April 16, 2009
As we left Pheriche yesterday morning, bound for Lobuche, I was filled with sadness, as I wanted so much for my daughters to experience this final part of the trek to Everest Base Camp. They missed this last year because of my illness. But, there is always next year.
The route from Pheriche (13,800 feet) to Lobuche (16,276 feet), proceeds up the Pheriche Valley, which is surrounded by spectacular snow-capped peaks. The move was slow and gradual, with no extreme vertical sections. The day was especially enjoyable because the weather was perfect, with the sun shining brightly, yet cooled by a light breeze.
We stopped for tea in Dughla, and then moved up to our final destination-Lobuche. Just outside of Dughla we came up over a rise to a plateau that has been dedicated as an Everest Memorial. The plateau is dotted with stone cairns of all sizes which have been built in honor of climbers who have perished in the mountains of the Khumbu region, including Mt. Everest. Towering over the Memorial is Taboche Peak, an awesome, pyramid-shaped mountain, that provides a fitting backdrop to this Memorial. Every time I move through the Everest Memorial, I am struck by the stillness and quietness of this sacred place.
We will spend one more night at Lobuche to acclimatize, and then move up to Everest Base Camp on April 17. Dawa Sherpa has told us that we have a good location for our tents at Base Camp, which is right near the “crampon spot,” where climbers strap on their crampons before starting up the Khumbu Icefall.
Our 19-year old team member from India-Krushnaa Patil–just joined us at the lodge in Lobuche, so the entire team is almost assembled.
My next report will be from Base Camp.