Sunday, April 23, 2017

Back to the Future: In Dingboche Again!

RC reporting in from Dingboche, once again.  Tsewang and I woke up in Phortse this morning and after another cheese omelette, this time with Tsewang's family, we headed out at 8 am, heading back to the Khumbu valley.

The climb out of Phortse was quite steep right away.  Additionally, it was cool, misty and drizzling when we left.  The climbing was straightforward and the rain really wasn't a bother.  To be fully forthcoming, the first couple of miles were on the side slope of a mountain that descended down (way down) into the river at the bottom of the Imja Khola valley (which leads to the Khumbu).  Lots of exposure here.  But let me explain.  The path was very nice and quite wide, 4-5 feet wide in most places.  So in this case, exposure really means cool views.  As long as you can walk down a sidewalk without falling off, you'd have no problems here.  And we didn't either.

It stopped raining after about 45 minutes and cleared a bit and we could see the beautiful Tengboche Monastery across the valley (we were climbing on the opposite side of the valley that we came up a couple of weeks ago).  I really enjoyed this part of the climb as the shifting mists provided compelling views.

After about 2 hours, in Pangboche, the main Everest trail crossed over the river and joined our trail.  I was now back on the same trail we first climbed many days ago.  We went past the Pangboche Monastery where the High Lama had blessed us many days ago.

Tsewang and I decided to just take short rests as the clouds/mist became very thick and it was spitting rain again and quite cold.  Quite a contrast to the beautiful weather we had on our first trip up.  It was pretty steady uphill and we just kept on keeping on in the white mist.  I kept adjusting my layers to get my temp right but by and large, an uneventful climb with not much to report on.

We rolled into Dingboche a little after 1.  Stats for the climb: 7.7 linear miles over 5:01. 3,132 vertical feet of ascent and 1,105 feet of descent.  We are at about 14,450 feet now, so we'll need to gain another 3,000 feet of net elevation tomorrow.  The plan is to leave about 6am tomorrow so we can get to EBC in time for a late lunch.

We're also waiting to hear about Anders and whether or not the weather and the route allowed him to descend to Base Camp.  Can't wait to hear from him!

More later, rc

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