So now that I’ve finished the whole sequence I figured I’d post the whole listing here on one page in order, it will make it easier for people finding it for the first time to access, enjoy:
Posts Tagged ‘trek’
Tags: breschears, cho oyu, everest, everest base camp, gokyo, gompa, gorak shep, kathmandu, khumjung, life, lukla, mong la, namche, nepal, renjo la, sherpa, thamel, trek, trekking, yeti
Tags: everest, gomap, gorak shep, life, lukla, namche, nepal, steve, trek, trekking
It’s funny in writing something like this, trying to remember everything, even with journal notes, things come to you later, you realize you didn’t get in pictures that you like. You can never catch the feeling or the depth of the friendships that can be created so quickly. One person whose image hasn’t appeared is our friend Steve. Steve of course is not her given name, being born a woman in Hungary and all, but she is Steve, first a picture of my friend Steve:
And now a video to show you what the whole Steve thing is about:
Steve is a truly amazing woman, this was her second trek and she was a zen-like trekker, calm quiet, Steve took everything in her own time. Not to mention that she was fascinating to talk to and was being tracked and protected by the Hungarian Secret Service, at least that was the joke. We kid her a lot that they had her on satellite imagery at all times, and then one day while we were resting under the eaves of a lodge on the trail to Na, a black helicopter came flying up the valley. It really seemed like since she was off satellite coverage they had sent in the choppers. I miss Steve.
You have seen some of the other characters we were with, Stretch, Mark, Philippe and a couple of pictures and a mention of Tom being sick. However, I believe I could write a 16 part series about my friend Tom, it was his second trek as well and he is one of the funniest humans I’ve ever encountered. He routinely kept me laughing and when I couldn’t go above a snail’s pace he spent the day walking with me. With Tom things were up and down, although he kept my spirits up, it was because of him that I ended up at war with Australia.
Our guides were magnificent and truly I wouldn’t trek with anyone else, Kim and Lhakpa are the best. Kim’s company can be found at http://www.project-himalaya.com/ and Lhakpa is branching out on his own and has a new company he has started and can be found at: http://khumbuadventures.com/featured-trek/khumbu-adv-everest-luxury.htm
If you go to see them bring Kim Jolly Ranchers and Lhakpa beef jerky and of course ziplocks and duct tape, they’ll appreciate it.
There are times in the mountains when life can’t get any better, and times when you can’t believe you’re going to finish the days walk. You can build life-long friendships climbing a single hill and totally forget where you are and what you are doing. One of my favorite moments among many was coming up over the ridge to Gorak Shep and looking at the mountains in front of me. Seeing these peaks rising 10,000 feet in the sky I stood there admiring them and then started to laugh. Yes, I was looking at peaks nearly 10,000 feet above me, but I was already 17,000 feet up, such is the power of the biggest mountains in the world.
I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to the Himalayas but I’m glad I went, the peace I gained in the rare air lasted me almost 10 months after I got back to “civilization.” The other thing that is hard to find space for are just pictures, so to wrap up this little odyssey just a set of pretty shots from the Himalayas, enjoy!
A picture holding a package of mountain gold.
And finally the shot I use as the header for my other blog, The Ministry of Happiness.
Tags: everest, kathmandu, life, nepal, thamel, trek, trekking
The morning felt like a morning at 17,000 feet, I didn’t have much energy, I could hardly eat and then I remembered that I drank the night before. Happily our guides did a great job of getting us scheduled on a flight and actually getting it, that can be a problem in Lukla, we mounted up and got ready to do round two of Lukla. The runway slants down on takeoff and if you are overweight, or if you don’t get up enough speed you go from a flight to demolition derby with the bottom of the valley, and the valley has a tendency to win.
So once again we were often cotton and candies and the pilot stood up on the brakes and pushed the throttle to full, then jumps off and here we go. Actually it was a great takeoff; we were airborne probably 5 feet before we ran off the runway. The flight back was beautiful and sad as we were saying goodbye to the mountains. Kathmandu airport was its normal hectic self and we even someone leaving right from the airport so that added a level of nuttiness. We then went back to our original home in Nepal the Kathmandu Guest House, and since I was remiss in the first post here are a couple photos of the hotel:
It was nice in some ways and not so nice in others to be back in civilization. We got in and checked in, took long showers, changed into clean clothes and then went down and had lunch. Unfortunately I had started developing a chest infection and wasn’t feeling really well, by that night I felt really bad and ended up spending most of the next several days in bed coughing my lungs out. Happily the drug store next to the hotel hooked me up with some antibiotics and got me on the road to recovery. The Kathmandu Guest House is in the Thamel area of Kathmandu, it’s an area full of hotels, restaurants and shops, I’m including some of my favorite shots form that area, I did feel well enough to do a little shopping and take a few pictures:
Tags: everest, himalaya, life, lukla, namche, trek, trekking
Had a great night sleep in Namche, woke up and took my morning constitutional on an honest to goodness sit down toilet, ah the joys in life we take for granted on a daily basis. Fantastic breakfast and with my back still a bit sore and finally tired of walking I decided not to go up to Thame to meet the group and instead spent the day in Namche. I walked around the town for the day, did a little shopping and looked at some amazing Thankas (religious paintings), did some internet, sat in the sun and ate apple pie at the Everest Bakery, damn good apple pie.
