Today, like most days on this trip, started out with picturesque weather and bright blue skies. It’s hard to put the camera away and walk. Every direction is full of clouds, glaciers, mountains…it’s easy to see why this trip has been on my bucket list. Before the moon has set we are off toward Pheriche and on to Lobuche.
It turned out that the extra acclimatization day was a good call. The walk was largely a combination of low grade up with Nepali flat, and once I warmed up and hit my stride I started blasting past the large tour groups.
The most notable up put us at a memorial for climbers (both sherpa and foreign) who had lost their lives on Everest. As you climb to the top of the hill you’re presented with a gate made of prayer flags.
Beyond the arch lie a number of stone memorials. The larger and more decorated memorials belong to foreign climbers. Scott Fischer, who died in the 1996 Everest tragedy depicted in Into Thin Air was the most prominent.
The sherpa memorials were more subdued. It was sobering, especially knowing that it needed 17 or more memorials.
The rest of the walk was pretty straightforward and uneventful, yet full of increasingly scenic vistas. We had finally entered the Khumbu Valley. It’s hard to tell there is a glacier under all the debris – it looks more like a giant rock tongue sliding down the valley floor.
Eventually we were settled in Lobuche for the night. It was time for rest. Tomorrow: Everest Base Camp – the day we have all been waiting for!