Local time: 11 April 18:00
Weather: Sunny in the morning becoming overcast in the afternoon.
It’s Tim here, checking in from Lobuche.
We left Pheriche at about 9:00am this morning. Everybody was feeling well and we made good time to reach Dugla at 10:30. Dugla is about half way up our 700m ascent and we had planned to have lunch there. Since we were early for lunch, and we were all feeling well, we continued onwards after a short tea break. We made good time and reached Lobuche by 12:15pm. It is really good that our group completed the last significant ascent of our trek into basecamp in good shape.
Today was our first glimpse of the Khumbu glacier. We first saw the rocks that have been carried or pushed downwards by the moving ice. Next we saw the water flowing from underneath the glacier. The water is incredibly cold! It definitely felt a lot colder than 0 degrees Celsius. Perhaps the science buffs out there can answer the question if moving water can be colder than 0 without freezing. If so how much colder? We did notice that stagnant water was frozen. Later today or tomorrow we will walk over to the glacier proper where the ice is clearly visible.
We are fortunate that Asian Trekking own the best lodge in Lobuche. This has been talked about and looked forward to for a few days now. As I write this, there are 7 people including me lined up to take advantage of the hot shower. The shower costs about $8AUD each, but I think lodge management could triple the price without any decrease in demand. Hopefully this will mean that photos posted tomorrow will again resemble the family member or friend you saw off at the airport less than two weeks ago. The downside of having such a nice lodge (including large carpeted rooms) is that all the teams are clambering to stay here. It was difficult to find a seat in the dining lounge.
After some debate we have slightly modified our plans for the remaining trek into basecamp. You may remember that we stayed 3 nights in Namche instead of the planned 2 nights. This put us 1 day behind schedule. Our basecamp manager, P Temba, is keen to get into basecamp and finalize the remaining logistics. Since, we are feeling well, we will only stay one night here and leave early tomorrow for Gorak Shep. If the weather is good we will climb Kala Patar in the morning before returning to Gorak Shep. The next day we will trek into basecamp. We have some flexibility around these days and some people may choose to stay an extra day here before trekking directly into basecamp.
It does feel that we are close to reaching our destination now. We can see the valley that will take us to basecamp. Already Paul is planning a full schedule for the two days Dame and I are at basecamp. Staying at basecamp will be an unique experience and one that is not normally available to trekkers.
Steve & MC,
Thanks for your messages. I am trying to take good care of my throat, including sleeping with a balaclava on to minimize the irritation of cold air on my throat. The extra day in Pheriche has also helped. Paul.
Thanks for the email. Everyone got a good laugh out of it. You may be onto something though with your suggestion of internet sourcing, as one of the guys in the group has tried without success to find Viagra at three chemists! Paul.
Corinna – from Rudi
Hello to whole family and to the everybody to who knows me, and of course to my two beautiful girls.
Thanks very much for the update on the troops. I was not aware that we had suffered such significant casualties, and my condolences go out to their friends and family. I am indeed the Air Force Captain – and thanks for your support! Its a really great crew we got here, and I am having a great time! Thanks for the updates on international and national events – its handy to have an ear to the ground! On behalf of all Canadians here – Go Canada Go!
Dear Dad (E.W. Giesecke),
Thanks for the greetings. Glad the family got together over Easter. I missed being there. I am with a very good group of climbers/trekkers. We are going to Gorak Shep (5100 M) tomorrow and will be base camp the day after tomorrow. The number of expeditions going up is staggering…base camp may be a somewhat inhospitable circus but I am looking forward to it and am feeling strong now that I am over my first round of illnesses. On the trail, I try to keep up with Rudi who is an Austrian powerhouse, no easy task!
It is all going better than hoped. All my best to mother and pass on my love to Cheryl also. Love, Steve
Beck (Adler II),
Thanks for your messages. Good to know the Ballarat Adlers are off to a good start in the footy tipping. Well done on your number one placing! Say hello to Adrian. You will be pleased to know that I have access to hot water for the first time in a long while and have been able to have a shave so am looking slightly more respectable. It was great talking to you again today. Love, Dame
Good thinking! That point had not arisen …in our thinking. Paul.
Andrew and Liz,
The water does not freeze while we are enroute to basecamp. Higher up I will use a specially designed insulating cover for my Nalgene bottle, and also keep the bottle inside my jacket. I also use a thermos.
Dad & Mary,
Yep. We are definitely taking our time, especially compared to some of the other teams who are doing the same trek in 3 days less. The weather is getting cold and colder.
You are right on about the oxygen. Paul would like to address the question of his motivation from basecamp when he has more time to reflect upon it. There is not much going on at basecamp so there will be plenty of time.
It is definitely weird thinking you guys will be walking along the exact same dusty paths we are walking on. I was going to mention it to Fiona to pass onto your trek group, but it would be a good idea to have a dust proof cover for your camera. My cover did not completely cover my camera, and now my S80 does not work. I think I will be able to get travel insurance to pay for it. I am borrowing one of Paul’s spare cameras.
The porters are normally from the low lands, and are not as used to the altitude as the Sherpas are. If they don’t acclimatise as Westerners need to they can run into trouble. Hope to see you in BKK.
All the best,