Further up the Khumbu Valley to the town of Lobuche
Local Time: Fri 31st March, 8:15pm
Weather: Fine during the day,
but its cold now -10C
Hi all, it's Fiona here.
We've all made it further up the Khumbu Valley to the town of Lobuche today, putting us at an altitude of 4930 metres.
This morning started at 6:30am with "Sherpa Tea" served to us in our tent - even though we're camping, we're not yet going without some luxuries! (Sherpa Tea is sweet, milky tea.) We then had breakfast; today it was porridge, a pancake, and a hard boiled egg, and headed off at around 8am.
The landscape around us seems to change so dramatically each day we move further up the valley. Today we saw the last of the scrubby bushes and grasses disappear, to be replaced by steep, rocky slopes and increasingly more snow. Around the middle of the day, the landscape turned to moraine and icy rivers as we near the foot of the glacier. We had lunch in Dugla (also known as Thugla) and then continued on and up.
As usual, there were lots of yaks on the trail. We all laughed when we saw one yak helping itself to the hay being carried on the back of the yak in front of it! Not surprisingly, this one didn't need too much encouragement to keep walking from the yak hearders.
A couple of hours from our destination, we passed through a memorial spot with tombstones and manny stones to commemorate those climbers and sherpas that have died on Everest. A beautiful, peaceful place, but a very somber moment that was not lost on all, especially the climbers.
Lobuje is a small town that closes down each winter when the snow becomes too deep. This is the first time our group is not camped on the grounds of a teahouse - so we're using the dining tent that we'll be using at basecamp. When everyone is in it, it seems pretty warm but otherwise the temperature is pretty chilly. Paul and I have actually opened up our down jackets for the first time.
Bridget and Chris checked into the Eco-Lodge - one that's supposed to be the nicest in town. By the way, a few people have asked why they are staying in lodges while Paul and I are camping. Basically, our trek into basecamp is part of our overall expedition with International Mountain Guides (IMG). There is also a belief that by quarantining ourselves and staying away from the teahouses may prevent us from catching bugs - which could be debilitating for the climb. (However, we're obviously still talking to Chris and Bridget though!!) The tent camping is not too bad - our sherpa team makes sure we aren't doing it too rough.
Your Messages - questions, answers, comments
Marc's friend wanted to know how we are charging our sat phone, pda & camera. Well, we have two solar panels, one which has an integrated battery (it's called a Solio). This device works really well, because we can charge up the battery during the day and then charge whatever device we want when needed. Paul did modify the cables that were supplied with the Solio, because it only came with one to charge an Ipod. We now have a Usb and a car cigarette lighter interface. He also made an adapter to enable the Solio to be connected to another solar panel so that the battery can be charged faster.
Even though we seem to be having unbelievably good weather so far, no-one is making any predictions yet about the weather for the climbing season yet. Fingers crossed that it's a lot better than last year.
Thanks Joseph for posting your email to the site. We really liked it and thought everyone would like to know how you are helping Dasona's family. Since meeting Dasona in Namche we don't see him again until we reach basecamp - so will pass on your message then.
Tamara, Denis says Hi. He really loved getting your message. Specifically, he asked us to tell you, he "loves you madly and misses you badly". For those who don't know, Tamara and Dennis were married two weeks before Dennis left to climb Everest!
Rosemary and Dave wanted to know about the vegetation and smells. Well, as we've just mentioned, we are now past the point of any vegetation. Earlier in the trip there were some types of pines and something that looks like an Australian Snow Gum (but is not), and we passed through a rhodedendrum forest (which was not yet in bloom though).
Bye for now,
[Note from site admin: The team had trouble uploading photos today. Hopefully it will be working again tomorrow.]