26 October - Kala Patthar and Downward

Published on by Everest Trek for Charity - 2011.over-blog.com

What  a day!  We got up at 4:00 a.m. to climb up to Kala Patthar lookout (about 200 meters above the Everest Base Camp) in order to see the sun rise over the Everest group of mountains.  The sky was resonant with Himalayan stars, gazing down dispassionately on us as we laboured up the slope in minus 15 degrees cold.  We all agreed that it was one of the hardest physical challenges we have ever faced in our lives (for the blogkeeper it was the hardest, no argument).  It took us over 2 hours, going at the glacial pace imposed by high altitude.  By the time we got to the lookout (5550 meters altitude), the sun had already risen, and Everest glowed with a cold, unearthly light.  We descended quickly, believe me, and after breakfast at the Gorak Shep lodge, we began trekking downward (oh bliss!).  After a day's trek we ended up at Pheriche, where we had stayed earlier--a good 1300 meters below Kala Patthar. We could all feel the effects of lower altitude. Sleeping was so much easier that night!

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