Not the best of days for me, I wake up with backache as stones and rocks have worked there way through my mattress and have a terrible headache and feel very lethargic, I think dehydration is probably to blame but, as my wife is constantly reminding me, I must listen to what my body is telling me and I decide to miss this mornings activity trek into the glacier and let my body recharge a bit and to drink as much water, honey and lemon, masala tea and electrolyte drinks as I can manage - by mid day I’m starting to feel human again and take the opportunity to maximise the Wi-fi connection whilst everyone is away from camp.
It’s customary in the mountains to hold a religious Puja ceremony before heading up to the higher altitudes above base camp and today was our camps turn so after a quick breakfast at 8.00am we headed outside on a beautiful sunny day to sit around the Puja Lapshu where it has been decorated by the Sherpas with offerings to the mountain gods as two lama’s read out three hours of prayers and offerings and ask for safe passage through the mountains for us. We put our climbing gear around the Lapshu so it is blessed as part of the ceremony and throw rice at different times before shots of whisky are handed out for good luck. I had some charms and personal notes from my family that I wanted to take so took these with me to the Puja so I’d get the maximum blessing effect!
Had an awful nights sleep coughing and listening to avalanches, my head is pounding as the altitude takes its toll and pretty much everything in my tent is frozen solid that wasn’t in my sleeping bag - trying to wash with a block of wet wipes more similar to a house brick than the soft and gentle on your skin advert on the packet is no fun start to the day!
After breakfast we head out with Mingma David Sherpa through base camp to the Everest View Point at 5,600m, everyone seems strong and we reach the view point in good time to spend an hour or so getting a snack, hydrating our bodies and taking some photos - every stop often breaks into an impromptu photo shoot as we all try and get the best picture to send home and post on social media.
A welcome rest day today and a lie in until breakfast at 9am, the camp cook prepares a feast for breakfast with fresh fruits and cereal followed by a cooked breakfast of eggs, mini sausages, vegetables and potatoes.
We leave Loboche around 9am and continue along the valley towards EBC the trek isn’t too bad with only a gentle rise as we follow the glacial river to our right, sharing the pathway with Yaks loaded with equipment and the occasional group of trekkers.
We are up early at 4.30am to breakfast and leave the lodge to try and catch the morning sunrise as we head down the valley towards Loboche, its a chilly start to the day and the sun stays hidden behind a cover of cloud but the team stay positive and don’t mind the early start to get us to our next rest stop by early afternoon so we will have a few hours rest.