The rest of our group came in that night and it was a raucous and emotional reunion, we ate a lot, we drank a lot, and general relaxed. It was also starting to set in that we would be leaving each other soon, people were tired and emotions frayed, so like any good family party people were on edge. Over the last three weeks we had become a family in some sense of the word, we’d bonded over hard work and high altitude and had gotten very close. Like every family however, you had your obnoxious loud cousin, the weird family members, the quiet ones, the mom – I can see all of my former companions reading this and trying to figure out who I thought was who. We’d been living together for three weeks and that brings with it all of the positives and all of the negatives. However what I will say is that in doing these sorts of adventures, I’ve noticed that the people who show up to these things are typically a little easier to get along with than the general population. I do not like to be part of groups as a general rule but anybody willing to pay to walk up mountains and used squat toilets for a couple of weeks has an adventurous nature and those folks are always easier to get along with, our group was no exception. In our group, after we picked up a couple of stragglers, including scientists, teachers, computer programmers, business people and a doctor. The countries represented included the United States, France, Hungary and Slovenia a pretty diverse group. The age range and I’m guessing a little bit here, ranged from late 20’s to the early 60’s and every shape and size, this diversity provided for great conversation and a full rewriting of the Slovenian National Anthem.
The morning after our Namche reunion we walked down to Phakding, on the website for Project Himalaya it says this walk we came up two weeks before will seem remarkably easy and quick and it was true. It really is amazing after two weeks in the high country how much easier it was to walk at 10,000 feet and lower. We spent the night at a lodge in Phakding eating popcorn and watching Bollywood music videos. The next morning we were off to Lukla.
The next morning uncharacteristically I was one of the first people to be ready and I set off down the trail toward Lukla. I was the second person out and was wondering down the trail looking at some of the amazing Mani Walls in the areas:
Some of the beautiful homes and gardens:
I was even stopped for awhile so that a train of mules essentially could go through, and at times stopped to let some of the unbelievable porters to come through:
The porters are absolutely amazing, small men by American standards, thin, wearing sneakers and sometimes even sandals and they are carrying crazy loads from 9000 to sometimes 15, 16, or 17,000 feet. I saw porters who were carrying five foot high stacks of can goods, with ten sheets of plywood (the picture above) and the most amazing, a five foot man carrying eight, seven-foot long pieces of rebar. The rebar was so long that he had to go backwards downhill, the same downhills I was carefully picking my way down with trekking poles. Effectively the porters and Sherpas of the Khumbu are supermen.
Now one of the questions I often get was aren’t you afraid you’ll get lost and I always said no, the trails are fairly obvious and they were. Particularly on the way to Lukla, it’s a trail, mostly stone covered that thousands of people walk daily. Of course, this was the day I got lost. It was a short detour, I missed a turn around a little school and instead went off along the river. The trail kept getting narrower and I stopped seeing people come the other way so I realized pretty quickly I’d gone the wrong way. It was a nice little diversion down a quiet part of the valley and I was happy for the mistake.
I backtracked to the trail and ended up coming up behind the group and freaking people out as they were all sure I was up ahead of them. We walked leisurely that day, stopped for tea on a highpoint and enjoyed the sun. There was one last hill to climb and then we entered Lukla a full circle in the Himalayas
We dropped down through the village and stayed at the lodge next to the airport and settled in for lunch, it was Thanksgiving Day back in the states but there was no turkey on the menu in Lukla. I was hungry and so I decided to order the sizzling Yak platter and when it came out steaming and sizzling I was the envy of the lunch crowd. We spent the day in Lukla picking up souvenirs, catching up with the world on the internet and then me, Mark and Tom decided to have a beer at the Everest Rock Bar. It was a fabulous little place, just us and the bartender who I’m sure thought we were nuts, we drank, we laughed and listened to the same loop of music over and over and it was wonderful. The girl who hiked in a skirt and her boyfriend even stuck their head into the bar in a nice little coincidence and said hi. It was a good afternoon.
