Everest Basecamp Trek & Lobuche: Knoff, Smith & Team Trek to Gorak Shep, Enjoying the Views
This morning came as both a blessing and a curse. Most of our previous evenings have transitioned nicely from our enjoyable group dinner into bed time which we naturally gravitate towards around 8:30 or 9. On paper this trip offers yak loads of down time and should, if played right, give each of us a solid 9 hours of shuteye.
But we all know plans, as perfect as they may seem, play out far differently than the spreadsheet says they should. Just ask Vladimir Putin about that.
But thankfully none of us are crazy, demented humans and simply get a bit sidetracked with issues such as stomach funkiness, altitude weirdness and in the case of last night, a pack barking dogs. There were only four of them, I know because I chased them around the village of Lobuche at 2 am with rocks and a ski pole, but nothing would make them stop. We were sleeping at an altitude of 16,000 feet so it wasn’t the easiest anyway but never had I heard nonstop dog shouting for 8 hours straight. So this morning was a blessing because they finally shut up when the sun hit but a curse because I was tired and cold and just wanted to stay in bed. But we had miles to cover!
After our standard breakfast, complete with dog stories, admissions of no sleep and an eagerness to get on the trail, we slung our packs and followed our Sherpa leader Dawa. The path started easy but soon steepened and became a lot more rugged when we began to cross a small glacier. Our objective was the last village of Gorak Shep, before getting to Everest Base Camp tomorrow. A steady three hour stroll landed us on target with views of Nuptse and Everest dominating the views up ahead. The day was perfect and we knew our hike up a ridge line to a small summit called Kala Patar was going to be stunning.
We powered down some lunch and headed out. The trail head was conveniently located two minutes from our lodge so before we could say yak cheese we were head up. The summit sits at 18,500 feet which we achieved an hour and a half after leaving. The vistas were as good as advertised and no matter how man times you see it, one can’t help but to be blown away by the size and power of the Everest cirque. We could also see Base Camp far below and got excited to go there tomorrow.
By 3 the clouds began to move up the valley, like they do every day at that time so it motivated us to descend and go get some tea.
Now we are resting before dinner and our schedule horizontal time. This isn’t planned, it’s a product of challenging days and a demanding environment. Plus it keeps us healthy.
Stay tuned for our journey to EBC tomorrow.