Local time: 12 April 18:10
Location: Gorak Shep
Weather: Sunny in the morning becoming overcast in the afternoon.
It’s Paul, and today we have all hiked from Lobuche to Gorak Shep and then climbed Kalar Patar.
Getting to Gorak Shep
The sky was clear this morning, so we decided to get an early start to Gorak Shep. The track to Gorak Shep starts out reasonably flat, but then you have to climb a 100m hill. From there we got our first views of the Khumbu Glacier. In reference to the message from a few days ago, you can notice in some parts how much the glacier has reduced in height. However it doesn’t appear to have reduced much in length.
From here onto Gorak Shep we walked on moraine, and the going is much tougher. Having good boots is a big help here. It’s like a gigantic construction site, with huge piles of loose rock heaped in what appears to be strategically placed mounds ready for building a road. In reality it’s where the ice melted or advanced, either depositing all the rock carried by the glacier or pushing a pile forward like a huge bulldozer. If you look at Google Earth you will be able to see the moraine that we crossed just prior to getting to Gorak Shep.
Climbing Kala Patar
We arrived at Gorak Shep around 10am, and after a drink of tea and a rest, we begin climbing Kalar Patar. I had never climbed Kala Patar (last year when everyone else was climbing it many times, I was sick and rested instead).
Its a deceptively long way to the top of Kalar Patar, but slowly we made our way up. You should be able to see our track up to the top on Google Earth. The summit is a sharp rocky point, with enough room for 5 people – there was a sheer drop on one side. We were very lucky to get a great view of Everest, the South Col and the top of the Geneva Spur.
After we had spent about half an hour on the top, the altitude started to get the better of Dame, and he got a huge headache and started to feel a little dizzy, so we descended quickly. After a couple of painkillers, some drinks and a rest, Dame felt better. It’s nearly dinner time as I write this and Dame is up and about and feeling fine, has no headache and says he is hungry. All signs look good. Having come up from Pheriche yesterday and then climbing to the top of Kala Patar today, its a 1400m height gain which is a lot.
Throat is getting better
I have been sleeping with my Psolar mask on, and I am finding that my throat feels better each the morning. In fact its almost 100% better now. When we walk, I wear a dust mask, but it doesn’t filter all the dust – if it did, I wouldn’t be able to breathe at this altitude. Signs are looking up.
Tomorrow if everyone is well, we should get to base camp
Thanks for your messages – we really enjoy receiving them. I have heard that TA is not too well, so if someone could pass my well wishes onto her. Remind her of how sick I was this same time last year and how long I had to wait before going up the icefall. I can’t remember the date exactly, but it was fast nearing the end of April.
Hi Corinna, Rudi has talked about his special schnapps, but I haven’t tasted it. Steve gave me some French brandy in Pheriche and to his disgust I gargled it to try to get it on my throat. I reckon it helped a lot. Rudi says Hi.
Hi Mira, Not sure what’s next for Meagan – she is not here with us as I write this, so I can’t ask her. I am pretty sure there will be more mountains though.