Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

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Unwinding at LBC

Everest 2016  •  April 5

Slept pretty well last night… we are now at 15,600 feet AMSL, and the low oxygen tension has a variety of effects. For one, I am having strange, vivid dreams.  Not bad, not good, just odd.  I think others on the team are, too.

Because this is a planned rest day, we were able to start with a leisurely 7:30 AM breakfast.  The sun hits the tents about 7:15, so this is a blessing… always easier to get moving when it’s warmer.

Meal time is always a fun social experiment. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Meal time is always a fun social experiment. (Photo: Justin Merle)
Not sure what Cristiano is doing here, but it looks cool. (Photo: Chris Hagerty)
Not sure what Cristiano is doing here, but it looks cool. (Photo: Chris Hagerty)

To aid in our acclimatization, we took a beautiful day hike up to the ridge that sits just above LBC.  We gained about 800 feet in under an hour, with spectacular scenery on all sides.  Calling down to LBC from our high point, sounding like a pack of scalded apes, we echoed throughout the uninhabited valley.  Righteous.

Leaving LBC below...
Leaving LBC below…
Siva is ready for adventure. (Photo: Chris Hagerty)
Siva is ready for adventure. (Photo: Chris Hagerty)
Gaining the ridge above LBC... stunning views all around.
Gaining the ridge above LBC… stunning views all around.
Not sure what this delicate flower is, but it's cool. Reminds me of stony polyp coral.
Not sure what this delicate flower is, but it’s cool. Reminds me of stony polyp coral.
Leaving LBC below...
Leaving LBC below…
Ascending the ridge above LBC. Camp below us to the right, village of Zhongla about 45 min walk to our left. Ahead: Lobuche.
Ascending the ridge above LBC. Camp below us to the right, village of Zhongla about 45 min walk to our left. Ahead: Lobuche.
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Closeup of Lobuche… lots less snow this year than last, so we may stick to the ice-rock interface on the right when we climb it in a few days.
Cholatse. I think my friend Fred is planning to climb this next year. Better him than me....
Cholatse. I think my friend Fred is planning to climb this next year. Better him than me….
Yiorgos and Susan, Cholatse in the background.
Yiorgos and Susan, Cholatse in the background.
Tunang and the Himalayan sky.
Tunang and the Himalayan sky.
Kim Hess Climbs.
Kim Hess Climbs.
I can chill with the best of them. (Photo: Chris Hagerty)
I can chill with the best of them. (Photo: Chris Hagerty)
Panorama from the ridge.
Panorama from the ridge.
Yiorgos is enthusiastic.
Yiorgos is enthusiastic.
Chris knows how to dress for the occasion.
Chris knows how to dress for the occasion.
So does Susan.
So does Susan.
Tunang and Mingma Tenzing know how to relax... once in a great while.
Tunang and Mingma Tenzing know how to relax… once in a great while.
The ridge beyond Cholatse, Zhongla nestled below the tan hill at center bottom.
The ridge beyond Cholatse, Zhongla nestled below the tan hill at center bottom.
Kazi is happy here!
Kazi is happy here!
Kim Hess on top.
Kim Hess on top.
Looking down at LBC.
Looking down at LBC.
Siva looking particularly rad.  (Photo: Emily Johnston)
Siva looking particularly rad. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
Taking in the rays at a break on the ridge.
Taking in the rays at a break on the ridge.
Group photo with self timer. We need to work on our composition.... Half of Emily's head is OK, right?
Group photo with self timer. We need to work on our composition…. Half of Emily’s head is OK, right?

Time for laundry, bucket showers, recharging batteries with the photovoltaics, and getting the blog lined up on my laptop.  Rumor has it that a village an hour away may have internet access, so I’m hoping to make a pilgrimage there tomorrow.

Finally, we had a lovely birthday celebration for Jerry, who turned 70 today.  He is in amazing shape!  And, the cook team did a fabulous job baking a delicious, moist cake for him.  Incredible at 15,800 feet!

How they baked such a tasty cake at this elevation is beyond me. MOIST and delicious!
How they baked such a tasty cake at this elevation is beyond me. MOIST and delicious!

5 thoughts on “Unwinding at LBC

  1. This is such a beautiful spiritual journey that I am privileged to follow. Your photos are spectacular. I am especially following my brother Roger. GO TEAM ROGER! Yvonne Sage

  2. Great pics, Paul. You’re looking great. Love those old Chinese thermoses in the “meal time” photo. As an exchange student in Beijing a quarter century ago, I was always amazed at how long they kept the water hot. Good example of old technology (glass cylinders suspended in an aluminum casing) working better than new technology. Just don’t knock one over; they’re fragile.

  3. Paul, your photos are superb. And so is your choice of what to shoot, and which shots to share. Your brief written updates are excellent, too. They give us all an immediate sense of what you and the team are doing, seeing, experiencing and enjoying. With just a few sentences, you give us so much. Keep posting. All of us who are following your blog will let you know immediately if you have altitude issues, which we’ll see in a second, if the photos get blurry or the sentences muddled. We’ve got your back! 😉

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