In my efforts to keep the blog updated, I am assisted greatly by the wifi here in the airport waiting area! First good connection in many weeks…. I will resume where the blog left off, exactly a month ago, with a post from 4-5-15.
Lots has happened since then… But I will not edit these posts in any way, they were all written in real-time and have been sitting on my laptop, ready to go. It is sad, in a way, now knowing of the tragedy of the quake. At the time, of course, we had no idea it was coming. So, here you go… will keep updating these as time permits when I am back in the states.
Big move today! Out of Pheriche, the last true town we will see until the end of the expedition, and up to Lobuche base camp.
Leaving Pheriche was a stunning surprise: Pure sunshine! The snowfall from the prior evening stopped somewhere in the wee hours, and we were left with beautiful conditions and a world purified with a thin dusting of white. Totally different from what we had expected, in a good way. Yak paddies surrounded by stone fences looked like they belonged in The Hobbit. Gradual trudge up to the tiny hamlet of Dukla, where we enjoyed hot drinks and the company of adorable feral dogs.
Higher still, we finally encountered true snow, which was a couple feet deep as we pulled into camp. The staff here have spent DAYS shoveling down to bare ground and setting up the tents, making it a very enjoyable place to stay. In a sense, the trek to this point has been a bit of a test, a gauntlet of tea houses where we were never fully in charge of the hygiene or air quality. Here, we are truly in a campsite that IMG has built, and things are warm and bright and cheerful and private and quiet and under our control. And, the view is stunning with the austere, massive, sheer face of Cholatse watching over us from across the valley. We will spend three nights here, further acclimatizing before moving to EBC.
posted: May 5, 2015
Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World