Despite pulling a Postal Service and sleeping at such great heights, I slept much better last night. Part of it was sleeping in my hiking socks and hat, sure. The requisite weird-ass dreams, of course, but some solid chunks of sleep mixed in.
We made it to Gorak Shop in almost 2 hours. Passed everyone we’d been hiking with before we split off to Chukhung on their way back. We were all a bit sore and tired but feeling good and passing large groups of identical glad people. At one point, I slipped pretty good. Jaime looked back, “Ah yup, I saw that ice there. I went around out.”
Still picking myself up, I kind snapped. “Guess that makes you pretty smart and me pretty dumb, huh?”
Jamie nodded assent and repeated “Best to go around the ice like I did.” Moments later, Ashraf was shoved off the trail by a waddling penguin of a woman. Nonetheless, ’twas a lovely walk, despite its lack of oxygen. We found a room in a guesthouse owned by quite the jolly fellow. Only 100 rupees each! Put down our bags, put on more sunscreen, and out to EBC went we.
It was a hard walk, lots and lots of meters up, and some down just to mix it up. Then we had a steep descent and started walking across the glacier. There were mountains everywhere, the sky was brilliantly blue, the glaciers had such interesting shapes and nuances and colors–for pure visual ZOMG, it was no worse than Tinboche Ri Walking across the glacier was exhausting, over scree and ice and loose rocks. There were splits in the glacier were you could see 30 meters down. Very cool. Also saw some cute little pikkas.
5364 meters. That’s how high Everest Base Camp is. While everyone talks about how boring it is, no one mentions how beautiful the valley is. We were there too early to meet climbers, and there were only a handful of Nepalis carving out flat areas for the rich westerners to sleep on. (The glacier moves every year and so this is an annual task.)
There was a rockslide on the way back that caused Ashraf and I to sprint out of the way. Overall, the way back was quicker; the book said the round trip should be 6 hours but we finished it in under 4 and-a-half .
Came back to eat some veggie fried potatoes and relax, but my Kindle was broken. Bummer! Despair! Woe! What will I do when we stop hiking each day?
Lobuche to Gorak Shep
WAY too many pictures but I just couldn’t cut them down anymore.