Wednesday, April 1, 2015

16,000 Is a Big Number

Tomorrow is the big day...or so we hope. Jeff and I are currently sitting in the dining hall of our teahouse in Lobuche, located at 4910 meters, or about 16000 feet. Both of us have been handling the altitude fairly well - only shortness of breath. We're handling the cold well too. We just complain about it a lot.

After Namche, our rooms shrank to consisting of two beds, clothes hooks, and if we were lucky, a closing window. No more private bathrooms and no more showers. The menu is the same everywhere we go, but the prices seem to increase faster than the altitude. At least tea stays affordable.

I have plenty of stories to tell, but seeing as my fingers are frozen, most will have to wait until I get back to Kathmandu. Not that I'm in a rush. This is a desolate and beautiful land we are in. The paths are spotted with mani stones, stupas, and prayer flags. We often have to give way to yak trains, which announce their presence with soft bronze bells that, other than the river and the wind, are the only sounds.

It's snowing right now. Snow and ice make for tricky and treacherous trekking. In fact, today, our guide had to drag me behind him like a sled because my boots could gain no traction on the snow-topped stone. The other day, rather than risk falling on my face while going down an icy path in a shady pine forest, I chose to slide down on my butt - much to the amusement of the Indian Everest summit party hiking behind us.

No sign of the yeti so far, though.

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