A planned rest day in Pheriche. Just like last year, we took a morning hike up the hill behind town.This hill is actually the medial moraine of the Khumbu glacier, which deposited masses of stone and earth here millennia ago.It has since retreated, and has left a beautiful acclimatization route in its wake.
Views of Tamsierku, Kantega, Ama Dablam, Island Peak, Nuptse, Lobuche, Cholatse, and Tawoche were amazing.I even sneaked in a time-lapse video looking down valley, and it looks pretty cool.
We topped out just above 15,000 feet for the day, which is perfect for this purpose.
After lunch we visited the HRA clinic.The Himalayan Rescue Association is a very impressive outfit.Volunteer physicians and paid staff operate three clinics in the mountains of Nepal: One in Pheriche, one up valley at EBC, and one in Manag. For years they have provided a leadership role in providing medical care not only to climbers and trekkers for a reasonable fee, but also to everyone who lives in the region—virtually free of cost.Their actions last year during the quake were essential and certainly saved lives.Today we met with two lovely volunteers from Switzerland—a medical doctor and a psychologist / mountain guide, very cool combination.They provided a similar coaching session to the one we had last time, succinct but full of good advice.
I was humbled to see a new extension of the memorial to those lost on the mountain… the original monument is no longer large enough, and so a new one has been affixed to the HRA clinic wall.Fifteen names are bolted to it, all from the quake.I believe the official tally is higher, at 19, but perhaps some of the fallen remain unidentified.
This is a place that runs strong with emotion for me… not only the memorial, but also the location just next door where we spent the night on the way out and tried to drown our sorrows with endless rounds of beer, rum, and eggy chang.Pheriche has been restored. Perhaps, in a way, I seek a kind of personal restoration here, too.
Word of the day: Introspective.
posted: April 6, 2016
Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World