Sunday, April 22, 2012
Day 20 - EBC to Pheriche
Actually that break provided the energy I was missing for the long day. With the climbers up on the mountain, the base camp staff took a much needed and extremely well deserved break. The bloom was off the rose and that meant that I had a light camper's breakfast: oatmeal. I should have eaten more because my butt was dragging from EBC to Gorak Shep. I left EBC at 8:40am and arrived in Gorak Shep at 11am. After lots of food and a good rest, I kicked it into gear, left Gorak Shep at 12:30pm and made it to Lobuche at 2pm. I hung out in the same lodge that we had spent two nights in on the way up, drinking some black tea, downing a litter of water and a Clif Shot; pressing on at 2:30pm.
The guy at Lobuche estimated it was about a 3.5 hour walk down to Pheriche. Doing the math I was a tiny bit concerned about daylight. I rocked it non-stop down to Pheriche with plenty of sunshine to spare. In fact it was a perfect day for trekking - the typical afternoon clouds with snow never came. When I arrived I checked my watch and was surprised to see it was only 4:30pm. Boo-yah!
Going from 17,500 ft. down to 14,200 ft. in one day certain provides a ton of extra oxygen to breath. It feels good. I'm just typing this in at the lodge over tea and popcorn waiting for dinner at 6pm. AND in walks AAI guide Ben Jones. Ben is on his way back up to base camp after successfully guiding two clients up Island Peak and walking them down to Lukla. Pretty cool that we are able to have dinner together and hang out.
Tomorrow Ben will walk all the way up to EBC while I will head down to Namche. To get to Namche I will have to climb up to the Tengboche Monastery and then back down to the river at Phunki Tenga before climbing back up again to Namche. Should be a 6-8 hour day. I'm hoping to get into Namche in the mid-afternoon to check out the shops again.
One step closer to home!