The Roof of the World

Trip Start Sep 30, 2006
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24
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Trip End Jan 16, 2010


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Where I stayed
Thingri Snow Land Hotel
What I did
Gawked open jawed

Flag of China  , Tibet Autonomous Region,
Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The energy of this monstrous peak must have been too much for me, as I and many of my bunk mates couldn't sleep the night before going to Base Camp. We weren't the only ones. I couldn't find my earplugs fast enough when a pack of it sounded like 100 Tibetan mastiffs barked wildly and got into 3am wrestling matches outside my window. Were they also impacted by the energy of this mighty pinnacle? The next day more than made up for my discomfort. The wind howled and the temperature dropped again, we thought to about -15 Celsius, preventing us from making the 2 hour hike up to base camp. That was a bummer, but the brutal cold meant there were absolutely no clouds and as our reward, Mt. Everest revealed itself in her full glory. My photos are absolutely amazing, but I can't upload them at this net cafe. Soon. Since climbing season was well over, there were no tents, no trash, and only our small group of 12 at the base of the world's tallest peak that cold, clear dawn. We were privileged to see Mt. Everest, or Qomolangma as it is known in Tibetan, from dawn to dusk, as the day endured without a single cloud. Only the high wind whipped snow off the mountain in wisps, emerging from the roof of the world to remind us where we were. We left EBC behind, yet still watching over us and went to warm ourselves up at Rongphu Monastery, about 8 km from Everest Base Camp - at around 5,000 m above sea level, Rongphu is the highest monastery in the world. A modern facility by Tibetan standards, built in the early 1900s, this house of worship and study hosted more than 500 monks. Today, only around 50 monks and nuns live on the sparse, yet obviously sacred land, hovered and protected by Mt. Qomolangma (Everest). Although the holy people have separate residences, they share the same prayer hall making this facility even more unusual than being the highest and likely the most remote in the world. As a result of the elevation, some of us are feeling the effects of altitude sickness, and even one of our drivers gets sick. I have been having slight headaches, but nothing I can't live with. I brought a few remedies of my own, mineral drops that are supposed to help my body oxygenate better. Seemed to be working, and I recommend taking something. These are definitely extreme conditions. Other folks are complaining of stomach troubles, migraines and general queasiness. The remedy is drink at least 3 liters of water a day, plus one more liter for every beer!! The good news is, a few sips of beer and you are feeling pretty fine. Also eating well is a good idea. I find the elevation does nothing but increase my appetite!! We are received very warmly by the monks and nuns and we are excited about the hot ginger tea and delicious sugar pancakes. We warm ourselves by the cranking yak dung stove and eat and drink until our bellies pop out like a nearby mountain.....
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