Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 2:30 P.M. PST
Sunrise in the Himalayas – Photo by JJ Yosh

Nepal is a country that most people dream of visiting within their lives.   It was a place high on my bucket list.   For years, images of the Himalayas hung about my walls.  These images were so ingrained in my psyche that it seemed like a distant memory from a past life.  

A couple months ago a good friend, Lauren Monitz, offered to bring me along as a guest if I could help her win this trip to Nepal that Sherpa Adventure Gear was hosting.  I jumped on the opportunity and began promoting the contest via my social media channels, and after days of promotion, we won!  The prize for winning – an all-inclusive trip to Nepal to trek the majestic Himalaya Mountains.  WOW!  The trip sounded too good to be true.  

Honestly, I didn’t even believe it was happening until weeks before when we finally received our plane tickets.  Only days away, I asked Primus if they would support my Nepalese trip, and they kindly accepted.  Primus outfitted my Himalayan expedition with their new Primetech stove.  As an outdoor gear-head and backcountry chef, this new gadget was like going into a candy store – and I couldn’t wait to try it out.

Bridges Found Along the Trek – Photo by JJ Yosh

In mid-October, Lauren and I embarked on our journey across the world to the enchanted land of Nepal.  We landed first in Kathmandu, and then transferred to a rickety plane to Lukla, a small village nestled in the Himalayas.  Lukla was the starting point for our trek.  The plan was to trek from Lukla to Phakding to Namche to KumJung to Thame and back.

In the Himalayas there are teahouses all along the trek to provide food and lodging to incoming tourists.  I learned rather quickly how important tea is to the Himalayan culture.  I was glad to have my Primus stove so that I could stop and brew tea quickly and easily along my journey.  In the Himalayas, the weather changes on the fly, and sometimes the temperature can drop abruptly, so filling up with some hot tea is a pleasant reward.  

Brewing Tea Along the Trek – Photo by JJ Yosh

As soon as we hit the trail we entered a whole new world – dzos (yak/cow hybrid) and Nepalese mule traffic jams, ancient Nepalese bridges, and tourists trekking from all around the globe.  It was a bizarre sight, but I instantly adapted to this new style of trekking.  Our first destination was Phakding – a quaint Nepalese homestead along the beautiful Dudh Kosi River.  Our Nepalese hosts greeted us with a collection of teas – milk tea, jasmine tea, mint tea, ginger tea, lemon honey tea, and so on.  Without hesitation I chose ginger tea, my new favorite obsession.  After warming ourselves up, we settled in for the night and mentally prepared ourselves for the days ahead.

Day two was similar to day one, but with way more elevation gain.  We were off to Namche Bazarr, a famous outpost for tourists to stock up on modern commodities.  On the way up to Namche, we witnessed our first glimpse of Mount Everest – a spectacle like no other.  The town of Namche is a out of a fairytale book, it’s a town that is literally etched on the side of a mountain with each street a step higher in the hillside.  I was amazed at the dzos roaming by themselves, chickens running around, and merchants all along the streets.  I found a spot with a great view to call home for the night, and I prepared myself my favorite – ginger tea with my Primus stove.  

Camping and Cooking in Namche – Photo by JJ Yosh

If you haven’t used Primus stoves before, I highly recommend trying out their new Primetech stove because it makes cooking outside a breeze.  The base of the stove is sturdier than any other backpacking stove I’ve used before, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally knocking over that hot pot of water, which I’ve done in the past. OUCH!!!  The stove comes with a two liter double boiler pot – making clean up easier.  I typically fill the bottom pot with a little bit of water and then I place the second pot inside – this allows me to melt cheese and chocolate without burning the bottom of the pan.  If you have a sweet tooth like me, you’ll appreciate this feature, so you can make chocolate covered strawberries in the outdoors.

By day three, I was on adventure repeat – wake up to a beautiful sunrise, brew some ginger tea, eat breakfast, pack up, and journey on the trail.  Each day the elevation increased, the weather temperature decreased, and my excitement soared higher.  Day four we climbed towards one of the peaks that looked over all of the Khumde Valley.  My guide who accompanied me promised epic views of Everest, Lhotse, Ama Dablam, and other twenty thousand foot peaks.  So I put my worries aside and kept trekking ahead with undying excitement.  We reached the saddle and the clouds cleared away, revealing massive peaks in the distance.  No matter how many pictures and videos of Everest I’ve seen, it pales in comparison to the real thing.  I was already at an elevation of over fourteen thousand feet, with a several thousand foot drop below me, and in the distance were towering mountains twice as big.  My mind still cannot comprehend this.  

Brewing Tea Above the Clouds – Photo by JJ Yosh

I felt this was a time to celebrate the view – it was Tea Time.  Luckily I had my Primus Primetech stove with me, so I could brew fresh tea on the spot.  I quickly set up my stove and brewed – yep you guessed it – ginger tea.  In the backdrop you could see the giant Himalayan peaks peeking out above the clouds.  I felt elated to be so high up and so close to my childhood dreams of climbing these colossal mountain beasts.  

What I love about climbing peaks are the unrivaled views which make it a snap to find the best seat in the house.  Once the tea was ready, I found the perfect rock chair to cement my experience and gently warmed my body with the Nepalese tea.  This tea was an elixir for my body, soothing it from all the trekking done so far.  I now understand why the Nepalese drink so much tea, especially high up in the Himalayas.  

Enjoying Tea Time – Photo by JJ Yosh

I must have spent hours on that rock, soaking in the high mountain views. It was literally the “high point” of my trip.  The rest of the journey was downhill from here.  We gradually made our way back to the village of Lukla, and from there flew to first Kathmandu, and then back to the states.  While I left the country of Nepal behind, I would never forget my tea time in the Himalayas. 

 

If you would like to see more pictures from my Nepal adventure – visit instagram.com/jj_yosh

For more information on Primus new stoves – visit www.primus.us and instagram.com/primus.us

 

 

 

 

 

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