Everest – Day 13: Pheriche to Lobuche

April 11 (Thursday)

today's trail

today’s trail

After a ‘bad’ day yesterday I woke up with a slight sore throat.  I couldn’t complain much though, most people in my group were sick with either a cold or GI stuff…  Supposedly traveler’s diarrhea is so common in this region that even the bugs causing the illness got resistant to the antibiotic of choice to treat them! (Ciprofloxacin). Instead, the drug of choice there is Azithromycin.  Even though we went with one of the best companies out there (Alpine Ascents), there is only so much they could control.  We were served our food in the lodges cooked by the local people.  Water was boiled by the local people.  Also, as I already mentioned, the higher up we went, the worse the sanitary conditions got, going from the individual showers to communal toilet.

We started our hike out of Pheriche through an incredibly beautiful field covered with rocks and snow.  We had expensive views of the north face of Ama Dablam behind us, so I frequently was turning around to memorize the view in my head and on film.  In addition, the field seemed to be a perfect site for yaks to graze on.  Since it was spring, the mama yaks brought out their incredibly cute babies to graze along with them.  A few of us fell a little behind the rest of the group because we just couldn’t get enough of this sight!!

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After some hot soup and hot tea at one of the little villages we started walking uphill at our own pace.  We came to the top of the hill where we were greeted with an unusual sight: the chortens.  Chortens are in other words memorials to those who have lost their lives on this mountain.  Many of them had prayer flags upon them.

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One of the most prominent chortens was the one for Scott Fisher, the American guide who founded Mountain Madness and who lost his life high up on the mountain in the 1996 disaster (one of the guys you read about in “Into Thin Air”).

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There was also a memorial for the Asian woman who died as recently as last year…  And farther away on another hill there was a row of chortens erected for the Sherpas.

chortens for the fallen Sherpas

chortens for the fallen Sherpas

This was a very humbling experience, to say the least.  It was also a big reminder of what Everest can do to us regardless of how careful we are climbing it.

We kept hiking on a pretty flat trail with Nuptse right in front of us and made it to our new home, Lobuche at 16,200 ft.

final stretch to Lobuche

final stretch to Lobuche

view from our lodge at Lobuche

view from our lodge at Lobuche

DAY 14

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