IMG_3297, a photo by kurthu on Flickr.
Today we moved up from Dingboche at 4350m to Lobuche at 4940m. That's 14,271 ft. to 16,207 ft. or a gain of 2,000 ft. The trail was pretty mellow incline for a while affording us views down into the Lobuche Khola river valley including the village of Pheriche. Once again the clouds rolled in and we didn't get the peak views. Light snow started at 10am and continued off and on all day, falling the hardest just as we finally approached our objective of Lobuche in the early afternoon.
About half way through the day we reached the village of Dughla for a short break and some soup before tackling the day's big challenge of climbing up the terminus of the Khumbu Glacier. We switched back our way of the 800 ft. elevation gain. At the top a collection of stone memorials dotted the landscape. I felt as if we were taking a break in a cemetery. The memorials honor climbers and Sherpa that did not make it back from Everest. I sat just below the stone memorial to Scott Fisher, who was one of the guides killed in the 1996 Everest disaster that Jon Krakauer wrote about in his book "Into Thin Air". It was kind of eerie.
Beyond this the trail continued up following the glacier for much longer than I was expecting. By the time we reached Lobuche, I had begun to feel the effects of the altitude for the first time. No headache or nausea, just more of a slight dizziness. I'm working on my breathing and don't feel the need for diamox yet. But I will be watching.
Once again, we are all hanging out in the dining room. The late lunch of chicken cordon blu with potatoes was served around 2pm. Quite good!
It is quite noticeably colder up here and everyone plans to spend as little time as possible in the unheated rooms. The trekkers are in a lodge just a couple over because the lodges are much smaller up here. They will move on to Gorak Shep tomorrow, while the climbers will spend the day further acclimatizing here at Lobuche. Part of the strategy is also to stagger the 42 people that make of our total group as resources become scarcer as we move up. For example, base camp would have a hard time serving lunch to the entire group at one time.
I think tomorrow we will visit the Italian Research Center Pyramid where one of the webcams on this blog is located. That should be cool, or perhaps, cold.