Trekking – day 187

Start: Gorak Shep @ 13.37. (5,140m)

End: Dughla @ 16.46 (4,620m)

Distance: 9.8km

A slightly painful start to our trek back down the valley, scaling the difficult landscape as the previous day without the added anticipation / adrenaline of seeing EBC. Passed several trekkers en route going towards Gorak Shep who were clearly struggling – I felt sorry for them as this part of the trail is really tough.   Made it back to Lobuche relatively quickly and bumped into a Chilean man who was part of the ‘Seniors to the Summit’ team. Chatted to him for a bit before continuing our descent to Dughla. Bumped into the French film crew at the Thokla pass and spoke to the director for a bit before being told off for causing a traffic jam (at 4,830m!!).  Made it back to the Yak lodge and had some hot lemon to warm up and raise blood sugar levels! Spent an evening in the toasty warm dining room watching a group of Chinese tourists being pampered with their own chef and hot water bottles… Wonder how much they paid for their tour?!? Clearly not in our budget range!!!

Monday 11th April 2016

Kala Patthar side trip – day 187

Start: Gorak Shep @ 8.44 (5,140m)

Arrived: KP summit @ 11.24 (5,550m)

Distance: 8.8km

The Lonely Planet recommends that one chooses between EBC and Kala Patthar, stating that most people only have he energy to complete one trek. Having both had a solid 5 hours sleep and then sleep filled of weird dreams and sounds from our neighbours, we both woke up ready to give the summit a try… And now we understand why most people only do one! The ascent to the summit was steep and, at over 5,000m, I sounded like I smoked 40 cigarettes a day! A pit stop mid way where we seriously considered giving up before powering (a.k.a. shuffling, complaining and crying!) up to the summit. We were rewarded with panoramic views and the clouds lifted for some stunning views of Everest. Top of the World from Kala PattarWe celebrated yesterday’s and today’s achievement with a Coke, Fanta and a Twix – FYI, they all taste very different at altitude! It was also so cold that the Twix was pretty much frozen solid. Took some photos of the views with us in front of Everest before the cold and the bitter, relentless wind forced us to make our descent.  (Un)surprisingly, much quicker to walk down although it wasn’t particularly easy given the nature of the path – I certainly slipped down on several occasions. Was relatively painless in comparison to the ascent although we got caught on several occasions being polite to let people pass us only to get stuck for ages as they struggled up on the narrow path. Got back to Gorak Shep and headed back to the tea lodge to collect our big bag and settle our bill. Decided to have some lunch before setting off back down to Lobuche (and beyond!) so ordered us both a noodle soup.Monday 11th April 2016