Trekking in Nepal – Everest Trek Schedule 13

Monday 6th November
After waking at 5:30 a.m. I went outside to watch the sunrise over Ama Dablam. Yesterday’s walk had taken a lot out of me so I will give Chukhung a miss on the way back to Namche. There is not enough time to see both Chukhung and the Mani Rimdu festival. Peter and I have decided to go as far as Lobuche and stay there for the night. Paul is going further ahead to Gorak Shep. After a hearty breakfast we went our separate ways. No doubt we’ll see Paul again.

One hour into our walk it was time for a rest. I took my rucksack off and sat down to admire the scenery. Suddenly my rucksack started tumbling down the mountain. It was like watching a film in slow motion, and without thinking I ran after it. I don’t know what came over me because it was a very stupid thing to do. One slip and I could have fallen several hundred feet down the mountain. Anyway, I managed to catch it after about twenty metres and only got a few scratches and bruises as a result of my efforts.

Peter said he could not believe what he had seen. He had just watched in open-eyed amazement. All’s well that ends well. If the rucksack had continued its journey it would have ended up in the lake (Tshola Tsho) below. Going after my rucksack was far more dangerous than yesterday’s climb. Funnily enough I felt no fear, whereas yesterday I had been rather apprehensive. Fortunately nothing was damaged although my rucksack did look a little battered.

After that narrow escape we continued to Lobuche without any further ado. It was difficult to tell which route to take because there are no signs or cairns on this stretch. The long route via Dughla was taken by accident. At Dughla we stopped for some tea and a Mars bar. Lobuche was another two hours away so we didn’t stop for long. Immediately beyond Dughla is a steep hill that is particularly tough on the legs, especially if you’re carrying a heavy backpack. This climb, about 250 metres of nothing but uphill switchbacks, is a serious test. All trekkers going to Base Camp suffer on this steep slope. At the ridge crest (4840m) there are groups of stones in a line commemorating people who have died making this ascent.

From here there is an hour’s gentle climb. After reaching a plateau, the trail then continues on the west side of the glacier passing over several icy streams. It heads northeast to Lobuche (4940m) after crossing another stream of melt-water. This small hamlet nestles below the terminal moraine of a tributary glacier.

We arrived in Lobuche at around 1 p.m. and got a bed at the Lobuche Guest Lodge. Glenna met us, outside our lodgings, on her way down from Kala Pattar. I did some washing and hung my clothes on the line. It was so cold that they started to freeze so I took them inside to dry.

Lunch was vegetable soup and fried eggs on toast. The latter was delicious so I had second helpings. There were a few yaks grazing. I took an excellent photo of Peter grabbing a yak by the horn. It was really funny but the yak’s owner didn’t look very impressed!

Peter showed me his lucky pouch that his girlfriend had given him to take on his travels. He has had it since an accident two years ago. Apparently he had been cycling to Nagarkot and had hung on to a truck for an easy ride. Well, the truck made a turning causing him to fall off his bike. The result was two broken ribs! Peter is a good bloke, a typical Aussie, with a great sense of humour.

I had my first shower since Khumjung six days ago. It was very refreshing and I feel a lot cleaner. For dinner there was vegetable soup followed by fried potatoes with egg and cheese. Afterwards everyone gathered round the fire to keep warm. A trekking group camping outside joined us because it was so cold.