If visions of sunrises and sunsets on mountain peaks dance wildly in your imagination, then the best of dreams is a visit to the Himalayas – the largest mountain range on Earth. Here is some of what I captured in photos on a Himalayan trek to the Base Camp of Mt Everest.

Himalayan Mountains

Standing at 10,000 feet where I took this photo, this summit of peak must be 15,000 or higher, but most people I asked insisted it didn’t have a name – it was too small. Finally, one of the local Sherpas said, “You won’t see it on maps but it is called Pari locally.”

Himalayan Mountains

The green valleys plunge dramatically down out of the Himalays into the riverbeds and eventually the plains below. These rough plots are family subsistence farms near Lukla, Nepal.

Himalayan Mountains

These are the delivery trucks of the Everest Highway. No wheels go here – only feet – and hearty ones at that. They are carrying cooking oil, grain, napkins and toiletries that Western visitors seek en route.

Himalayan Mountains

This is proof that Yetis exist! This is their mountain home, and they invited me in for cookies. (Look at the mountain in the background!)

Himalayan Mountains

Sunrise on Tabuche Peak – about 21,000 feet at the summit.

Himalayan Mountains

All my drinking water for about 20 days came from the meltwater of the Khumbu Glacier of Mt Everest.  Looks gorgeous but can be a bit unnerving if you think about all the yak feet (among other things) that have passed through it up above. (All my water was boiled of course.) Khumbe Yul Lha is the mountain in the view – the holy Sherpa goddess inhabits the peak and protects the people of Khumbu.

Himalayan Mountains

My favorite bridge at about 11,000 feet. Passers-by tie on silk scarves and prayer flags to mark it as a special place.

Himalayan Mountains

The village of Namche viewed from Khumjung – a peak that serves as an acclimation hike during a rest day in Namche. Across the valley Kongde Ri pokes out of the clouds – about 20,000 feet at the summit.

Himalayan Mountains

A typical view along this route – scrubby brush, dry slopes and absolutely stunning mountains. This is the unmistakable profile of  Ama Dablum, one of the sheerest technical climbs in the world. It is successfully climbed far less often than most of the taller surrounding peaks. It stands over 22,000 feet.

Himalayan Mountains

Laundry at 15,000 feet. Often it freezes before drying. Freeze dried socks are lovely, let me assure you. Lobuche peak on the left.

Himalayan Mountains

And this gorgeous face greeted us as we arrived at sunset in Namche. Thamserku, one of my favorite mountains, is almost 22,000 feet.

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