Em’s First Time Over 5000 m

The walk from Pangboche to Dingboche was only three hours, and as we left the tree line the landscape was spotted with juniper and became more barren as the big Himalayas got closer with every step. Sean and I had lots of fun sharing stories after being apart a few days. Once in Dingboche we headed partway up a slope above town just for something to do as we were there so early. We went part way up and decided to summit the small peak the next day. With supper we tried seabuckthorn juice, made from small orange seabuckthorn berries. I think seabuckthorn bushes are native to the Himalayan region but we use them as ornamentals at home. The juice was served warm and was sour but I really liked it; Sean loaded his with sugar and still had a hard time getting it down. The owner of the lodge, who was excited to serve it to us, stood there excitedly waiting for us to take our first sips.

The next day we hiked up Nangkartshang, a 5100 meter peak that forms a small part of the Everest massif. Near the top I got my first long awaited glance of a Tibetan snowcock, which Sean had shown me pictures of. The peak was draped with the customary prayer flags and we had it all to ourselves for quite a while. The views were good but I was most excited about the wildlife. We took pictures of yellow-billed choughs, small songbirds and on the way down we ran into a pika! It wasn`t at all shy like the ones at home and we got to watch it yanking up grass roots with all its might long enough that Sean even got a video.

Back at the guesthouse we had a debate over whether Sean should invest $5.00 in a shower, as his stench was on the verge of giving me a bloody nose. We decided against it however as he needed a full on car wash facility to have any real effect, and he would still be wearing his dirty clothes. During supper we met a Finnish man travelling solo who has a wife, 4 kids and no job, not sure how that works but I`m sure Sean would like to find out.

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