Phortse (3935m) to Dingboche (4343m) via Pangboche and Somare
No phone signal at Dingboche! We’ll continue to write posts but the opportunities to upload them might be inconsistent in the next 7-8 days.
We started a bit earlier today as we had a long day ahead of us- 6:30am tea and on the trail at 7:40am. It was a chilly start but the sun warmed our faces as the 5 of us trudged up the mountain side behind Phortse village. We made it to Somare for lunch ahead of schedule and ate our potatoes/veg and noodle veg soup before midday. Until this point, we had the trail pretty much to ourselves (aside from the occassional yak) as we were off the main trail. The trail was “nepali flat” witha few steep sections, but they didn’t last long.
After lunch, it was only another 1 1/2 hrs to our lodge – we arrived around 1.30pm which is pretty good going as we had budgeted until 4pm. The scenery now is even more beautiful than before- panoramic mountains and clouds which appear to be at the same altitude as us. It really does look like proper high himalaya now. It was easy to track our progress as we hiked alongside Ama Dablam mountain approaching the base of Everest and Lhotse – which look much closer now, although EBC is still 2 days hike away.
The hike felt pretty good and we maintained a reasonably quick pace without problems. Definitely the biggest challenge is maintaining body temperature! In the sun without wind its hot but a minute later, in the shade with a breeze its freezing! We’re now passing the ends of small glaciers and there is frozen ground and water in the shady spots, so it’s beginning to feel really chilly.
Our lodge is OK for the remoteness of the location. I was happy to see the hole-in-the-ground toilet because at least it was of the sit-down variety – what a luxury! But the “hot shower” turned out to be a bucket of hot water served in a freezing cold outhouse – but at least we had the chance to wash properly for the first time in days. Now were warming up in our down jackets and sleeping bags!
We have a rest day tomorrow to solidify our acclimitization before 3 tough days ahead of us – hiking up the Khumbu valley onto the glacier, making it to everest base camp, sleeping at 5100m and climbing Kala Pattar (5535m). Very excited, but I hope our resilience to the altitude holds out and that we can stay warm enough!