Everest....the Big One......Part 2!!!
Trip Start Sep 01, 2009
22Trip End Dec 17, 2009
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As we reached Gokyo (4790m) the weather was perfect and the lakes shimmered in the sunshine like jewels. The colour was just amazing as the photographs show. Colin and I went for a walk around to take some photos and get a better look at the lake. If it had not been so cold you could almost imagine you were staying at a holiday resort somewhere in Europe!
I started to feel pretty weary as we walked around and I was also developing a headache. I started to feel exactly the same as when I was in Langtang, except that this time I knew that I was beginning to suffer signs of AMS so we returned to the lodge and I decided to climb into my sleeping bag for a rest. I took a couple of pain killers for my headache but almost immediately I threw up!
Early the next morning the plan had been that we would all climb Gokyo Ri and see the sunrise, however, I was in no state to go anywhere so stayed in bed whilst Krishna and Colin achieved that goal. Again the weather was perfect and Colin got some great photos. He did say it was not easy climbing up to 5360m whilst trying to breathe the cold air so when he returned he was feeling quite tired. However, there was no time to rest as the decision was made that we needed to get to a lower altitude quickly to see if I improved. We did not go too far just to Na but at 4400m it enabled me to feel a little better
The following day we reached Pheriche where Krishna decided we should spend 2 nights in order to help me acclimatise again before we resumed climbing up to Gorek Shep. We stayed a lovely lodge called the White Yak that had been recommended by a couple of French guys we met in Namche when they were on their way down. I was not convinced this was the best place for me to acclimatise at itwas only 4270m and I had been okay at higher altitudes. Anyway Colin went to have a word with the volunteer doctors at the medical post and also to buy some more Diamox. There is a medical post here where they give the AMS talk like the one we went to in Machermo. They were extremely helpful and suggested that on our rest day we should attempt to take a walk one of several places around Pheriche where we could get up to around 5000m. They also felt that now I was taking Diamox and as long as I took it easy there was no reason why I should not be able to continue with our planned route
So the next day saw the 4 of us slogging up a huge ridge behind the Lodge through the increasingly cloudy conditions until we finally reached the top (after 4 hours!). by this time it was also snowing but I felt such a sense of achievement and relief that I had managed to climb up to 5000m with no ill effects. I have to say coming down was so much easier…..especially when Krishna grabbed my hand and we ran down the "hill". It felt great and my knees were more than up to the challenge I am pleased to say!
I was still struggling to eat but found that tuna was something that appealed so for lunch and diner I seemed to exist up either tuna pizza or a tuna sandwich! It was only breakfast that was causing me problems as after a while I even found I could not eat the cereal bars that Colin had brought out with him! Sometimes I just had some hot chocolate to drink and that was it. As you might imagine the weight was falling off me and I had to make another notch on my belt in order to prevent my trousers from falling down!
It didn't really affect my ability to walk each day luckily and as the distances were fairly short I had plenty of time to recover once we reached our destination each day
A lot of the time we managed to have the trail to ourselves but on many occasions we were either stuck behind a train of yaks or trying to squeeze past a slow moving group. I thought I was prepared for how busy it would be but it still surprised me. Actually the worst aspect of this was the few occasions when we stayed at lodges where there were big groups who seemed to take over the dining room and we felt a bit pushed out. But there were other times when we would find ourselves bumping into people who we had seen at other places on the trail which was lovely. One example of that was a group of 3 Americans who we saw several times and one evening passed a pleasant few hours playing cards. We caught up with them again once we reached Lukla, which surprised us as we had expected them to have left. However, we discovered that they had been stuck there for a couple of days due to poor weather!
So I think that is enough for today.......I need some time to decide how to cram everything else into the next entry!! There are so many photos that it is really difficult trying to pick just a selection, but as the uploading is taking forever today that helps the decision making process!!