That night was Thanksgiving Dinner, our last night party, we bought a box of wine and we all ordered the sizzling Yak, within minutes of our dinners coming out the steam had fogged up the entire lodge and they were opening windows. The other groups in the lodge, Italians and Japanese couldn’t stop watching our table. We were happy and rowdy and then it happened, perhaps the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life. One of the add-ons to our group, Chris had gone to an international nursery school as a small child and had learned a Japanese Nursery Rhyme. Suddenly, with no warning Chris leaped up and burst out in full Japanese song mode and started dancing and singing the rhyme. Some of the older Japanese ladies jumped up out of their chairs and joined right in, it was madness as the other Japanese trekkers went for their phones to video the whole affair. Every once-in-awhile I search YouTube hoping someone has posted it, the search continues. A late night and lots of drinking would be followed by an early flight to Kathmandu. As I was nodding off Philippe came into the room and proceeded to spontaneously launch into a flying Tatanka massage. Nothing like being half-awake, buzzed and having a 250 pound flying Frenchman land on you full force to give you a full body Tatanka massage. After my screaming stopped I heard lots of laughter from the other rooms of my mates. I would sleep with one eye open for the rest of the night.
Tags: dhole, everest, life, mong la, moonlight lodge, namche, tathanka, trek, trekking
Cold morning in Dhole and no fire in the common room so we ate as fast as possible and made for Phortse Tenga at a pretty fast clip. Then we made what was an hour and fourteen minute climb up to Mong La, with the extra weight in the packs it was a challenging climb. However, back at lower elevation and over two weeks in the Himalayas it wasn’t so bad. We stopped at Mong La for a quick cup of tea, a short rest and to take in the view which from there is truly spectacular.
The picture is of my friend Nives at Mong La the first time we came through. Mong La improbably sits on the top of a peak like a Himalayan rest area. Reaching the top there are several little lodges and our two stops there were magical.
Our tea stop was brief and we were on the march again, our goal was back to the Moonlight Lodge in Namche and back to internet connections, hot showers, sit on toilets and great apple pie in the bakeries. However my back was starting to bothering with the extra weight, we came down off of the hill from Mong La and stopped at a lodge and our guide Lhakpa really wanted to move on through and get to Namche but Philippe and I were tired and as tempting as Namche and all it held was, a grumbling stomach won out. So we stopped to sit in the sun and have a snack and it is time to truly introduce you to my friend Phillipe, or as he became to known as, Tatanka. Philippe is from France and speaks excellent English although he doesn’t believe that so much, he’s a big and powerful man and happened to have a Tatonka bag. I don’t know what that means in German but it quickly got co-opted to the Lakota Sioux word for Bison. The following two pictures show exactly how well my friend took to his new name:
Philippe Is a very social man who speaks several languages, when we sat down another Frenchman joined us at the table and the French began to fly. Then several Germans sat at the next table and the German began to fly. It was fabulous sitting there in the middle of several conversations going on at once in English, French and German staring out across the Khumbu Valley with the high peaks in the distance. It was one of few truly cosmopolitan and amazing moments of my life, and then the Frenchman’s meal came, fried eggs on top of French Fries. At that moment it seemed to be the greatest culinary invention in the history of mankind and we order it immediately, much to the dismay of Lhakpa who now realized he’d lost the battle to keep us moving. Fried eggs, French Fries and a coke, it was delicious and different and in that moment has to have been one of the best meals I’d ever eaten. One of those meals that eaten anywhere else, at any other time, would barely be palatable was a veritable feast in the Himalayas.
Eventually Lhakpa did get us moving and when he finally did he demonstrated his desire to get us quickly Namche with a blistering pace. It was a downhill run but my back began to hurt again, but it was time to tough it out, I did and the payoff was spotting two blood pheasants on the way into Namche, awesome. Finally we were back at what seemed like home, Namche, The Moonlight Lodge and a reunion with our friend Tom who had gone down early because he was ill and the cold beer that the reunion promised.
Tags: bigfoot, cho oyu, dhole, Gokyo Ri, life, machermo, nepal, tom slick, trek, trekking, yeti
On this day the group will be leaving to go over the Renjo La Pass (17,800) feet and down into the Thame valley. I had been thinking a lot about the pass, I’m not a good descender and there was a possibility that the descent would be icy and I just wasn’t feeling confident about it. The last thing I wanted to do was talk myself into a fall so I made the decision to go back down the Gokyo Valley and to Namche with a plan to meet the group in three days in Mende. My friend Phillipe had not been feeling well and he decided to make the trip down with me and one of the guides, Lhakpa. Breaking from the group meant no Yak support and so instead of light day packs we were carrying full packs, still not a ton of weight but definitely more than we had been carrying up to this point.
