It was a COLD night and again not much sleep was to be had. I do remember that I dreamed I was teaching and the kids were not listening. Then I was visiting Interface, dancing to Journey in the lobby and then, when the president told me to stop, I pulled out a lightsaber and floated away. High altitude dreams are weird, man. Plus I was sharing a room with Jamie, who is a snorer of thunderous proportions.
It was cold enough that not only did the water in my bottle freeze, but so too did my sunscreen.
And it snowed most of the night. We had a pow-wow in the kitchen and took the lodge owner’s advice–heading back through Dingboche and back onto the main Everest Base Camp Trail. An hour out of town, I met a cool couple from Massachutes who had come over from Cho La, so at least that was possible.
Trucking along and at first it was a nice climb–we even saw a really cute puppy.
Then it as a hard, high climb, akin to the one from Thorung La to High Camp on the Annapurna Circuit. Then it was desolation–with scores of memorials to fallen climbers. We got higher and higher, and I felt felt mild headaches and it was difficult to catch my breath, but all of us were passing the other hikers.
Finally we reached Lobuche, which Mads found underwhelming but I really liked. Compared to Annapurna High Camp, which is 100 meters lower, it feels far less desolate.The lodge was playing music, which is great. And there are cool red and pink and green birds outside.
That means tomorrow is Base Camp! It feels so soon, and none of us are expecting it to be awesome but it is obligatory. We played some Zombie Dice and cards until it got dark.
For dinner, I had veg friend macaroni, which was not fried, nor much veg, nor, for that matter, consisting of any macaroni, but still kind of best-case-scenario. Sitting next to a german guy who is the spitting image of Bob Ross. One of his friends tried to beer snob me but didn’t even know what IBUs were! Or that there were styles of beer other than pilsner and lager. But the Germans were great–we talked football, nuclear power, hiking, and bread until the yak dung fire went out. My budget was low today because I skipped breakfast and lunch and just am overall finding it difficult to summon up much of an appetite.
From/To: Chukhung to Lobuche
Elevation: 4910 meters
Lodge: Alpine Inn
Budget: 720 rupees