Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nepal Trek Day Seven: Gokyo - Machermo - Dole

Over the next three weeks, I'm taking a trip down memory lane with a look back at our trip to Nepal last December. For all of the entries about our trek, click here.

Gokyo turned out to be a bit of a (literal) turning point in our trek. As the title of this post indicates, after spending a day in Gokyo, instead of continuing up and over the Cho La Pass to Everest Base Camp (EBC), we instead turned around and headed back the way we came. In lieu of going to EBC, we would instead make our way back to Dole, then up to Phortse, Pangboche, and Dingboche up to Chukkhung, where if time permitted, D and Bharat would hike to the top of Chukkung Ri (elevation 18,238 ft). To say that I was disappointed that we wouldn't be making it to EBC would be an understatement. After all, that had been one of the main reasons I wanted to do this trek in the first place. But, I would be lying if I didn't say I was also quite relieved. I had been worried about our potential crossing of the Cho La Pass for a while, given my issues with steep rocky trails and also having heard that there was a bit of an ice field that we would have to cross on the pass. Later on our trek we heard that someone (traveling independently without a guide or porter) had died on the Pass after become disoriented due to Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS). So in retrospect, I'm glad that we turned around when we did. Without a doubt, I was also looking forward to returning to lower elevations (for at least a short while).

However, D was completely unaffected by the altitude and on the morning of the seventh day of our trek, he and Bharat summited Gokyo Ri. D took along my camera to capture views from the top of the mountain. On the way back down to Gokyo, Dilip met Bharat and D on the trail with a snack of milk tea and cookies. Can't beat that!

{D at the summit of Gokyo Ri}

{Gokyo Ri summit}

{glacier field below Gokyo Ri}

{the village of Gokyo from the summit}

{D and Bharat at the summit}

{Dilip}

If you're into a little bit of Internet randomness, D and Bharat ran into a couple of Russians on the summit of Gokyo Ri and participated in a little Michael Jackson tribute video ... their bit is at the very end.

D, Bharat, and Dilip made it back to the lodge around 9:45a and D and I headed to the dining room for breakfast. Soon after we packed up our gear and headed on the trail back to Dole.

{Dilip, our amazing porter, shows off his skills}

{D and me leaving Gokyo}

{Dilip and Bharat leading the way}

(river view}

We arrived in Machermo in the early afternoon, where we stopped for lunch at the same lodge we had stayed at the other night. From there it was a three-hour hike back down to Dole. It was a fairly brisk walk as the wind soon picked up, the clouds rolled in, and we were shrouded in fog for much of the walk to Dole. As we walked into town a light snow began to fall -- definitely a picturesque, if rather cold, moment!

{clouds rolling in}

{foggy view}

{avian fauna along the trail}

That evening I had my second offering of meds, this time from one of the Russians (an ER doctor) that D had met earlier in the day who was staying with his friend in the room next to us. My overall funkiness had evolved into a bit of a chest cold and I was a mucous-y wreck. (Apologies for the TMI.) That evening I would end up taking a benadryl, but more serious meds were in our medical kit and (thankfully) in my future.

1 comment:

Sheri said...

I've been enjoying reading about Nepal! It looks gorgeous. It's on our list but I'm also adversely affected by altitude. I was miserable for three weeks in Peru. And I even have to take Diamox when I travel to Reno - only 4500 feet.

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