- On 22nd August, 2019
The village is located on crescent shaped mountain slopes that offer stunning views of the mountains across the valley. It is a grueling 3 to 4 hour climb up from the river to Namche, and at 3,500 metres, it is possible to suffer altitude sickness here. Therefore, it is advisable to spend at least two nights in the village to acclimatize.
Traditionally the village was a trading post, with locals bartering yak cheese and butter for agricultural goods grown at lower altitudes. However, after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's successful climb of Everest in 1953, the dynamics of the village changed forever as climbers and trekkers soon followed in their wake. At first the groups came in a trickle, but in the 1960s and 1970s this turned into a torrent, and being located at a confluence of trekking trails, Namche was best served to meet their needs. In addition, as Namche is the first place on the Khumbu trek that is above altitude sickness threshold, most travelers prefer to spend at least two nights here in order to acclimatize. Still, despite the village's popularity with trekkers, geographical restraints have contained its growth, and it remains a small settlement with no more than 60 dwellings.
The winters are cold and dry, while summers are warm, but characterized by persistent mist, and so the spectacular mountain peaks often lost from view. The best time to visit the area is from mid-September to mid-November when it is still not too cold and the air is at its most pristine, affording crystal clear views of the mountain scenery. Spring is also a good time to visit Namche, though due to the higher proportion of dust in the air, the mountain views lack the clarity of autumn. However, to compensate, the hedgerows and wild flowers are in full bloom in April and May and bring a dash of colour to the mountain paths.
The trek from Lukla to Namche can be done in one full day, but unless you are experienced at trekking at high altitude and extremely fit, taking two days over the journey is strongly recommended. Many people who rush to Namche suffer altitude sickness and have to be brought down again the following day.