Day 20 – The Last Yak

Yak Carrying Bags on the Trail

Yak Carrying Bags on the Trail

Start: 11,300 ft     End: 9,300 ft     Total Time: 7hrs 30mins

Our last day of hiking was a bittersweet day. It was one of the most difficult days coming after three arduous days of hiking. And yet it was the end of what had become our normal reality.

Hiking with my Mom we headed down a steep incline out of Namche Bazar made up mostly of steps created out of rock and cement. Rather quickly out of the town we hit the view spot where 15 days earlier we had gotten our first view of Everest. We continued hiking down and after about 4 hours reached the bottom and our lunch spot.

Then began our last great uphill. Although we remembered the landmarks and terrain of much of the trail, both my mom and I had forgotten the first day of the trek. Whether it mixed with other days of trekking or was blocked from our memory as a difficult first day of hiking is still up for debate. This meant that although we knew the last few hours were uphill, we did not remember the sight of the Lukla we were heading towards. Each new town brought the excitement of being our final destination, and most often the disappointment of being another town on the way to Lukla.

Since this was our last hiking day, it would be our last uphills, our last downhills, the last yaks we would scramble to avoid. The final hour of our trek was both a mix of nostalgia and exhaustion to the point of not knowing whether to curse the yaks or hug them.

Finally after weeks of trekking we had made it to Base Camp and back again. Reaching our initial starting point of Lukla with enough time to crash into the rug covered seats of our lodge before dinner was served. We had survived. Survived the myriad of difficulties that may have thrown off the less fortunate, less prepared, or less strong stomached. We have made it.


  1. Jim Carson - April 20, 2012

    Congratulations on completing this amazing journey. Your posts have been wonderful, enabling us voyeurs a real and tantalizing taste of the adventure. Thanks so much for sharing. Now, we await in anticipation of the incredible adventure that await your Dad and the rest of the Everest party. God Bless! Jim and Margie Carson, Vienna, VA.

  2. Louise Williams - April 20, 2012

    Congratulations Alex and Leslie! Thank you for sharing this amazing journey with us.

  3. Susan Defibaugh - April 20, 2012

    What an adventure! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  4. Pat House - April 24, 2012

    Congrarulations ! Amazing, so difficult one must try a mountain to understand. Good for you and for nianjema school. We are focused with all good thoughts on the next challenge – the summit. Pat

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