Everest / Alpine Expeditions

Return To Everest Update 28 March: Scott Parazynski: Namche Bazar Market Day (Chopped Yak on Sale)/Short Acclimatization Trek

By Keith Cowing
Scott Parazynski
March 28, 2009
Return To Everest Update 28 March: Scott Parazynski: Namche Bazar Market Day (Chopped Yak on Sale)/Short Acclimatization Trek
Namche Bazar Market Day
Scott Parazynski

High altitude mountaineering, like many other performance activities and sports, requires really taking care of your body, and listening to what it’s saying to you. While its possible to push hard for many days in a row, as in a summit push, our team is fresh to these altitudes.

Although I felt very strong up the “Namche Hill,” a 3500+ foot climb from Phakding the day before, my quads “spoke” to me this morning as I ascended the 3 flights of steps to breakfast, so I and most everyone else on the team elected to do a short, local hike today. Tomorrow will be another day, I’ll be a bit stronger, and I’ll complete a significant, high loop to see the Kunde medical facility, the “Yeti skull” in a nearby monastery, and the Hillary School.

For today’s day of active rest, myself and a group of new friends toured through Namche Bazar’s famed weekend market (Friday/Saturday). Peddlers from all over the Khumbu trek with their wares — produce, tennis shoes, batteries, hot chili peppers, you name it — to negotiate their best prices. I suspect that towards the end of the market, around 12 noon on Saturday, you can fetch the best prices: having to tote the unsold goods back home would add insult to injury to the sellers…

We then toured the horseshoe-shaped village, ending up well above the town where a Nepalese military installation is located on a promontory. Carefully walking past extensive barbed wire and foxholes, we arrived to the Everest viewpoint just in time to catch a glimpse of Everest, Lhotse, Nupste and Pumor RI — Ama Dablam refused to come out of cloud cover as we loitered at the bakery there. It certainly wasn’t the best brownie I’ve ever had, but it was a welcome luxury to be sure.

Taking the steep trail back down into Namche, I bought some gifts for my family, and several strands of prayer flags to string up off of my EBC tent. To top off a perfect day, I had a hot shower — really hot, unlike anything I’ll have for the next 6 weeks or so — and then went down to the Internet cafe/coffee shop to write this note, Twitter, Facebook and otherwise check in with the world. The cafe itself is perched at the head of the Namche horseshoe valley, with a 270 degree view of the towering peaks and dramatic drop-offs to the raging rivers below. Best coffee I’ve ever had!



Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