Everest – Day 14: Lobuche

April 12 (Friday)

Today we did an acclimatization hike to the nearby weather observation station that measures black carbon concentration in the air.

weather observation station

weather observation station

Most of the group decided to go back to the lodge but me and a few others elected to join our guide on a moraine walk and listen to his lecture about glaciology.  We got to see the lower tongue of the Khumbu Icefall and its path through the valley.  Because we were so high up, over 16,000 ft, there weren’t even any shrubs anymore.  The ground was covered with moss and many many rocks and boulders.

DSC_8617

view of Gorak Shep below

So far I have been pretty lucky with my health, besides some sore throat I really have not been sick at all.  One thing you should know about altitude is that the gut is the first organ to take a hit from the lack of oxygen.  Food is not processed as efficiently and quickly as at sea level and the result is all kinds of unpleasant gas…  OK, this may be TMI, but it really bothered me!  I think it was a combination of altitude and the Nepalese food that I wasn’t really used to, along with some bad bacteria mixed in for good measure, because after supper I promptly projectile vomited whatever food I just put it me…

As I already mentioned, the higher we went, the worse our conditions got.  You may remember our accommodations at Namche with private showers and heated beds?  Well with every lodge that would get worse.  We always had beds but the bathrooms went from great at Namche through good at Pheriche and awful at Lobuche (two communal toilets with a bucket of cold water and a scooper to flush after doing your business).  Historically, Lobuche has been the place where most people get sick, and it certainly delivered!  The reason behind worsening conditions is the growing distance between Lukla and the villages.  There are no cars on the trek so everything has to be carried in by humans or yaks (interestingly and disturbingly enough, to transport via yak is more expensive than using a porter!!). We certainly could not wait to get to Base Camp to rid ourselves of all the nasty bugs of the villages!

DAY 15

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