24
Feb

The Air Gets Thin

By: muttler

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20/01/2018 – Acclimatisation in Dingboche (4350m)

Our second and last acclimatisation day heading up. We were getting precariously close to hitting the 5000m mark, so the plan is to get close to that, but then to head back down for bodies to rest up and have another good nights sleep before the few days pushing to base camp.

Even though it was a more relaxed day we still go going fairly early. Why? Well, in yesterday’s post I waxed lyrical about sunrise, so if there was another opportunity to see something spectacular, then we did it. Given sunrise is not actually that early (around 7:30am or so, depending on what peak it was poking above), we were all up and ready to go. As we got a bit above Dingboche we took some time to look back and see the sun come up directly behind Aba Dablam. Sun rising on Everest was one thing, but seeing the sun come up directly behind this stunning peak was something else. It was one of the most spectacular things I have ever seen.

 

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Upwards we went, passing stupas, prayer flags and yaks, eventually getting to 4900m. I was feeling pretty great, although you definitely felt quite different being the extra 500m up. I considered myself pretty lucky with how I was feeling, but to my credit I was being pretty vigilant with my water intake of 3-4 litres a day. Much of the crew was starting to feel the effects a little as well, so we were enjoying our rest and lemon, honey and ginger tea. There was a great small peak at our stop where we had an amazing view from Everest around to Ama Dablam. I doubt I would ever get tired of staring at these peaks.

We sat for a while soaking it in before heading back down at a pretty brisk pace. In no time we were back at the tea house, just in time for lunch and to relax the day away.

24
Feb

Above the Treeline

By: muttler
sun hits everest

sun hits everest

 

19/01/2018 – Tengboche (3880m) to Dingboche (4350m)

Early riser at home, and it seemed I was an early riser in Nepal too. Most of us were typically heading to bed fairly early which would mean that invariably I would be up before sunrise. Some mornings it was a good thing, and this morning it was amazing. Without leaving the comfort of my room (well, the room was cold so I guess the comfort of my sleeping bag) I watched sunrise over Everest. Yep, just think about that… sunrise on Mount Everest. One of those things that is likely once in a lifetime and something most people don’t get to see. One of a few emotional moments on the trip.

 

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Today we were heading above 4000m for the first time. Even though we were rising 400+m, it wasn’t going to be too strenuous as it was being done over 11km. We headed off at our usual 8am and had a gentle downward hike for a start. We were heading through what would be the last of the trees, as the treeline ended at around the 4000m mark. We headed down a little and then on our way back up. Nothing major, with a fairly gentle trek upward.

In no time at all we were at tea break, at around the 4000m mark, and from there just a short gentle upward hour or so (with just the odd set of steep steps) until lunch.

The landscape had well and truly changed by now. No trees, just the side of a mountain, and quite reminiscent of climbing Kilimanjaro at times (well, except for seeing the many other peaks surrounding us). At around 2pm we arrived at Dingboche. This was to be another two nighter, so that we could do some more acclimatisation tomorrow.

 

being greeted by one of the locals

being greeted by one of the locals

 

Once we settled in a few of us decided to explore town. Like everywhere so far, given it was low season the village was very quiet. In this case it was even quieter than the previous villages, with nothing open for us. It didn’t matter too much, although it made for a short walk. We did get to meet one of the lovely furry locals though! I am actually legitimately surprised there are so few hikers this time of year. Yes, it is meant to be the coldest time of the year, but outside of some slightly chilly evenings, we had experienced nothing but beautiful weather. Temperature through the day could get a little chilly at times, but given most the time is spent raising a sweat hiking, I would think it is the perfect time to go. Take note anyone who chances upon this blog!

Not much else to report for the rest of the day… dinner and more cards (yep, a lot of cards being played on this trip!) before rest.