Big day today, as we moved from LBC to EBC.I remember this day well from last year: Long, stunningly beautiful, painful, exhausting.
Pretty much a repeat of that experience… except there is NO SNOW on the route, temperatures are a bit warmer, and I am not nearly as ill as I was last time.(I did develop a small cough after the return from Zhongla yesterday, but no big deal.)
Again, as last year, a beautiful bluebird day out of the gate.Views up and down the Khumbu were amazing.
Things looked surprisingly good at Lobuche town, where the tea houses had been rebuilt nicely.The fecal stream running through the middle of town had no icebergs floating in it… warmer than last year for sure.
One feature I recall well from last year was a short rise, which we dubbed Cougher’s Hill, because we all hacked up a lung when we reached the top… this time, we are mostly in much better health, and this was no big thing to get over.
A short break at Gorak Shep was welcome… and was stunning in terms of the difference vs last year, when the streets ran thick with mud and half-frozen yak dung, necessitating a delicate dance from stone to stone in order to avoid getting a boot full of brown liquid.This year, the path was beautiful, clean, wide, white sand as far as the eye can see.
As usual, things clouded over and cooled off in the evening.I felt chilled as we gained a view of EBC: It looked smaller and less populated than last year, but this is only my first impression and not a scientifically validated study!
Hard day.But a good one.It felt like coming home.IMG EBC is in the exact same place as last year, a very auspicious site that is safe and well-sited.This time, things are largely reorganized to accommodate new rivers and streams that have formed.The Hybrid team tent site is sheltered from much of the prevailing wind, and off the main trail, so it feels downright cozy.
A posh dinner in a well-appointed tent was very welcome, as was unpacking my climbing kit was a bit like Christmas day… and Santa knew exactly what to get me!
Rest in a warm tent.Not much better than that… Tomorrow, more organization and moving in.
Word of the day: Homestead
posted: April 8, 2016
Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World