Everest Base Camp – Day 9, Dingboche to Chukhung

In today’s installments of weird dreams, I was waiting in line to buy a donut with David Bowie (wearing crazy tall platform shoes) and I kept singing the Bowie Is In Space song to him but he pretended like he had never heard of it or them. Overall I slept much better though, even though it was chilly, even with my polyprops on inside my sleeping bag.

Today we hiked toward Chukhung, on the way out to Island Peak. It is the gateway, more-or-less, to Kali La, the first of the 3 passes. So far everyone has told us that it’s too dangerous, or too snowy to cross. But it’s all 2nd hand knowledge, so we’ll head that way and found out for sure.

Now there's a good sign

Now there’s a good sign


 

And we made it in 2 hours! Walked up a valley with gradual climbs and lots of yaks. More great mountain views, but especially after yesterday it was a bit of diminishing returns (aka the Coachella affect). It is desolate up here; no animals, no trees, no anything except for rocks and snow. I don’t feel the AMS too much, but am super tired and a bit hyperventilating.

Chukhung Guest House

Chukhung Guest House

Island Peak loomed large, and even more impressive was a cool perfectly cylindrical peak next to it (that I never found the name of.) Made it to a warm sun room and played some Cards Against Humanity with a big group of Irish trekkers. (Whom we met by me humming a bit of “Little Talks” and a dude named Achille chiming in with a well-timed “Hey!” followed by a slightly embarrassed “well what did you expect” expression.)

Mountains in the morning

Mountains in the morning

They were only up for the day, and the only people staying here are a really cool Israeli couple who defy all stereotypes. They both ordered dhal bat and explained “In Isreal, we prefer quantity over quality.” Without thinking, I replied “Is that why Israeli couscous is so big?” They didn’t find it all that funny. The guy looks so much like Luke Wilson that I keep expecting him to admit that he is.

Snow Yak

Snow Yak

But I’ve buried the lead a bit. We found out the pass is open! It will be an epic day of scaling Chukhung Ri–5500 meters, and then the next day a 12 hour day over the pass.

We’re already a third of the way through the hike. Weird.

UPDATE

Oh man. It’s snowing pretty damn hard now, and has been for the last couple hours. The lodge owner keeps shaking his head and saying “This is not good for you.”

Day 9
From/To: Dingboche to Chukhung
Elevation: 4730 meters
Lodge: Chukhung Resort
Budget: 1090

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