Monday, 26 December 2011

Roof of the World

Friday 2 December (day 18): Dzonglha to Lobuche (4,930m) (16,269ft). Down one valley then up another one and I'm back on the Everest Base Camp route which runs alongside Khumba Glacier to the pleasant Up in The Clouds Lodge in Lobuche.
Saturday 3 (day 19): Lobuche to Gorak Shep 5,160m (17,028ft), on to Kala Patthar 5,550m (18,315ft) and back to Lobuche. This is a long day gently uphill at first, where I meet David and Kate again who are heading down, I'm sure we'll meet up again. For me it's onward and up over Changri Nup Glacier before arriving at Gorak Shep's Buddha Lodge for lunch. In the afternoon it's two hours steeply up to the summit of Kala Patthar for spectacular views of Everest hiding behind the far more spectacular shoulder of Nuptse. The icy western flank of Nuptse is alive with the loud cracking of avalanches, most small, one quite large. Clouds of white snow cascade down the mountainside. This is fantastic, almost close enough to touch.
I'm breathing hard when I reach the flag-draped peak of Kala Patthar. So much so that I'm nearly caught up by two teenage Aussie girls, daughters of the couple who waded through the glacial meltwater stream.
The views back down to the moaning and creaking Khumbu Glacier and Gorak Shep are almost surreal. Great day. It's dark when I get back to Up in the Clouds Lodge.
I've decided not to head to Everest Base Camp as there's not much to see - at this time of the year all that remains of the Everest mountaineering expeditions is their trash.
Roof of the World photos.

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