Everest Base Camp Trek & Island Peak Climb - Lobuche: In the Upper Khumbu

Posted by: | April 01, 2011
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 16,175'

The other guests in the teahouse joined us in singing Mark a Happy Birthday last night when Ang Nuru brought out the chocolate cake. Blowing out the candles, Mark served us all delicious slices of cake, a nice treat before we turned in for the evening.

This morning again broke calm and clear, the shadows keeping the temperatures brisk until the sun climbed high enough to peek over the mountains surrounding mountains and reach the valley floor. Leaving Pheriche, we climbed up the gentle valley bottom, passing dozens of yaks grazing among the stunted bushes. Several yak trains came streaming down the trail, the yaks unburdened by their loads left at Base Camp and eager to descend to the better pastures around Pheriche.

By late morning we finished the climb up to Thukla Pass where the trail climbs from the valley floor up the terminal morraine of the Khumbu Glacier - the giant pile of debris several thousand feet tall that was pushed forward by the Khumbu Glacier as it descended from the higher peaks above. The pass, not a true saddle but a shoulder we pass over that gives access to the shallow valley that runs along the side of the glacier, is also where dozens and dozens of chortens and memorials have been erected over the years for climbers, Sherpa and Western alike, who have lost their lives in the peaks above. Standing among the chortens and streaming prayer flags while gazing out at the surrounding peaks above is a sobering yet spectacular sight and we all took a moment to ourselves to sit there and appreciate it.

Continuing on from Thokla Pass we ascended a shallow valley that sits between the mountains to the west and the lateral morraine of the Khumbu Glacier - the debris pushed along by the sides of the Glacier. We reached our teahouse in Lobuche by early afternoon and withdrew from the chilly breeze and harsh sun of these altitudes, sitting in the dining room and gazing out at the peaks across the valley. Lobuche is quite rustic compared to the villages below, formerly a summer grazing area for yaks and now also home to a few teahouses for trekkers and climbers. At over 16,000’ it is also very high and we spent the afternoon relaxing in the teahouse, sipping tea, reading, and giving our bodies time to adjust to the new elevations.

The team continues to do well, we are all having a great time and excited to be so close to Everest Base Camp. Tomorrow we will move to Gorak Shep, the final village before BC and if the weather is good make an afternoon climb to Kala Patar, an overlook at over 18,000’ that give us views over BC and to Everest.

RMI Guide Linden Mallory

Celebrating Mark's birthday in Pheriche.  Photo: Linden Mallory

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