Day 9: Helicopter back and Loboche
October 5, 2014
Today my Singaporean friend, who I’ll refer to as “A” took a helicopter back to Kathmandu. We were all sad to see him go but knew it was for the best. He has been miserable for several days now, and he just wasn’t getting better.
The thing about being at high altitude is that you don’t get better when you’re this high up. Even simple wounds don’t heal. So…he was only going to get sicker. The interesting thing about altitude sickness, it can hit anyone. If it were based on fitness, he would have been fine. He’s a personal trainer back in Singapore, and the guy is all muscle. We all miss him.
My other Singaporean friend, “S,” is struggling too, but she just might make it to base camp.
Raj stayed with “A” to help arrange the helicopter transport, so the rest of us went with our three porters to Tukla where were to have lunch. At Tukla, we met up with another Ace the Himalaya group and the guide said he’d help get us to Loboche until our guide, Raj could meet up with us. This other group has one of the Australians who stayed with his friend who had to get helicoptered down a few days earlier. The other guy is from England and is a professional photographer. Fun to be with them.
Everest Base Camp Trek Day by Day Index
Today, we had some reasonably steep walking to do and then it was Nepali flat for most of it. We covered a lot of ground, and we’re now above 16,200 feet. The weather has been gorgeous in the mornings and then by about two the clouds roll in and the temperature drops. We saw snow for the first time around five tonight at Loboche.
Because we’re walking with another guide, it makes it so the faster people can go with one and the slower people can go with the other. I was finally able to walk at a good pace today and made it to the guesthouse at a decent time. It felt terrific. One of the hardest parts of this whole trip has been going so very slow and taking so many breaks.
On the one hand, it made it very unlikely that I would get altitude sickness, but I kept getting cold because I wasn’t expending enough energy to stay warm and it made the bathroom breaks further apart. So…today was pleasant. I’m hoping we can work that out the next few days so I can get to Base Camp and Kala Patthar at a decent time before the clouds roll in and before the views are gone.
Tomorrow’s the day. Tomorrow we go to Base Camp. We will hike up to Gorek shep which used to be the original base camp and drop off our duffels, and then we’ll hike another 1.5 to 2 hours to Base Camp. We’re leaving at 6:30 to try and get there at a good time before the clouds roll in. So very excited. I have enjoyed the entire journey up here, but am excited to see the actual base camp. We all earned every step of the way there.
I’m still feeling very good. A slight headache off and on. Today I noticed going uphill was a little harder than it has been, but I still feel good. I know I’m getting heavenly help, so thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers. I truly can feel them, and it’s making a huge difference.
Off to bed for now. Tomorrow’s a very long day. We’re so close!!
Day 10: 17,500 feet and 55% less Oxygen
October 6, 2014
I made it!!! 🙂 I totally made it!! I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s thoughts, prayers, and lots of heavenly help. I seriously am doing better than I should be. I rarely get winded except for on the steep hills. I have more energy than normal, and except for a cough and runny nose, I’m good to go. Not me folks. I’m getting serious blessings from heaven.
Today was a very long day. We were awake at 5 and trekking by 6:30. We had to get to Gorek Shep and drop off our bags and then make it to Everest Base Camp before the clouds rolled in and made things too cold. To Gorek Shep it took about 4 hours. A quick lunch and we headed out to base camp which was a rough trail. Lots and lots of rocks and boulders. It required lots of scrambling, which I don’t mind at all. It took us 3 hours to get to base camp though and then another 2.5 back.
We saw fantastic views of Lhotse, Nuptse and Pumori. We saw the very tip of Everest a few times, but it was hiding behind Lhotse and the clouds. I did get a few pictures, but I’m hoping to get better shots tomorrow. We saw and walked along the Khumbu glacier which is enormous. We saw and heard three different avalanches from the different mountains. As we walked, you could hear cracking and creaking because the Khumbu glacier is moving and shifting. It’s a little eerie.
I’ve run out of words to describe what it’s like here. All I can say is that I am in awe of the majesty and beauty that surrounds us. It’s peaceful and being here feeds my soul in a way. I’m sad in a way that we made it to base camp, and the journey is coming to an end. Others in the group have been counting down the days, and I have just tried to hold on and enjoy every moment and experience.
Basecamp was awesome!! There was a sign with rocks and prayer flags where we took our picture. Actual basecamp is still a little further up, and there are a few tents up there. That’s a little strange since summit season isn’t until the spring, so who knows why they are there. You could see the Khumbu Icefall fairly well, but there wasn’t a way we could get close enough to see it without a special permit.
My Singaporean friend,”S,” didn’t make it. She started out, but only got halfway. She was exhausted, and she just couldn’t physically do it. I know she was disappointed to have gotten so close and not make it, but she just couldn’t physically do it.
Tomorrow’s another big day. We get up at 4 and will hike to Kala Pattar which is where we should get fantastic views of Everest, Lhotse, and Nuptse and maybe even the sunrise if we make it up there quick enough. We then will hike all the way back to Pengboche I believe, so easily another 10 hour day.
I am happy and tired and so very, very pleased. 🙂 It’s been an incredible journey to this point. Thanks again for everyone’s prayers.