Lobouche (16,100ft)

We got up and made our move up to Lobouche today. Great hike up through Dugla (or Thukla) where we took a break for hot lemon tea, coconut crunchies and some candy bars.

One of the more sobering elements of the hike in were when you get just past Dugla at the top of the hill. The area has turned into a memorial for climbers that have died on various mountains in the region. Some more notable ones were the likes of Scott Fischer, who passed away on Everest during that nasty debacle in 1996. Very interesting memorials and chortens that have been built for climbers. Good to go through and have a moment if reality, and pause for reflection.

Then we cruised up the valley which was a super mellow finish for an hour into Lobouche. We got views of Cholatse and the backside of Nuptse. It’s pretty awe inspiring to say the least.

We all were feeling strong today, and ended up getting here in just under 3hrs

Sadly, this morning, Susan Reiter – John’s wife, took a helicopter flight back to Lukla and ultimately on to Kathmandu and on home. She wasn’t feeling very well, and was starting to struggle with the altitude. Topped off with feeling like she was getting the flu yesterday and they decided it would be best if she got a flight out today. It’s really too bad that she won’t make it with us into base camp, which was her goal, but it was great having her along for the ride as far as she made it.

Now, after a ‘bonus hike’ up to about 17,000ft, we’re having a coffee and about to indulge in our now regular card game, chum.

We are here for two nights before we head up to basecamp on Saturday! The closer we get to BC, the more excited we are. Not only to get going on the climb, but to have better food, cleaner living conditions, and overall a more pleasant & relaxing environment, relatively speaking. It’ll be nice to set up shop in my tent, spread out, and not worry about packing up every morning. I’m sure well do plenty of day hikes out of basecamp, but at least we won’t have to pack up ahead of time. It’ll be nice.

No celebrity climber sightings today, but I’m optimistic that basecamp will be an interesting sight.

Looking forward to that stove downstairs when it gets going and warms the place up before we go to bed. The people in the Khumbu Valley are very resourceful, and green! The stoves are all powered by yak dung! Surprisingly, it doesn’t smell at all. Even outside it just smells like there is a fire going, but not like it’s a crap fire.

That’s it for now.

Hope all is well back home.

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