Friday, May 15, 2009

Climbed Kala Patthar today!

What a challenge!  Kala Patthar is at 5550 m (18,220 ft), and this old lady was able to make it to the top!  Can you believe it?  I may be slow, but determination goes a long, long way to making things happen. 
Monika, Steve, Thilo, Chris, me, and Kyle made it up, in that order.  The rest of our group gave it a good try, but the altitude is always a wild card and sometimes it just doesn't work out the way one hopes.
The weather was beautiful in the morning - blue skies and stunning views of Everest, Nupste, Changtse, and the other big peaks in this region.  We had good views of the Khumbu ice fall and Everest Base camp and all down the glacier.  We also saw several avalanches during our hike up the mountain.
The going got to be pretty rough during the top third.  We were climbing through a snow field and then the last 100 feet or so we had to deal with ice on rock.  I said a lot of "Oh Shit!" during that phase of the climb.  Coming down was worse, though
One of our sherpa staff brought hot orange juice to the top for us to have when we summitted.  I can't say enough good things about our sherpa staff and Mountain Tribes, in general.  They take such good care of us.  My only complaint is the thin foam mattresses we use under our sleeping bags.  You feel every rock.
Our group that made it up to Everest Base camp returned not too long after we came down from Kala Patthar.  They had their own adventures up there, but they got real pizza from the Mountain Tribes cook, Dawa.  Lucky dogs!
It's so hard to eat at this altitude.  Nothing is appetizing.  This morning our cook staff gave us all snickers bars to eat on the trail.  That went over very well indeed.
Last night we had yak bells to accompany our sleep, or lack thereof.  I actually slept last night.  It's the first night I can remember actually sleeping instead of fitfully dozing.  Everything is so hard to do at high altitude, as I mentioned previously.  I'm actually feeling pretty good today. 
Tomorrow we head down to fatter air.   We'll be trekking to Dingboche.  We have four days to make it back to Lukla, so we will be walking long hours - mostly downhill, of course.  Hard on the knees, but we're all seasoned by now.  It will be good to get back to Kathmandu and a hot shower.  All of us are sporting greasy hairdos that are better left unseen at this time.

1 comment:

deb pfeiffer said...

Congratulations!Andi, "old" is definately not a word I'd use for you! Perhaps, "amazing" or "incredible" or "fabulous" ...but not old!

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures, (when back home and time to post) by you, your Steve, and the others.

Thanks so much for the update; Steven called his mom and made her very happy; Susan is proud of Steven for his accomplishments.

Happy trails; be safe on the way back to Lukla!