Local Time: April 16, 2007. 18.30
Weather: Fine for most of the day. Windy and overcast in late afternoon.
It’s Damien coming to you from Pheriche.
Today saw the end of our (Tim and I) three day stay at base camp. This morning we packed up, said our good-byes and began our hike back down to Lukla.
We have had a fantastic time with Paul, the other team members and the Sherpas on the trek in and have enjoyed listening to their stories and individual Everest dreams. It was difficult saying goodbye, especially to Paul but we know he is in good hands as he attempts to achieve his Everest.
The Trek Back
We are planning to trek back to Lukla from Base Camp in three days. Today we completed day one without any difficulties. This involved walking from Base Camp, to Gorak Shep, Lobuche, Dughla and then finally to Pheriche where we are staying overnight. We made excellent time and couldn’t believe that what took us 3 – 4 days going up only took us 6 hrs going down. Coming down is physically easier, although it requires a different set of muscles that can become uncomfortable. Additionally we can come down faster than going up as we do not have to worry about altitude sickness due to increases in altitude.
The New Scenery
I was struck by the amazing scenery of mountains, rivers, towns and farms on the way up to Base Camp. Coming down however I did not expect to be as awestruck as we are simply taking the same path in reverse. I found however today that heading in the opposite direction yielded a whole new experience. There is so much to take in that on the way back I saw many things I had initially missed. Also the different viewing perspective on the return trip revealed aspects I had not noticed or appreciated on the way in. I suspect that one could always find new scenery to marvel at here no matter how many times you may have passed by.
Tomorrow we are planning to head off early for what is likely to be the toughest of our three day decent. Our planned destination is Namche Bazar. While today we were descending consistently, tomorrow we have will have several ups and downs to get to our final destination.
Hi Beck (sis),
Thanks for your message. Not long for you now!!!! I am excited for you and the others coming in soon because I know what an unbelievable adventure and experience you are in for. Not sure the steamed sandwiches would take off at home 🙂
Hi Dad and Mary,
We really enjoyed talking to you also. We had a great day exploring and even ventured slightly up the icefall…although not has far as you went Mary!! They don’t have any ropes on the lower part this year so were limited to what the grip on our trekking shoes could handle. That is our excuse anyway…some might argue that we are just not as brave as you. The ice fall structures were fantastic to see.
Great to hear from you. We have been having a fantastic time with Paul and are now enjoying our hike out. Of course as soon as we get home we will be glued to the website to follow Paul’s adventure further.
Congrats on the executive committee meeting. Congrats to Biz also on the medical school acceptance. It is a good sign for her other Boston applications. Day 1 of the hike out has been great. The next two days will be a little tougher. The altitude is working for us now, because as we descend we feel stronger and stronger with the increased ease of breathing oxygen. Going up to base camp it just felt like we were out of shape as we were huffing and puffing up the smallest of inclines. The shoes have been perfect. I felt validated when I noticed that many of the climbers used the same shoes for the trek in as I had purchased.
Cheers, see you soon,
The scenery here changes each day depending on the altitude. Up high there is basically nothing but rock, ice and snow. No risk of bushfire! Down low it is much more diverse with green pastures, grass and flowers. I was talking to your Dad just before I left…sounds like they were very lucky to escape the bushfires. Say hi to Chris.
Thanks for your message, it is great hearing from you. I was surprised by Base Camp also. I expected ice and snow but not the piles and piles of rock as well. We have been having a great time. Say hi to Danny. See you soon.