Day 3: Namche Zero – Monastery, Everest View, Sherpa Museum

November 6, 2022
Start: Namche Bazar 3440m (11,284ft)
Stop: Namche Bazar 3440m (11,284ft)

I’m up by 6am to see what sunrise beauty I can find but the sun is slow to reach over the mountains that tower around Namche. It’s cold out but not unbearable. There is a steady flow of helicopters going up the valley between Namche and Kusum Kanguru. An elderly Sherpa woman passes me with large carafes that are likely filled with tea and we greet each other with a “good morning.” Even the chickens are getting an early start and forage for what ever they can find in the dirt. I have to wait hours for breakfast. My stomach rumbles as the hunger is really starting to kick in. Tiger wanted us to get an early start but some group members wanted to sleep in. After breakfast, six of us go on an easy acclimatization walk up and around Namche.

Our first stop is at the small Sanga Thekchok Dechenling Monastery. The Monastery was established 300 years ago and practices the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism. We take off our boots and the chill of the floor quickly seeps into my feet. Unlike most monasteries, we are allowed to take pictures inside. Each morning a ceremony is performed where the seven bowls atop the shrine are filled with fresh water.

After a short climb up and around Namche, we arrive at a point where Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam are visible. There is a large statue that honors Tenzing Norgay, the sherpa that who summitted Mt Everest with Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953.

Our third stop is at the Sherpa Culture Museum. The museum is a rare gem and presents a thorough history of the Sherpa people. It exhibits Sherpa culture, traditions and the stories of Sherpa climbers in the Everest Region of Nepal. Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa is the founder and curator of the museum. He is also a photographer, climbing historian and Sherpa culture specialist. The museum is working on a large exhibit which will open in 2023. We got a rushed sneak peek at it but I wish I’d had more time. The pictures and stories are remarkable!

Ancient Sherpa artifacts are on display in the Sherpa Culture Museum.

Sherpa Culture Photo Gallery. Among the many amazing pictures chronicling the life of the Sherpa people, is the amazing lesson about yaks and naks. Yaks are male. Naks are female and the ones who provide milk for cheese. So, it’s not actually yak cheese, but NAK cheese.

We head back to Everest Hotel for a late lunch before everyone heads out to do some souvenir shopping. Since the morning I have felt like I might be getting sick. I don’t know if its the cold air making my nose run or all the oxen and donkey poop particles that I’m breathing on the trail but my eyes just feel kinda sick. I decide to take a shower for 400 rupees, about $3. It’s warm water but the tile floor is soooo cold on my feet. I wash my hair with Dr. Bronner’s soap but I’m not sure that it’s any less greasy than when I started. After bundling up and warming up my feet I spend some time writing in my journal. Another fellow guide of Caspar, Emmanuel, is also doing a trek to EBC. He arrived in Namche earlier today and it’s so great to see him! Our group members trickle in late to dinner and again it’s just the six of us.