All the team had eaten breakfast, washed and packed their duffle bags and gathered in the snow outside the tea house in Deboche. The fatality over night had put a new angle on the trek and altitude was now if not already recognised as a killer. The trek today would take us up the valley to Dingboche and here we would stay for two nights and spend another day acclimatising to the altitude.
The trail headed north east following a tributary to the Dudh Koshi River, crossing several bridges along the way. The path took us through Pangboche, from here we were treated to spectacular views of Ama Dablam. After today this mountain would no longer dominate our horizon we would leave it behind and walk through the Khumbu Valley in the shadow of giants.
During todays trekking we would climb from 3820m above 4000m. A critical milestone in the trek, an altitude that would start to effect people with headaches and for some a frightening experience. By late afternoon the group was very well spread out along the trail and everyone arrived into Dingboche at their own pace. The porters are unbelievable, each morning when we departed camp to make our way further up towards base camp they would be striking camp. The kitchen porters washed all the pots and pans used for making our breakfast, others would be taking down tents and packing the large baskets to be carried to the next nights camp. I am sure they welcomed acclimatisation days so they could stay in one place for a day. The porters and staff in the region make these trips happen without them I am sure we would not reach our goal. While we trek during the morning they run past us and set up for lunch while other race on ahead so that when we finally stroll into camp our tents are up waiting….. they are remarkable people.
My tent partner opted for the tea house this evening, Joe was starting to feel the effects of the altitude. I enjoy camping so I wanted to stay in the tent. Boots on and day packs filled with water and snacks we set off towards Island Peak for more acclimatisation. The weather today was gorgeous, there was probably no were else on earth I wanted to be.
With no more acclimatisation days planned we had two more days trekking to Gorak Shep from where we would climb Kala Pattar. The next two days though would bring more spectacular views and experiences before we could get the best view of Everest. It would also bring an end to some of the trip for some.