Day 5 – Khumjung (3840m) to Phortse (3935m) via Mongla (3980m) and Phortse Thanga (3675m)
We set out at a reasonable 8.45am to make the climb up to Mongla, where we rested at just under 4000m. After our rest we descended to Phortse Thanga for lunch. It was quite a steep descent and Stef didn’t really appreciate the value of this and the subsequent ascent as training for the following tougher days. Lunch was really nice by the blue mountain river. We left around 1pm for the 260m climb to Phortse, arriving at our lodge around 2pm – plenty of chillout time – we are now huddled around the stove in the middle of the dining room.
Lodge conditions have lowered during the last two nights – no running water and squat toilets, this time little more than a well-framed hole in the ground. However the hiking has been nice on this route, as it isn’t the main route to EBC so it’s been quiet (we only saw two or three other groups of trekkers). Maybe it will be better tomorrow when we rejoin the main route in Dingboche (or maybe worse as is the trend for the more remote you go).
Tonight we sleep only 100m above last night so again we expect no problems from the altitude. I was feeling alot better and stronger in the legs today and took 8+ kg on my back with no problems. That’s not saying much though, considering our porters joined us at the same pace, carrying ~30kg each!
Tomorrow will be a tough day with around a 10km hike to Dingboche, up to 4410m – but the day after we have a rest day before proceeding on to the really tough altitudes!
View of Phortse Village (our lodge is on the top right
The valley between Mongla and Phortse with river: