Nepal Day 12: Lobuche

November 17, 2010

Day12

GoodbyeDingboche

JKSilhouette

It seems that we always start off our day with breakfast and tea followed by one big push up one big hill. The first hour of any hike is always the hardest. Your body refuses to accept that this is really happening, especially first thing in the morning. And where the is the oxygen? I would often power through by pretending I had yak legs or by pretending like I was some sort of badass in general. And when my mind would wander off too far – like to the beach or my bed at home – I would quickly bring it back. One step. (breathe in) One step. (breathe out) One step. (breathe in)…

I should also mention that it’s becoming hard to sleep. I’ll wake up in the night with my heart racing and head pounding. And I’ll hear Jeremy not breathing for 10 seconds and then take 2 big gasps of air in a row – and his breathing will repeat in that pattern like it’s no big deal. Rescue helicopters are still constantly running back and forth from Lukla. People with altitude sickness are now being sent down the mountain because they run serious risks if they push any farther.

TrailtoLobuche

PhericheDingboche

DreamHouse2

From now on when people ask me to describe my dream house it’s not going to be the typical “Oh you know, a pre-war brick home with a fireplace in my bedroom, a huge clawfoot tub and a kitchen with a retro wood burning stove.” My dream home now exists on a trail somewhere between Dingboche and Lobuche. It’s at the top of a hill and made from sticks and stones. You have to burn yak poop to stay warm but the view… and you know what they say location, location, location.

Lunch

We pushed just a little further on a very slight incline. At one point we witnessed a yak with it’s tail up in the air and acting rather agitated. Then we saw a few yaks on a hill above calling back and heading down towards this yak on lower ground. I totally thought we were about to witness a yak fight until Buddhi made it clear that we were about to witness some yak love. Then we all proceeded to take off our day packs and stand there for about an hour while these yaks dirty-talked to each other from hundreds of yards away. But alas, it was all talk and no action so we moved on.

So we made it to Dughla for lunch and this is really when I start to notice villages getting smaller. This village is pretty much two tea lodges and that’s it. However, Dughla was all but wiped away by a freak flood in 2007 when a natural dam holding a glacial lake in the Khumbu Glacier broke. The place was packed and buzzing with energy. Everyone is getting really close to where they want to go. After lunch we made our way up yet another huge and steep hill. My tactic for getting up this one was to take 20 steps at a time and then stop for 3 breaths and proceed until getting to the top.

And once we made it there we were rewarded with a really special stone memorial to honor Sherpas and climbers who perished on Everest.

MemorialFlags

Babu
When I was a baby I named my blanket, the thing that brought me most comfort in the whole world, Babu.

StoneMemorial1

ScottFischer

After spending a good amount of time recovering at the memorial we headed forward towards Lobuche. We were walking along a river bed in a valley for what seemed like days but the view was amazing. It took us about 8 hours total – so it was a long day.

LobucheStream

Tomorrow

We reached Lobuche and got settled into our rooms. I joined the rest of the crew for cards, dinner and warmth in the main dining area. The place smelled like toilet, yak dung was burning in the stove and I was sitting next to a Sherpa who took his shoes off to let his feet air out – it was like nothing I’ve ever smelled before. But even so, I felt so grateful to be there. Energy is high and it feels like Christmas Eve because tomorrow morning we will be making our final push to Everest Base Camp. We’re almost there.

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