Everest Basecamp Trek and Island Peak Climb: Gorak Shep

Posted by: | April 02, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 17,000'

The group was up early this morning, despite encountering the coldest temperatures of the trip thus far - our water bottles lightly icing up even in the teahouse. However, we quickly shook off the cold within a few minutes of starting off, warming up as we walked out of Lobuche. An hour’s walk brought us to the edge of the Khangri Glacier, a tributary flowing into the main Khumbu Glacier just to our side. We climbed up the moraine of the Khangri and began the weaving traverse over its rock strewn surface, climbing up and down over the uneven terrain. Part way through we reached a high point and we’re treated to fantastic views further up the valley, even catching glimpses of the tents at Everest BC.

By late morning we reached our teahouse at Gorak Shep, the last cluster of buildings before BC. We paused for a cup of tea and after refilling our bottles we set out to climb Kala Patar, a rocky outcropping that sits across the valley from Everest. The team climbed very strongly, the benefits of our acclimatization over the past ten days clearly visible, and within a couple of hours we reached Kala Patar’s prayer flag strewn summit. At 18,500’ Kala Patar has phenomenal views looking down over Everest BC and the Khumbu Icefall as well as to its summit, the Hillary Step, South Summit, South Col, and part of the Lhotse Face. In addition to Everest, we could see over the Lho La Pass to Changatse in Tibet as well as south down the valley, picking out the peaks of Tamserku, Katenga, and Ama Dablam which we walked past earlier.

Despite the clear skies and amazing views the winds were blowing strongly and we were forced to raise our voices to be heard over the fluttering prayer flags. The temperature was quite cold with the wind and before too long we set off back down the trail, returning to Gorak Shep where a late lunch of soup and tea helped rewarm us.

We’ve spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing in Gorak Shep. We had a great day and are thrilled to have had such great weather and views from Kala Patar. Tomorrow we cover the final stretch to Everest Base Camp where we will spend a couple of nights sleeping on the ice in RMI’s Everest Expedition camp. We will check in tomorrow from BC.

RMI Guide Linden Mallory

The group on top of Kala Patar, looking out towards Everest behind.  Photo: Linden Mallory Kate pausing above the Khumbu Glacier on the trail to Gorak Shep.  Photo: Linden Mallory

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Comments

Hi Tim!  I am missing you so much, but in a good way!  LOVING the dispatches and pictures!  I hope you are keeping a good journal so you can tell us EVERYTHING!  I can’t wait!  Everything is good at home.  I have had the crud, but am feeling MUCH better today!  Piss and vinegar coming back. HA!  Bridger misses your warm lap at night, and so do I!  Have done 2 commission checks and didn’t screw up!  Yay me!  I should be helping you pay company bills. Once in a while! :)  I adore you and look forward to the 16th!  But, I want this good experience to last for you.  You are living your dreams!  I couldn’t be more proud of you!

Posted by: Deb McLaughlin on 4/4/2011 at 11:14 am

I am fine since tooth pulled—Dad left his message kinda hanging.  Yesterday, Sat., 4/2/11 AM the sun was shining, bright blue skies so I jumped in my hot tub clothes, went outside and promptly turned around and headed back in the house!!  It was extremely cold and windy—What a wimp!  How did I ever birth a child who actually LIVES for cold and windy!!!! Ha—Cudos to you, Timmer.  Stay safe all of you.  I depend on them to take care of my son—Yeah, I know, nuff Mom talk.  Love ya, Mom

Posted by: Mom Mac on 4/3/2011 at 11:22 am

Hi Tim, We finally figured out how to send you a message. It sounds like you are handling the altitudes well and must be in good enough shape for the trip. Make sure you take lots of pictures. I give my Kiwanis Club a weekly update of your hike. Just returned from Anacortes where Mom had a tooth pulled that was infected. Weather starting to turn good here, finally. Love Ya, Dad

Posted by: Bob McLaughlin on 4/3/2011 at 11:14 am

Hey bro!  A Cuban in the Himalaya?  That’s a McLaughlin, baby!!  Keep living the dream!  Us grunts will keep the fort down at sea level in the meantime. ;)  And, that weather—AWESOME!  We actually saw blue sky for about 30 minutes yesterday in Oregon!  Gawd…  Now, the important stuff:  It’s official, UCONN vs. Butler in the National Who Gives a Rats Arse NCAA Championship game.  And, no, my pool didn’t go so well.  Keep up the fun in the Himalayan sun!  See you soon back at sea level on the OR coast in June!

Posted by: Dan McLaughlin on 4/3/2011 at 7:44 am

Saw the picture of you all and I am sure you were cold but look great. Figured that on the 4 and 5 you will be at base camp.Way to go. Lots of love and prayers Love Mom Those mountains look breath taking.

Posted by: Cornelia Miller on 4/3/2011 at 7:13 am

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