Start: Thukla/Dughla @ 7.25 (4,620m)
End: Lobuche @ 9.20 (4,910m)
Acclimatisation trek: 9.2km (Lobuche to Lobuche pass to Pyramid)
Both woke up relatively refreshed after one of our better nights sleep whilst trekking. Had breakfast whilst we listened to the tour group bitch, moan and basically act like spoilt brats. We were both delighted to leave the warm to begin the freezing cold ascent to Lobuche to escape them! The climb was relatively painless after our acclimatisation yesterday, even if the bags slowed us down a bit. Checked into the hotel, drank a hot mango and watched someone being medi-evac’d out of the village (after meeting at least 4 people walking down the mountain this morning due to AMS). Went for a small acclimatisation walk to the ridge above the town to look for the nearby glacier. Wandered around for a bit before heading back to the hotel to wash our socks and our hair – neither was particularly pleasant – water at this altitude is bitterly cold!! Jayne accused me of torture!
Bumped into the same woman we were chatting to last night and we had lunch together. She is going to head back down tomorrow as she wasn’t feeling too well and has already visited EBC before. We decided to have another acclimatisation walk so headed in the direction of Gorak Shep (our stop tomorrow). Didn’t want to rush ourselves too much so agreed we’d only walk for one hour – we still managed 2.2km at over 5,000m!! Started walking back to Lobuche, taking a detour to the Italian research facility, locally known as the Pyramid. Got a free tour to look at the equipment and learn about the work they do – we were both geeks and were fascinated by the entire tour! The guy pointed out various machines that measure the environment, including an earthquake ‘shed’ and a weather station that is pretty much supplied and funded by NASA. In the lab, the sterilising machine had frozen so they were washing the sample bottles in the toilet (which is heated!!). Headed back to the hotel for dinner, listening to several different tour groups make their plans for EBC tomorrow. A couple of rounds of UNO before bed.
Saturday 9th April 2016