Day 9 Gorak Shep 5180m., Kala Patthar 5550m. to Labuche 4910m.
0430 start in the hope of getting to the summit of Kala Patthar in time to see the sun rise over the summit of Everest. It was bright outside already and we only needed our head torches to navigate our way out of the guest house area and down onto the flat. This used to be a shallow lake but is dry now. Kala Patthar is a boring, brown stone heap of stone and short dead grass, however, it affords great views of the Everest Himalaya Range. We didnt quite make it to the top before in time but did stop to watch and photograph the first burst of sunlight.
Mt Everest is back centre.
Ama Dablam back down the valley.
Pumo Ri at 7165m. dwarfs us from behind. At 5550m. I hit the wall. Had felt the beginnings of a cold coming on last night but had been feeling fine. However, the climb this morning I found very tiring. 40m. altitude from the top I decided to stop and have a good rest while Lea and Nima went on to the top.
I had a drink, something to eat and another half Diamox. By the time Lea and Nima came back down I was feeling much better, enjoying the views and the warmth of the sun.
Back at the hotel we tucked into a big breakfast. Unfortunately Lea’s soft boiled eggs were more like warm raw eggs. No apology or offer to replace them. AS there was no running water for us to filter we had to buy water at $4.50USD per litre. The others had started to climb Kala Pitthar 2 hours after us so after a bask in the warm sun we heade back down to Labuche on our own. The weather stayed clear but a cold wind blew up the valley. We had a great lunch back at the EBC Guesthouse and as the manager had a family connection with Pema we were upgraded to a room with attached ensuite at no extra charge. We had to wait a couple of hours for our luggage to arrive and were hanging out for a hot shower.
When the luggage finally arrived Lea was organised in a flash for a shower only to be told we had to wait another hour because we had just come down from altitude. The hot water can cause peripheral blood vessel dilation leading to collapse in the shower. We remebered we had talked to someone up at Gorak Shep whose daughter had experienced that problem.
At last in the luxury of a hot ($6.00USD) shower Lea lingered and washed her hair and clothes.
Fresh Chicken had just been flown in by helicopter so a roast chicken dinner was fabulous. We caught up with Micheal, a guy we had bumped into a few times. His plans to climb Island Peak at 6000m. were dashed as his son, Jordon, had bombed out with severe Altitude Sickness at Dingboche and had returned to Namche Bazaar. Micheal was keen to at least reach EBC.