Day 9 – Surviving the Long Day

View along the trail

View along the trail

Start: 12,500 ft     End: 14,000 ft     Highest Elevation: 14,200 ft     Total Time: 7hr 30mins

Before starting this blog post I’d like to say thank you to my girlfriend Olivia for all her love and support. Hi :)

We woke up today knowing that today would be a long and difficult day but it is one step closer to Base Camp (one of three trekking days left!) and we would have a rest day afterward to recover.

We continued our normal routine of duffel bags outside for the Sherpas before breakfast at 7am. We had our usual main breakfast of eggs and toast with butter and jam after a surprising addition of corn flakes with warm milk.

The day was broken out into three segments, with tea and lunch providing the breaks between the three. The first segment out of Phortse was a moderate climb along the side of a mountain with sizeable up and downs. These would continue until we re-joined the main trail, which has more gradual climbs and falls.

This type of trekking is a unique experience from other athletic things I’ve done in my life because the goal is to stay at a pace that I could maintain forever. We will speed up or slow down depending on the terrain to maintain a constant level of exertion; similar to the way a cyclist will shift up or down depending on the terrain.

As we got close to finishing the second segment and were approaching lunch, a group of 10 yaks with packs were heading towards us on the trail. This by itself is not an unusual occurance, my dad and I stepped off to the side of the trail to avoid them. My mom however decided to hide behind a giant rock in the middle of the trail allowing the yaks to flow around on either side. Unfortunately, one yak didn’t quite get the message and hopped up on that rock staring down my mom. After a few tense moments she was able to telepathically communicate with the yak diverting it around her safely, thus causing her to be dubbed, the “Yak Whisperer.”

We left lunch and immediately noticed the wind had picked up significantly. Mercifully it was blowing at our backs, pushing us along the trail and towards our destination. The cold began to bite, reminding us that we were at high altitude in the Himalayas.

Post the questions you have about our trek so far in the comments of this post and I will try to answer as many of them as I can during our rest day tomorrow.


  1. Louise Williams - April 6, 2012

    Glad to hear that Leslie survived the Yak attack, but a Yak should know to never stare down a
    Mom. A Mom will always win out in the end!
    I am interested in knowing more about the villages we see in the pictures. It appears there are some rather large buildings. Are these lodges? Do people reside year round in these villages?
    Also, please tell your Dad we are anxiously waiting for his blog to be up and running. : )


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