Gorgeous day for the steep hike into Namche Bazaar “the big city” of the Khumbu Valley. It was definitely a classic “Skies out, thighs out” or “suns out, guns out” hike. The village was PACKED with trekkers and climbers. There was the usual 50 dogs and tiny puppies running the streets and the Irish Pup in full swing. We checked into our teahouse, ate a late lunch and headed straight to Sherpa Barista, a favorite spot to grab a glass of wine and let the reunion begin. When you’ve been tackling mountains over many years, you get to know other seven summiters, guides and outfitter owners. And since this is the big and only season to summit Everest, EVERYONE is here. And EVERYONE pops into Sherpa Barista! Ben Jones, Garrett Madison, Scott and Rob from ALE (Antarctica expedition just a few months ago), Ossy (Ecuadorian badass guiding with CTSS last year Everest and our Vinson trip), my Aconcagua guide Cacho from 6 years ago and even a few people I met on the plane ride over from the US. A couple of bottles of wine later and we headed back to the teahouse for dinner and a well deserved nights rest.
The next day was an acclimatization hike to the Thamo monastery. It was just as magical as I remembered from last year. Stunning building outlined by snow covered peaks in the distance. We had tea with the high monk (he remembered me, probably my loudness, from last year), we bought blessed prayer flags and headed back to Namche just in time for a luxurious and so boujee massage and then hair wash and blow dry!! What what?? I know! Not exactly roughing it. Looking mountain gorgeous, I headed to the Irish Pub for the worlds worst pool tournament! I mean seriously… WE ALL SUCKED. so, it was a well matched long game, but so much fun with my fellow CTSSers. Naren came to corral us for dinner. Silly man! 2 drinks later, we headed up the cobblestone steps just in time for dinner.
Repacked all our gear, sleep, then head up the hill tomorrow morning!