This morning we head to Gorak Shep and Everest Base Camp. One of our group has been unwell for a few days and our guide has sent her back down the mountain to a lower altitude to help with the acute altitude sickness she has developed.
I am very excited to be hitting the destination of base camp and I eagerly head off. The going is relatively easy following a dry river bed and over some short rocky climbs. The terrain is alpine with very little vegetation and certainly no trees. The air is dry and everyone has a raspy cough deep in the back of their throats. The high altitude causes fluid to build up in our lungs. After three and a half hours we round a bend to see the small settlement of Gorak Shep that caters for climbers and trekkers to Everest. This is the last village before the foot of the big mountain.
We unload our gear and organize a few essentials for the two hour hike ahead of us. A quick cup of tea and we’re away!
Just ahead is the famous sign pointing the way to Mt Everest BC. I take a quick pic and then spring up the mountain with adrenaline pumping in my veins.
There’s still a good two hours of toil up and down rock strewn hill sides before Base Camp appears. The skies are perfectly clear. We are so lucky. Many trekkers come up here and see nothing but clouds and mist. Not us, we have great views of mountains all around us.
RIP Ariva Philip Ngaata, 5 Jan 2013.
We head back to Gorak Shep. Tomorrow morning we awake at 3am to climb the peak of Kala Patthar for an amazing view of the sun rising behind Mt Everest, Mt Nuptse, Mt Pumore and the north face of Lhotse. I’m picking it will be a tough climb with the lack of oxygen in the air.
We then descend to Periche for the night, then back to Namche and Kathmandu. It’s been an amazing adventure that I don’t want to end!