© Copyright: Stefan Burkhardt

Machermo To Pangboche

Previous Day October 6th 2008
Start: Machermo, 4400 m, 9:10
Arrival: Pangboche, 4000 m, 16:05
Duration: 6:55
Breaks: 20 minutes at Dole, 1:05 lunch break at Phortse Drangka and 10 minutes above Phortse
Estimated climb: 900 m
Estimated descent: 1300 m
Next Day
We got up before 6 in order to take some pictures from a ridge just south of Machermo. It looked like a promising location for some sunrise shots and was definitely worth the 10 minute walk and getting up early. Machermo Peak was one of the first hit by the sun.
I did not find a name for this peak on my maps, but the thin layer of snow gave the hill in front of it a nice shade of gray.
The ridge we went to was about 10 minutes south of Machermo along the path to Dole. The mountain range on the left was south/southwest of our location and ends in Khumbi Yul Lha. Namche is on the other side.
It took some time, but eventually the small stupa with it's prayer flags right at the path was hit by the sun as well and provided a nice foreground for Cho Oyu.
A closer look at Cho Oyu.
We finally headed back to the lodge for breakfast, packed our gear and left at 9:10. It was mostly downhill and the path stayed high above the river most of the time. Only just before Phortse Drangka does it descend in steep switchbacks down to about 3500 meters. We had lunch in the lodge at the bridge and then walked up to Phortse.
The forest below 3700 meters was a somewhat unusual sight after days without seeing a tree.

During our climb to Phortse, clouds started to move in but it did not rain. We took another short break on a ridge above the village and got a first glimpse of the trail to Pangboche. It traverses a steep hillside with some cliffs high above the valley and, in order to avoid some of the cliffs, contains quite a bit of up- and downhill sections. We were already somewhat tired and the last section which had looked so short on the map stretched on a bit. Unfortunately, the clouds by now obstructed our view completely.

We arrived in Pangboche just after 4 and stayed in the Trekker's Holi-Day Inn Lodge. We were the only guests but definitely enjoyed our stay. The dining room was very nice and contained a 1952 oxygen bottle which the owner of the lodge had found on an expedition. Another awesome feature of the lodge was a gas-powered hot shower.
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