After yesterday’s big day, today’s hike to Loboche was a little more user friendly. We climbed back up to the saddle above Dingboche to the small stupa and then descended a wee bit to the gently sloping peat covered bench that would escort us to Deboche. Right now, the peat is dry and brown but I am told that once the monsoon hits, they green right up and yak herders bring their yaks to eat and get strong.
There are several stone herder dwellings on the bench-some with permanent slate roofs and some that will have a blue tarp roof in season. Climber Smurf and I paused at this dwelling for a few pictures.
All of the dwellings are surrounded by rock walls that act as pens for the yaks. On one trip to Nepal, one of my Sherpas explained that yaks are weaker and can’t carry as much in spring as they can in fall since they spend the summer grazing. Hiking on the bench is great because there are expansive views both looking back from whence we came and looking forward to where we’re headed. Climber Smurf is looking back at Ama Dablam (the star of many of yesterday’s pictures).
Pumori is the triangular peak that Climber Smurf is looking toward. After two hours of walking, the bench drops to the Khumbu Glacier moraine at Dhugla. You can see the Dhugla Tea Houses at the left side of the picture. You can also see the trail that leads up to Memorial Hill.
We stopped for a hot drink there and then headed up the hill with just a slight pause at the memorial chortens for climbers who have died on Everest and surrounding peaks. It is always intense and sad to pass through and I always pause and reflect there on my ultimate goal of safe return. Today was no exception.
Another hour’s walk brought us to Loboche around noon just in time for lunch. I had garlic soup and fried potatoes with vegetables and an egg. There are a few more lodges/tea houses here in Loboche since I was last here in 2010. Our lodge is filling fast with trekkers heading both up to base camp and back down the Khumbu. Lots of people are coughing so so have my buff up as a bit of a barrier as I type this. I managed to wear it about half the hike again today. I am able to wear it all night which is great for giving my throat and lungs warm and humidified air to breathe. My cough continues to improve.
This picture is for Linda Cox. It’s my boots after I kicked them off today. Linda painted me a wonderful picture after one of my last Everest expeditions. It’s called “Journey’s End.” Linda also had cards printed of the painting to help with my fundraising and she’s recently gotten it framed for me. I wanted her to know I was thinking about her today when I saw my boots. Linda undertook a big Everest last summer when she completed the Tickle Swim for Mental Health from Portugal Cove to Bell Island. I hear she has plans for a big bicycle ride now as well.
Tonight is our last night indoors as we’ll arrive in base camp tomorrow. Everyone is looking forward to being there and getting into climb mode. The trek is an awesome walk and great for acclimatization and I highly recommend it as a life experience. The Everest Base Camp trek suffered little damage from the earthquake and it’s business as usual in the Khumbu.
Thanks for all the encouraging web site posts, Facebook posts, Twitter retweets, and texts to my sat phone. Your words and appreciation brighten my day and remind me of why I love to share my adventures with you. It’s a wonderful cycle of co-inspiration where our words encourage each other to keep on keeping on. If I miss replying or giving a shout-out, please forgive as I’m operating with limited and expensive internet/sat phone charges across several platforms and it’s easy to lose a message between my devices. Thank you thank you thank you for thinking of me and the entire expedition team. Your thoughts and prayers are very appreciated.