I slept well last night for the first time in quite a few days. I woke up at 6:30 AM, well before breakfast. Andrew was not too happy with me for being up so early, but it was an incredibly beautiful morning and I wanted to take it all in. This morning had the clearest skies we’d seen yet, and the mountains are simply stunning. Sam isn’t doing so well. He was sick all night and didn’t sleep much. He says he’s feeling ok to climb. Andrew isn’t feeling great either. He was accidentally taking malaria pills instead of the altitude pills.
We left at 9:15 AM to start hiking. Mike is doing ok, but he hasn’t felt great all trip. The first 2 hours were gradual uphill. Sam and Andrew were both struggling. We stopped for tea for about 45 minutes. Only Dan seems to still have an appetite. Two American girls warned us to take it slow and told us that they had gotten sick in Lobuche and had to descend. They were slowly heading back up now. After sitting for a bit Sam started to feel a little better. The second half of the hike was steep uphill over huge, intense white boulders. At the top of one of the climbs was an area that dozens of stone monuments honoring those that have perished on Everest. Mist swirled around us, and rained started to lightly fall. It was a somber and eerie place.
By the time we reached Lobuche at 2 PM, Sam and Andrew were exhausted and went straight to bed. Sam got up for dinner, but he was still out of it. We have one more day of climbing, then we start back down. If anyone can’t go up at this point, they have to go back down to the hospital at Pheriche, and their trip is over. We don’t have time to all go down and attempt a second climb. We would have to decide whether to descend as a group and all miss Basecamp or leave someone alone for a night with only a porter. Tomorrow is about 10 hours of hiking all the way to Basecamp then a descent down to Gorak Shep. Anyone who’s sick at Gorak Shep can stay there if they get that far, and possibly try for Basecamp the next day. But even the hike to Gorak Shep will be a challenge. We hadn’t talked about this before the trek. In hindsight we should have had a contingency plan for this. We’re hoping everyone feels ok to climb tomorrow, and we don’t have to make a decision about descending.
Date: 23 September 2011
Path: Dingboche to Lobuche
Where Did We Stay In Lobuche: Sherpa Guest House
Elevation: 4940m / 16207 ft
Hours hiking: 4
Hours hiking w/ stops: 5
Stay tuned for the Everest Base Camp Trek Journals Days 8-12
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