Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles.
It might have been a mistake to tent at 4800m (15,750ft). I was 12hrs huddling, full clothed, in the sleeping bag with my electronics. (Freezing the batteries would kill them.)
Next morning neither of my lighters wanted to function. My boots and stove were frozen solid.
After much fussing, I finally managed to light the stove … to unthaw my boots enough to get my feet into them. Yeesh!
Fact is, I’m one of the only independent hikers carrying a tent. (People thought I was crazy to carry the weight when rooms cost less than $3 and restaurants are available every hour along the main trails.)
But I enjoy sleeping in a tent. You feel much more connected with the mountains.
Happily the morning dawned sunny, cold and clear.
Everyone had the same idea … RUSH to Everest to see the summit in good weather. The world’s highest mountain’s notoriously hostile microclimate oft has the peak in cloud. It had been shrouded for at least the past week.
But for me that would mean over 800m elevation gain in one day. Risky.
hmmm … I decided to go for it.
Gorak Shep 5164m (translation Dead Ravens) is the last village before Mt Everest.
I’d heard some bad things about these remote guest houses. But I loved the outpost. One of my favourite stops on the entire trek.
After lunch I psyched up for the 2hr climb up this deceptively easy looking “hill”, Kala Patthar. 5643m (18,513ft). It has a couple of false summits.
The intimidating mountain in the background is Pumori 7161m (23,494 ft).
Most agree that the best viewpoint of Mt Everest from the south is from the brown top of that lump. That said, there truly are no great hiking trail vistas of Everest from the south. All it’s neighbours look higher and more impressive.
As usual, it was very windy at the top of Kala Patthar.
But I was thrilled to have made it here with such good visibility.
Everyone was thankful we had been so “lucky” with the weather.
At this point I felt my trek had already been a “success”. The rest would be bonus.
all photos from day 8
… on to day 9