Today started with breakfast at 8am and then a dash down to
Cafe 4410 as Nims was surprising me with a drop in visit to say hi and see how I was getting on, the helipad was behind the Cafe and we grabbed a quick coffee whilst we waited for Nims.
After a bit of a wait the sound of the heli coming up the valley announces NIms arrival and it’s soon on the helipad, it’s great to have a quick catch up with Nims albeit briefly and then TJ and I were back up to the lodge to grab our packs and set off towards Lobuche, it was around 11am by the time we got going so I picked up the pace a bit and got us moving.
The trek today isn’t too taxing in the main with just a couple of steep climbs to do and were able to make up good time for the first hour or so and are soon winding down towards the riverbed to cross before we come into Thukla, our lunch stop for today. It’s the only place to stop before Lobuche so its fairly busy with trekkers and our lunch takes a while to come out but eventually we eat and then tackle the steep hill up to the memorial to fallen climbers. We take a few photos around the Rob Hall and Scott Fischer memorials but there are many many others to less well known climbers and its a somber mood as the risks involved in climbing these mountains sinks in as we move on with our trek.
We arrive into Lobuche around 2.30pm and are introduced to the Elite Lobuche expedition team who are climbing and Mingma David Sherpa is also here to say hi before he heads off to summit Lobuche. TJ and I head up the hillside for acclimatisation and spend a bit of time on the ridge before heading back down top the lodge for dinner. The facilities have got more basic the higher we have got and my room here is comfortable but lacks the heated blanket I’ve enjoyed in the lower places and the toilet is down the hall shared by all and without running water so were really getting into it now, that said I shouldn’t complain as TJ and Azay don’t even have a room and will be sleeping in the dining room with all the other guides and Sherpas who are also room-less.
We join the Lobuche team for dinner and they are in good spirits, although one team member has succumbed to the altitude and had to be helicoptered out to Kathmandu and a few others are starting to complain of headaches and sickness.
Mingma David informs us that the Puja - a mountain ceremony where the lama ask the mountain for permission for us to climb and to bless our equipment - will be starting in basecamp early and we need to be on our way by 6.30am if we are to make it so its early to bed for me, TJ and Azay are going to be treated to another fast hike tomorrow as I’m determined to get to base camp for the Puja.