Lobuche to Gorep Shep to Kala Patar to Gorap Shep to Lobuche
Today was the day that this expedition was based around reaching the summit of Kala Patar.
It’s starts with a knock on the door at 2:45 giving us 15 mins to get dressed in temperatures of -15 then a quick cup of tea and off.
We exit the lodge into total darkness it’s clear sky but no visible moon and a temperature of -15 we all put on our head torches and off we go following BB our guide.
We keep a metre between us and rely on BB years of experience for the next 2/3 hours to get us through the darkness. It looked great when you looked back at the row of LED lights marching along in unison.
For the next few hours its all up hill, and dawn finally breaks we can turn off our head torches and and see the direction we’re going in, the terrain is very baron we even leave behind the heather.It takes us 3 and half hours to get Gorak Shep there we have breakfast more tea and then the the big trek begins.
It’s a short walk across almost beach like terrain and then you look up.
For the next hour it was all up with little time to catch your breath in the thin air we are now trekking in oxygen levels 50% lower than normal.
We now trek along a “Dirty Glazier”this is ice covered with rocks and boulders, we are still moving upwards. This is really testing our energy levels and then to our right on the other side of the Khumbu valley there an avalanche we see the snow and ice rolling down the mountain side. We’ve been moving forwards but mainly upwards for 2hours you can not measure this in distance traveled its all in time and height. We finally get to the point that we can see the summit with its prayer flags and shrines we stop to take breath in the very thin air, now it’s the last push to the top.
It takes us another hour to get close to the summit with 30 metres to go we decide to let Swinge be first to reach his and our goal.
30 meters takes another 30 minuets we all drag our tiered bodies to the top for a very emotional celebration of an achievement we’ve all worked hard to complete.
As we stand on the top of Kala Patar we look down on Base Camp and across to the peak of Mount Everest at this height and very close we also see Pu Mori Nuptse Makalu Ama Dablam far to the right.
At this point I leave a prayer flag in the form of a Cornish tartan linked with a poppy in memory of James Allen my chosen charity for this expedition.
One more task to complete before we descend, we build a small rock shrine and scatter the ashes of Andy Tyler a good friend of many of us, and then a moments silence to remember ” absence friends “.
We start to descend the pace is still very slow we know we still got many hours ahead before we get back to Lobuche.
The first few hours are over familiar territory back across the glaziers then we travel over an area we couldn’t see in the dark some 12 hours earlier today.
We reach our lodge at Lobuche at 5 o’clock dinner is served at 6 but most of us struggle to eat through tiredness and exhaustgen.
We’ve achieved in completing a journey that most people can only dream about, with a group of people that have linked together as a strong team guided by strength and love from those at home.
Steve and the Drek Trek Team