Day 9: Lobuche to Everest Base Camp – 17,594 feet

We made it to Everest Base Camp! It was a grueling 9 hour climb from Lobuche to Gorakshep where we are spending the night tonight at highest elevation of trip (16,859 feet) to Everest Base Camp (17,594 feet) and back to Gorakshep. Simply put, we are spent. It is all I can do to keep my eyes open. Amy is napping as I write. The tiredness aside, being at basecamp, while not originally planned for our itinerary, was the fulfillment of a lifetime dream (you will recall the Kongma La Pass was snowed in). I’d heard about the small tent city there and the famous Khumbu Glacier with its tall seracs numerous times in films and books, but to actually be there was a thrill. The “city” is more like a small town right now since the summit season is not until May. But teams are setting up camps and we must have seen a dozen yak or pony teams ferrying up gear and countless porters as well. Passing us by as we headed back were tents, tables, chairs, bed platforms, camp mattresses, portable generators, and much more. “Visitors” like us to Base Camp are numerous and we are allowed to go to the edge of a gorge-like area gouged out over millennia, but no further. We are also not allowed into the actual areas where the tents are. But the photo ops are yet again spectacular with Pumori, Khumbutse, Lola, and Nuptse immediate to us and the Everest peak jutting up behind. Today was a perfectly clear day to see it all. And, the SMALLEST of these is 19,765 feet, taller than Kilimanjaro. I can see why this valley is so sacred to the people here; it is utterly stunning.

As I mentioned earlier, I was exhausted after today, but I rallied late afternoon for a 30 minute hike up behind the village to see Everest at sunset. Amy stayed behind in room as she was not feeling well. Froze the last few minutes, but rewarded by a spectacular sight of Nuptse and Everest lit up red/orange and then just Everest. Will upload to blog as soon as I can.

Dinner tonight was Sherpa Stew, something that has become a meal I’ve now ordered a few times. It tastes good, has cooked vegetables and potatoes, items that are basic enough and hopefully worry free for getting sick (fingers crossed and let’s say there are lots of opportunity to apply antibacterial lotion on the hands).

Have a nice morning as I call it a night shortly.

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