EBC Day 6, Pheriche to Lobuche
My headache is much better when I wake up. But at this point I’m also fighting runny nose, scratchy throat and other signs of cold. My energy level is not too high.
We start early in the morning. The ground under our feet is solid, and it will remain such until the afternoon sun puts mud puddles in the trekkers way. Trees are long gone, the only vegetation left consists of few species of sturdy grass. Views consist of rugged peaks – Taboche, Cholatse, Arakam Tse to the West, in the East our eyes can feast on Nankar Tshang and Pokalde. I appreciate the change in scenery – as rock and ice surrounds us we finally feel like being in the Himalayas.
We now also start feeling the decrease in oxygen. Even shorter hills leave us huffing and puffing. Luckily there are so many opportunities for “photo” stops.
With the altitude comes frigidity. The sun, even though shining brightly, is not as nearly as warm as it was couple days ago, and frequent wind adds to the temperature drop. I’m bundled in most of my layers, save my huge puffy coat, wearing a buff over my head, and a hat over it. I must look ridiculous but the setup keeps the elements out, and me warm, at least while I’m moving.
Lobuche is the smallest village we visited so far consisting of handful of buildings. It doesn’t have the vibe of the other villages either. Everything seems slower here. People are walking slower. People are talking slower. Expressions they are wearing on their faces are of exhaustion. But we are now nearly touching the altitude of 5000 meters, and I don’t blame anybody for not being in a party mood.
I’m pretty tired myself. The altitude wears me out just as much as my cold. Headache reapers. This time I reach for diamox.
Like many others I hide in my room as soon as the clouds come and try to take a nap. Tomorrow is bringing our toughest day on schedule and extra rest would help but the sleep is not coming. I’m cold. Not just chilly. Cold. I wish my sleeping bag worked. Every time I move, no matter how insignificant the movement is, I feel a stream of freezing air washing over my body. I’m wearing my down booties, but still my toes feel like icicles. Finally I give up and go warm up in the kitchen.