Everest Base Camp Trek: Arriving in Lobuche

Posted by: Linden Mallory | March 23, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 16,175'

Another beautiful day greeted us this morning. After breakfast we reluctantly said goodbye to the accommodations and staff of our tea-house in Pheriche and set off up the valley. The trail ran through small clumps of juniper and back and forth across streams running down from the hillsides, reaching a collection of stone buildings and fields where yaks are pastured in the evenings. The vegetation continued to thin out, the grass getting shorter and eventually the juniper bushes disappearing from the landscape as we made our way higher. Eventually we began the ascent to Thokla Pass, a climb up the toe of the moraine created by the forward push of the Khumbu Glacier. Although a moderate climb in length and height, the elevation makes it challenging and we spent the better part of two hours picking our way up the hillside.

Partway up is the small “village” of Thokla, in reality little more than two tea-houses sheltered from the winds that blow up the valley, but the perfect breaking spot for trekkers and yak herders making their way up the climb. We sat in the sun for a few minutes resting and sipping on tea before resuming our ascent, reaching the top of Thokla Pass at well over 15,000’ by midday. Built along the ridgelines of the pass are dozens of small chortens, each one paying tribute to climbers and Sherpas that have lost their lives on Mt. Everest. With views out to the surrounding mountains and prayer flags streaming from the many memorials, it is a solemn place that commemorates many famous climbers.

Continuing from the top of the pass we ascended into a shallow valley that runs parallel to the Khumbu Glacier, finding our way among the boulders and rocks that border a small stream that was completely frozen over, even in the midday sun. After another hour of walking we reached our tea-house in the village of Lobuche. Tucked into a small recess in the side of the valley, Lobuche was traditionally a summer grazing grounds for herds of yaks but now is more popular with trekkers and climbing expeditions on their way to Everest. Although the landscape is quite barren around us, our tea-house is warm and comfortable in the midday sun. We have all been surprised at how warm the temperatures have been the past few days. We settled into the tea-house and spent final part of the afternoon sipping on tea and reading, focusing on breathing well, even at rest, as we adjust to these higher altitudes.

Tomorrow we head to Gorak Shep, the last village before Everest Base Camp, and hope to climb to the summit of Kala Patar above it in the afternoon if the weather cooperates. The team continues to do well and sends their best to everyone at home.

RMI Guide Linden Mallory

The team in Pheriche this morning.  Photo: Linden Mallory Reaching the top of Thokla Pass.  Photo: Linden Mallory

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Comments

Jane: So glad things are going so well! Stay warm. Must be amazing. Tell Laura hi.
Teri

Posted by: Teri on 3/25/2012 at 8:26 am

Enjoying the blog.  Sounds like its starting to get colder at night, but we know you all are prepared for it.

Can’t wait to hear how the last leg to base camp goes for you all. 

Weather here remains unseasonably warm and all flowers, azaleas, dogwoods, etc. blooming easy.  They should all be in full bloom and ready for you when you return.

Posted by: john on 3/24/2012 at 11:06 am

Hi Jane - Wow is this amazing. I am overwhelmed by the incredible photos and envious of your trek. I can’t wait till you return and I can hear your words and see your face. Love,P.

Posted by: Pam Heavner on 3/24/2012 at 6:42 am

Mom- (Lucy)
I was so relieved to read that the weather is warmer than expected (I remember that worried conversation about the negative 50 degree weather) and I liked reading about how Lobuche used to be a grazing ground for herds of yaks.  I’m so proud of you and I miss you so much. keep it up!
-also I just saw the hunger games and you will LOVE it, its amazing!

-Elise

Posted by: Elise on 3/23/2012 at 11:52 pm

Hope you all are feeling as good as you look in the picture!  Can’t wait to see all of the photos from the trip.  Glad to see global warming isn’t just affecting Richmond - we’ll keep praying for warm weather.  Been a long week on the road for me, so don’t have any update from what is going on here other than the Tar Heels just escaped a huge upset in overtime against the 13th seed, and the Hunger Games was released (Katie has asked me 5 times already). 

Two more days to go to base camp - you’re almost there girls!

Mike

Posted by: Mike Hogan on 3/23/2012 at 6:42 pm

Way to go team!  Glued to the Linden and DMB’s blogs. You have inspired me to make the deposit for Ecuador. Keep up the good work!

Posted by: Mac on 3/23/2012 at 5:28 pm

GO Team, GO.  Congrats to all.

Posted by: John on 3/23/2012 at 2:05 pm

Looks like another glorious day for a trek!! The photos appear almost cut and past due to the contrast in the terrain. Renee- glad your ankles are strong. Lots of hugs and smiles from warm Richmond. Elsie

Posted by: Elsie on 3/23/2012 at 12:39 pm

Looks like you all have had a wonderful day hiking to Thokla Pass- the photos almost look like cut and paste because of the dramatic contrast of terrain. Just glorious. Renee- glad your ankles are strong. Lots of love from warm Richmond. elsie

Posted by: Elsie Bemiss on 3/23/2012 at 12:34 pm

I am SOO glad the weather has been more than cooperative! I continue to be amazed at your progress and the amazing country and culture you have encountered.  And the pictures!!  Linden - what kind of camera are you using?? Or is the scenery (and the lovely ladies) just too good a picture to mess up? Thank you for your blog.

Posted by: Holly on 3/23/2012 at 11:31 am

Keep it up, Team.  You’re almost there.  No skiiing on the glacier!

Posted by: Hugh on 3/23/2012 at 11:09 am

Great picture of the group - glad everyone is doing so well and you are making such good progress. I know that you are excited to be close. Has anyone reached sunyata yet? Go Team EBC (or has Dana Marie come up with a name and T-shirts yet?)

Posted by: Thurston on 3/23/2012 at 10:13 am

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