|Norm & Grace if you are reading this it's for you. Everyone says hi and all of us miss you!
It's been 4 days since my last update and so much to report. It is currently 4:45 pm on Tuesday April 16th and I am in the Rivendell Lodge in Debuche.
It was quite a trek up to Gorak Shep. Everyone paid the price somewhat. Between Laboche and Gorak Shep Mary had a small melt down. We thought she might need some oxygen but after a little snack & some good drugs from Eoin she toughed it out and was feeling better by the time we got there.
The trek was very tough with many hills to climb. Having said that the Weather was spectacular and the scenery even better. Everyone mad it to Gorak Shep. Al Keely & Al McDonald were there first around noon and after a quick snack headed out to Base Camp. It's about a 4-5 hour round trip. Next was Rob & Jen. They left about a half hour later. Al & Al both made it to Base Camp and were back around 5:30 pm. Rob & Jen decided to turn back with only about 1/2 hour to go. The weather turned and it was windy, cold and snowing.
The rest of us decided to skip Base Camp and save our selves for the next morning and the hike up to Kala Patthar. Al Keely had already done Kala Patthar on a previous trip. As he didn't make Base Camp on his previous trip that was his main goal. Although Base Camp is pretty cool you can't see Everest from there and it's a long hike.
Everyone with the exception of Carol made it to the top of Kala Patthar. She was on Oxygen very early on in the hike and Eoin decided to send her down. He had Ngima Yangji walk with her to Labuche where they rented a horse to take her the rest of the way to Periche. She recovered nicely and is still trekking with us.
The trek from Gorak Shep up to Kala Patthar was one one of the hardest things Mary & I have ever done. We were already at 17,000 feet and the elevation gain was over 1400 feet to 5545 meters. Staight up!! We got up at 4;30 am with a 5:15 start. Bill, Carol, Sharon, Mary & Eoin and I left at this time. Al McDonald, Rob, Jen, & Kami left at 6:00 am.
The sun was just coming up but we climbed in the shade for over 2 hours. It was bitterly cold but it got better once the sun started to shine on us. Mary, Bill, & I were the last ones up. It took us over 4 hours to get there. Slow & steady worked for us. Eoin stayed back with Carol but everyone else made it up to the top.
no matter how hard it was it was worth every bit of it. The view was spectacular! There wasn't a cloud in the sky and Everest stood out in all it's glory. We took lots of pictures but didn't want to stay at that altitude for too long. It took us about an hour to get down and we were exhausted.
We all met in the sun room at the Tea House and had lunch. Bill and Eoin were both suffering from AMS and weren't doing too well. At 12:15 pm we all took off for the trek down to Periche. We wanted to get down to a decent altitude before anyone else got sick. Bill & Eoin toughed it out and it was a long, long 7 hour trek back to Periche. We got in at 7pm. Bill was on Oxygen for the last half hour, went to bed right away and slept with the oxygen all night.
I am happy to report that both Bill & Carol were fully recovered in the morning and were able to continue.
We left Periche at 9:30 am for a very pleasant trek down to Debuche where we are resting nicely in one of the better tea house we have seen. The owner is an Aunt of Kami our Sherpa guide.
Tomorrow we wil be trekking for about 6 hours down to Namche Bazaar. Over night there and then on to Ghat where we stay at Kami's tea house. After that it's on to Lukla and a flight tot he 5 star resort Eoin has us booked into. We are all looking forward to that!!
I will update again when there is more to report.