Everest Trek – Gorak Shep – 5/10 – 17,100

Quick note….amazing trail run today.  Rock tape has changed running with a healing ankle injury.  Ok, on with the story….

Well, today I proved that even if you sprain an ankle the week before your trek, and get sick the day it starts, you can still make it to base camp.  Base camp was…pretty cool even though just about everything was gone.  There wasnt a sign either, but there was a bunch of prayer flags and stones people had written messages on.

Today was a cool day, but a long day of hiking.  We got to Gorak Shep for an early lunch after about three hours of hiking up and down and more up.  Then about five hours of hiking to and from base camp.  It was rough, even with the excitement of base camp.  Tomorrow is Kala Patthar…based on today, I’m still nervous.  I want to be able to make it up to the top, but between the altitude and the cough, I’m not sure how it will go.  I’m basically huffing and puffing through my mouth, when I really need both my nose and my mouth with such little oxygen.  Hopefully, somehow I’ll feel as good as I did on the stairs on the way to Lobuche.

It was interesting to watch the sherpas and guides today, really over the entire trip.  Our Sherpa leader always brings up the rear – helping people if they stop, and slowing down with people if they need.  Like today, I decided I needed gloves, so stopped to pull them out.  He came over, pulled them apart for me (my hands were too cold) and held them up so I could slip my hands in.

Each of the guides takes a turn leading the group, and the others divide up within the line.  They answer questions and keep the Yak/Zopkyo trains away from us if they get too interested.  There’s one that always seems to be in front of me – I think he’s afraid I might crash through the rocks or something and he wants to be close in case he has to rescue me.  It seems as though each of them also takes a turn running the site and walks with the yak driver and kitchen team for the day. They go ahead and make sure everything is ready when we get there.  It’s also interesting to see how they train people – for example, today one of the kitchen boys came on the base camp hike, I imagine to experience what the guides do.

Ok…last night in a lodge – nice one too (read, western style toilet…now if only I didnt have to dump water in it to get it to flush).  And, now I have a hot water bottle in my sleeping bag, I’m exhausted, and it’s an early morning….it’s bed time.

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