I’ve been out of touch for a while (obviously). And it’s not for a lack of effort. I even lugged the laptop to the summit of 20,000ft Lobuche East in the hopes of a shaky cell connection to send an update. Anyhow, here’s what we’ve been up to:
Since my last post in Namche Bazar, the largest village of the Khumbu, we continued trekking higher and higher. We went through Tengboche and visited the famous monastery there before spending the night at Deboche, the last village in the rhododendron forest before the trek turns to the alpine. We then trekked up through Pangboche, where we were blessed by Lama Geshe, and continued on to Dingboche at 14,250 ft. Dingboche, in general, wasn’t the best to our group, with several team members suffering from altitude sickness and GI issues. The rest day there seemed only to worsen the problems. From Dingboche, we trekked up to our Lobuche base camp.
Our acclimatization plan is a bit different than early expeditions. In order to minimize trips through the dangerous Khumbu icefall, we opted to try gain a more thorough acclimatization on nearby Lobuche East (20,000 ft). Lobuche base camp was a very clean and comfortable home for last week. We spent some rest days, a day acclimatizing to high camp, and then the Everest team members and I even went up and spent a night on the summit. It’s actually the first time I’ve camped on the summit of a peak, let alone a 6000m peak in the heart of the world’s highest mountains. We had beautiful 360 degree views and it felt like we could just reach out and touch Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, Pumori, Ama Dablam and thousands of other giants.
Overall, I’ve been acclimatizing extremely well, and took a single tylenol, my first medicine of the trip, to subdue a mild headache on the summit. Our team is getting along really well and we have some great characters from Sweden, Indonesia, Poland and the US.