April 19, 2017
RC reporting in from somewhere in Nepal!
Good news, Tsewong and I made great time today getting from EBC down through Gorek Shep in 70 minutes and Loboche in 3 hours before exiting the main Everest trail and heading west to Dzongla where we are now. Our total travel time, including a half-hour at lunch, was 5:29 and during which we travelled 9.8 linear miles, climbing about 1,000 feet and descending about 2,300 feet. We are now at around 16,000 feet of elevation. The weather deteriorated during our hike and the last couple of hours we had a persistent 20+ mph wind, 30-degree temps, overcast skies and light flurries. Still, this was pretty good trekking weather given how quickly we were moving—no complaints here weather-wise.
Let me get the bad news out of the way. I left the chargers for both my laptop and iPad back at EBC. These are the only two ways I have to communicate with the outside world as there is no cell service here and Anders has our Sat Phone. I have about 90% charge on the laptop and 80% on the iPad. Once they are done, I’ll be completely off the grid. Further, it doesn’t appear that there is any Wi-Fi here. So there you go—this is what you get when you venture into the wilderness!
Lots of good news however. Tsewong and I made very good time. We alternated leads and at one point I put down a 21:20 mile. I have about 30 pounds on my back—a lot of it soon to be less than useful electronics. Tsewong is carrying 40 pounds. I felt very, very strong today, in complete contrast to yesterday on Pumori, when I was really draggy.
Tsewong is a positive, upbeat travelling companion. A classic Sherpa! By the way, he is just 17 years old. He has pretty good English, but I have pretty bad ears so sometimes he has to repeat himself several times before I understand, but we get by. He knows the area really well and I must confess without him, I would have gotten lost several times. I recall a conversation with Judy where I mentioned I was considering going solo. Her response was: “that seems like a really bad idea.” She was right.
I’m supposed to report back to Madison Mountaineering and I’d like to get this post out. We’ll see if I can do so. Also, I’d really like to know if Anders is OK and up at Camp One. I’d also like to at least IM Judy and the family. Not sure that any of this will happen tonight. Could be an interesting period of time!