Our team arrived in Namche last night after a wonderful day of trekking and then enjoyed the comfort and fine meals at the Panorama lodge. Today we hiked up to the Everest view hotel for clear views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam, and then to Khumjung to visit the Hillary School. We will spend 2 more nights here in Namche before making our way up the valley towards base camp. Everyone is doing great.
This morning a few members took a helicopter flight, and we had a look at the new route up the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1 on Everest. We were able to see clearly that the new route is in fact completely new, and veers to the ‘climbers right’ near Nuptse, avoiding the hanging ice on the West Shoulder that buried the 16 Nepali mountain workers last year. It appears that climbers will have to negotiate broken ice as before, and perhaps more vertical ladders. The red line on the right shows the new route (if you look closely you can see the footprints, ladders, fixed lines) while the red line on the left is the approximate old route from last year. There is at least one section that has 4 vertical ladders tied together to ascend up a very large ice cliff.