We woke at 3:30am, ate our breakfast in the dark with our head torches on, got our kit bags packed and backpacks readied in the cold morning silence. After some delays, we left the Lungden View Lodge at 4:40am.
Everything was black apart from the glittering star filled sky above. We marched uphill with our headtorches lighting the way. There was no talking, just the heavy breathing of the team trying to adapt from the warm bed of the lodge to the frigid air and the unexpected steepness of the hill at the beginning of the trek.
The team broke up into smaller groups and individuals. I was working hard but maintained an economical level of energy expenditure and managed to stay near the front of the pack but could never catch Jonathan, one of the Everest climbers who is a machine never seems to fatigue. After crossing some spectacular landscapes and watching the alpenglow of the sunrise lighting up the icy peaks behind us, I eventually got to the top of the pass 3 hours 30 minutes later which is a good time but still 20 minutes slower than Jon who is also known as ‘Donkey’ as he just keeps going and going.
Up at the pass, we drank in the spectacular vistas of Everest, Lhostse, Pumori, Cholatse, The Western CWM and the beautiful half frozen lake next to the awesome little village of Gokyo below. The rest of the team came up to the pass one by one and after about an hour, some of us, along with the porters started the decent down to Gokyo.
On the way down I was hot on Jon’s heels and the two of us managed to get into Gokyo just over an hour after leaving the pass. The total moving time from Lungden, up to the pass and down to Gokyo was 5 hours. The views on the way down were amazing. The lake was that typical alpine turquoise colour on the edges and frozen in the centre, we couldn’t stop taking photos on the way down but the call of the bakery at our destination was too strong so we pressed on. We pulled in around 10:30am to the surprise of the lodge owner and immediately ordered multiple Lattes and slices of cake. We waited in a conservatory overlooking the lake gorging ourselves on all this bakery goodness for a few hours as the ice receded in the warming sun and the rest of the team trickled in.
Gokyo is a decent sized little village and the lodgings are QUALITY compared to what we have had for the past few days. We have all now eaten, showered (my first since Kathmandu 😊) and enjoying the warm yak dung stove which is warming my back as I type this.
Unfortunately, we can only stay in this little gem of a village one night as arrangements have changed for some of the trekkers and we need to move on to Phortse tomorrow which should take about 7 hours but shouldn’t be too strenuous.
We should have good connectivity for the next few days so will do another post in a day or so.
As always, excuse my rushed account of these adventures but laptop battery power is a rare commodity and the internet connection is atrocious in some places and I need to rush out these posts and photo edits.
Until the next post.