Everest Base Camp Trek & Island Peak Climb: Trekking to Pheriche
Leaving Deboche this morning we walked through the last of the rhododendron and pine trees of the Khumbu, climbing higher into the valley where only small shrubs and juniper grow. We crossed back over the Dudh Kosi river on a narrow bridge and walked past rows upon rows of Mani stones and chortens, eventually reaching the small village of Pangboche. There, we paid a visit to Lama Geshe, the renown spiritual leader. Chanting in his native tongue of Tibetan, he blessed us on our journey into the mountains, writing a letter to Chomolungma, the goddess of Everest, requesting safe passage for us. Finally, laughing a deep soulful laugh each time he pronounced our anglophone names, he strung a small red string and then kata scarf around our necks, before wishing us good luck.
The day remained clear and we had wonderful views of Ama Dablam soaring above us as left Pangboche, climbing further up the valley towards the impressive south face of Lhotse. Eventually, we reached a split in the valley, where the rivers diverge, one coming from Island Peak and the other from Everest’s Khumbu Glacier. Following the Dudh Kosi towards Everest, we climbed up and over a shallow pass on the trail before dropping into the village of Pheriche. There Ang Nuru, a vibrant and energetic sherpa happily welcomed us into his teahouse, making us comfortable in the wonderfully decorated dining room.
In the afternoon we strolled over the the Himalayan Rescue Association’s Pheriche Clinic and listened to a discussion on altitude by the western doctors here. Tim bravely volunteered to climb into the Gamow Bag, a portable hyperbaric chamber, where the staff of the HRA pumped it up and brought Tim down to an elevation of less than 9,000’ below Lukla where we started the trek. It was a quick ascent back to 14,000’ when he emerged!
The team is doing very well and excited to be here. Tomorrow we are going for a day hike above Pheriche and then returning to the teahouse to celebrate Mark’s birthday. We are sending our best to everyone at home.
RMI Guide Linden Mallory