ’12 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Views are evn more spectacular. Look forward to final trekking blogs. Nana and Bim the dog have returned home courtesey of Karl.


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