April 6, 2007


As you move up the mountain from Namche Bazaar, the villages, restaurants and lodges become more and more primitive and there are fewer shops and stores. The weather also becomes much colder. The lodges consist of a dining area, an area for the sherpas to sleep and sleeping rooms for the climbers. The sleeping rooms are small and often unlighted. If there is hot water available, which is often not the case, there is an extra charge of 200 rupies. The dining room is lighted with solar power and is heated with a pot belly stove that sits in the middle of the room with a stove pipe that runs up through the ceiling. The fuel that is used to power the stove is yak chips. The stove pipe is not well insulated and the smoke seeps out into the dining room and the sleeping areas, which makes for quite an aroma.

On April 5 we trekked from Pheriche (13,570 ft.) to Dughla (14,610 ft.), and on April 6 we trekked from Dughla to Lobuche (15,680 ft.), which is where we will sleep tonight.

The views are absolutely breathtaking with huge mountains, snow capped peeks and beautiful valleys and rivers all the way up the mountain. Just outside of Dughla we visited a cemetery where rock cairns have been built to honor climbers who died in the mountains in this area. Tomorrow we trek to Gorak Shep, which is our last stop before base camp.

My appetite is completely back and I am feeling great. I will file another report from Gorak Shep.

Bill Burke