Everest Base Camp Trek – Day 9
Date: 20 November 2017
Walked to: Pheriche
Distance: 9 miles
Altitude: Sleeping at 4,243m
I was woken this morning by a helicopter, flying in to rescue a walker with altitude sickness from the tea house where we stayed last night. Shortly afterwards, another one flew in for the same reason. For those of us who are only mildly affected by altitude (manifesting itself in me in leaden legs and breathlessness at the slightest uphill) however, having made it to Base Camp in eight days, it’s a matter of heading back down in four.
There was an option this morning to wake up at 4am and walk up Kala Pattar, the ‘black rock’ peak that towers over Gorak Shep. Three of our band of nine heroically did the three hour walk before breakfast – I was not one of them, but I am looking forward to seeing the photos… all I want to do at this point in the walk is get back to lower altitudes, and, one almost unimaginable day, to wake up in a room where I can’t see my breath, where condensation hasn’t gathered in wet beads at the top of my sleeping bag and where there isn’t ice coating the window panes.
There were a few ‘up’ bits today, and they were hard, but it was largely downhill – we’ve ‘lost’ a glorious 940m at tonight’s tea house (you can just see the village of Pheriche at the far end of today’s photo, which is of the valley the village is in) compared to where we woke up this morning. That doesn’t mean it’s not cold though – there is no way I’m prepared to shower tonight, and even though I’m sitting in the dining room (the one place, apart from the kitchen, where there is ever any heat in a tea house) and it’s almost tea time (generally ‘peak’ warmth time), I’m wearing three layers of long-sleeved tops (including a thermal), my down jacket and my bobble hat. Oh, the glamour.