Start: 13,900 ft End: 15,800 ft Highest Elevation: 16,100 ft Total Time: 4hr 30min
Today we reached the base camp for climbing Loboche (summit around 21,000 ft). This mountain will get climbed by most of the group that we are with. Some of the members in our group are here for the sole purpose of climbing Loboche while the Everest climbers will summit several times for training purposes. In fact the Everest climbers will spend one night sleeping on the summit to help acclimatize. They will climb this peak in order to minimize the number of times they must traverse the treacherous icefall where the danger of avalanches and crevasses looms large.
The hike today was very straightforward, which allows more time to take in the incredible scenery. We left Pheroche at our usual time of 8am and headed out a dry/frozen river bed towards Loboche. The entire hike was a very slow gradual climb which turned into fairly steep climb. I really enjoy days like today where we spend nearly the entire day climbing because it’s demoralizing to have to climb down with the knowledge I will have to make all that altitude back up.
Right before the trail got steep we passed through the town of Dughla where we were cautioned not to stop unless we wanted to get sick. This steep section was the first section I felt back to 100% after being sick, which was an incredible feeling. I got to spend most of the hike climbing right alongside the Yak that was carrying my duffel bag. If I had to carry my own bag I wouldn’t have made it more than a few steps up the mountain.
I did find out that we’ve only been seeing Yaks for the last few days. Apparently true Yaks don’t like to go below around 12,000 feet and therefore for lower altitudes the Sherpas use a Yak/Cow hybrid with a complicated/incredibly cool sounding name that escapes me at the moment.
Tonight will be our first of 6 nights in tents as we stay in the base camps before heading back to the realm of tea houses (we each get our own tent!). I am definitely spoiled being on such as well run expedition as a part of my dad’s climb. Tomorrow we have a rest day before the final push up to Everest Base Camp!