Everest Base Camp Trek Day 12: Dragnag to Gokyo
Dragnag to Gokyo was an easy one hour, forty-five minute hike. The trail began very gently uphill over grassy mounds before coming to an abrupt stop. From here we could see the huge, rocky Ngozumba Glacier stretching out in front of us and sliding down the uneven, slippy gravel path we proceeded to cross to the other side. After we made it across the glacier we had a short, steep incline to get up and a few steps further, looking over the hill, we saw Gokyo lake flanked by the mountain Gokyo-Ri on one side, the Renjo La Pass on the far end and more snow-covered mountains to the left. The massive lake was frozen solid. The Renjo La pass was only a dot on the hill at the far end and from this vantage point we could just about make out the narrow path that zig-zagged up high above the lake. We would be taking this path tomorrow. Over the roofs of the lodges below we could see Everest in the distance. From here you get a different perspective of this mountain. Until now, we had seen Everest as a peak among other mountains but from here you could see it as a stand alone mountain. We were lucky enough to get this view as the clouds quickly came in and we spent the rest of the day in the lodge as it snowed heavily outside. We hoped the weather would be okay to continue over the Renjo La pass the next day.
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 13: Gokyo to Lumde (via the Renjo La pass)
The snow had cleared when we woke up this morning and we set off early over the Renjo La pass towards the sleepy village of Lumde. We had wanted to climb Gokyo-Ri yesterday or this morning but unfortunately due to the weather yesterday and the cloudy skies this morning there weren’t going to be any views from the summit so we decided to keep going. I was feeling quite sick after breakfast but we left the lodge and followed the trail around the edge of the lake. The path continued up a narrow finger ridge to the top of the pass where it flattened out before climbing steeply again over the other side of the pass. It was tough going especially feeling the way I was and it began snowing really heavily making things even more challenging. We reached the top and rested for a few minutes before slowly walking down the slippy, snow-covered steps on the other side to another frozen lake below. My stomach seemed to be getting worse and as we continued down the path, I vomited on three occasions, which wasn’t fun but we had no choice but to continue. We dropped almost 1,000 metres in altitude from the top of the pass to Lumde and eventually arrived at a lodge in Lumde after a total of seven hours walking. There was no one else staying here and the mother and daughter team who ran the place took really good care of us, getting me extra blankets and pillows, hot water and the infamous garlic soup, which the locals believe cures just about anything! We rested for the evening and got an early night. Tomorrow, all going well, we should reach Namche, back to some sort of civilisation, our first shower in ten days and a well deserved celebratory drink at the worlds highest Irish bar!
Everest Base Camp Trek Day 14: Lumde to Namche Bazaar
The walk from Lumde to Namche Bazaar was very enjoyable, as it was mostly downhill. I was feeling much better today and we made our way along the path following the river down the mountain. We passed through small villages and were treated to beautiful views of the valley as we walked to the Sherpa village of Thame where we stopped for lunch. From Thame the path wound around the mountainside going up and down until finally, we were on the last leg into Namche. To our right suddenly was an opening in the trees and the most amazing bird I’ve ever seen sat there. It was a vivid purple colour and as it heard me reaching for my camera it spread it’s wings, revealing it’s bright, gold tail and took flight disappearing into the valley below. We continued along the path, a mountain goat keeping us company for a while and rounding one final corner we saw Namche stretched out below us. Already walking six hours today, we picked up the pace and arrived into Namche looking forward to getting clean and celebrating our arrival back this far later this evening.