October 8th 2008
Start: Dughla, 4600 m, 8:05
Arrival: Gorak Shep, 5150 m, 13:40
Breaks: 2 times 15 minutes en route and 1 hour in Lobuche for some food
Estimated climb: 650 m
Estimated descent: 100 m
|This morning we were quite anxious to leave our moldy room so we got up early and took some pictures before breakfast. The one on the left shows Cholatse, the mountain giving Cho La its name. It is just a bit south of the pass.|
|The ridge connecting Tawoche and Cholatse.|
|Tawoche, southeast of Cholatse.|
|We left Dughla at 8:05 and had to climb the steep side of the Khumbu glacier terminal moraine for almost an hour before reaching a flat stretch with memorials to dead climbers. There were awesome views so we stopped for some pictures. The one on the left is yet another Tawoche shot.|
(Well, actually the same ponies...)
|Just after the memorial site the path crests and we got our first good view of Pumori and Nuptse.|
|Tawoche with the memorial pillars visible against the clouds on the ridge in the lower left.|
|A few crumbles of rock left behind by the glacier.|
|This little stream ran along the west side of the Khumbu glacier.|
|Nuptse from just before Gorak Shep.|
|To get to Gorak shep, one has to cross the Changri glacier which flows down from the west and merges with the Khumbu glacier. The last section of the changri glacier is on the left in this picture.|
|I am not sure whether there was still ice underneath all the rocks, but this is how the changri glacier looks like.|
|Just before Gorak shep the path tops out at 5200 meters and we got our first view of the lodges. We stayed in the 'Highest Snowland Inn' which had decent rooms and facilities but unfortunately the cook was not the best. Their hot chocolote also tasted quite bad.|
|All this was eclipsed by the show we got for sunset. Even though there were some clouds, we got nice views of Nuptse and the small bit of Everest sticking out over the Nuptse ridge on the left.|
Mount Everest as close as I could get with my 70-200mm.
In the evening we met the Spanish group again we had first seen in Machermo. They had crossed Cho La instead of taking the detour via Pangboche. Their goal was to visit Kala Pattar and then head on to Island Peak base camp and climb Island Peak.
At dinner, we sat at a table with a German couple from Lindau, Yvonne and Rene. We shared lots of Popcorn and stories from our treks so far. After that, we headed to bed early because we wanted to get up early for Kala Pattar. Fortunately we did not have any more altitude issues aside from waking up a bit more often than usual.
Later that evening we heard from our guide about a Yeti Airlines twin otter crashing at Lukla killing all on board except the pilot. He did not know any details but the news definitely scared us a bit.
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