It was a sad morning saying goodbye to the group and we watched them as long as we could as they slid up the side of Gokyo Ri, heading for what looked like an impossible path to reach a notch in the mountains.
Finally it was time for us to go and we retreated down the Gokyo Valley, this time staying on the opposite side of the river which gave us new villages and vistas. We were heading for Dhole but our first stop was at Machermo a place I was very excited to be getting to. Why you ask? Well on the maps of the Khumbu Valley there is a notation at Machermo, “site of Yet attack in 1974, 3 yaks killed and woman thrown in stream.” Being as interested as I am in the Yeti, Machermo was certainly a high point on the trip for me, unfortunately I’m unable to locate my Machermo photos at this time, but they weren’t that exciting, just me by the village sign. The other thing both related to the Yeti and very interesting was the area just outside of Machermo, for the first time on the trek we found ourselves walking through actual forest including something that looked a lot like Spanish Moss on the trees. This really seemed like the first habitat we encountered that could actually support a large creature like the Yeti. For more on the Yeti check out the link below:
We made Dhole (13,254) in the afternoon, it’s a sleepy little village and we had a great afternoon sitting in the sun, having a beer and watching crows stealing food off of the packs on the backs of the yaks coming through the village. The lodge at Dhole had very little heat in the common room and none in the sleeping area and it may have been the coldest night of the trek. Getting up at 3AM to urinate and the water in the squat toilet was actually frozen, I was very thankful for my mummy bag that night it was going to be a cold morning.
Tags: cho oyu, everest, gokyo, gokyo lakes, himalaya, lake tahoe, life, nepal, phortse, trek, trekking
The morning was spent making the trek back down from Dingboche to Phortse, retracing our steps once again to meet up with my little beard pulling friend. A nice night back in Phortse but the lodge is crowded, the snow has created some log jams both going up and coming down the trails. Being at a lower altitude feels amazing especially when just days before this was the thin air we were getting used to.
The next morning we said goodbye to one of our group who was sick and would be heading down to Namche and then the rest of us hit the trail moving up again. The trail to Na was by far my most difficult trail of the entire trek. I don’t like exposed trails, I mentioned that earlier, and on the trail to Na we spent a very large portion of our seven hours of walking on the edge of about a 1000 foot drop off, with the trail winding out around outcroppings and the conversation for most of the day unfortunately centering on the guy who disappeared on this trail the year before. The physical part of the walk was not an issue, it was the mental drain of having to focus so intensely on where to put foot after foot after foot. By the time we reached the river drainage that led up to the lodge at Na I was spent, the last half hour was a long slow slog. The high point of the day as well as the most embarrassing moment was watching a 50-something grandmother come up over mountain trails carrying her 4-year-old grandson and moving at least as fast as I was, it put things into perspective.
The lodge at Na was a bit of a throwback to old trekking days, the outhouse was well outside of the lodge and a good distance away, the Yak dung stove smoked up the lodge and the rooms were chilly and our Yaks were huddled up against the wall under our window. However like the rest of the region it was beautiful, the shot below is the trail coming up the valley:
We lit out of Na, across the river and started upward again toward the Gokyo Valley, saw what were quite possibly snow leopard prints in the snow, very cool. We took a rest stop at the entrance to the Gokyo Valley on a little bridge over a raging river. I had been looking forward to seeing the valley, there are five sacred lakes in the Gokyo Valley and we quickly came upon the first. It looked a bit like a damned up wide spot in the river but was absolutely beautiful set against the snow. A little further up the valley we came to the second lake and it was magnificent, the lake is long and over a 100 feet deep. Looking back down the valley from the head of the lake and my favorite peak was gleaming in the sun, this instantly became my favorite spot in Nepal.
We spent a little time resting by the shore of the lake and then made our way up to Gokyo and the third lake. The first view of Gokyo (15,700 ft) was awesome:
The third lake was like a small Lake Tahoe set in the Himalayas, the lodge we were staying at sat up over it with a magnificent view and had attached with it the outhouse with the best view in the world:
The lakes as I mentioned were sacred lakes so there is no one on or in the lake in any way. The lakes remain perfect and calm framed against the snow-covered shores of Gokyo Ri (17,585) and in the shadow of Cho Oyu one of the world’s highest mountains at 26,900 feet and pictured below:
We had a rest day in Gokyo and I spent the day shooting, here’s a sampling enjoy:
Tags: chorten, climber, dingboche, everest, everest base camp, gorak shep, life, lobuche, memorial, snow, trek, trekking
The poetry of the earth is never dead. ~John Keats
November 17, 2009 – woke up to lots of snow probably six inches, considering that November is the dry season it was quite a surprise to everyone. The weather forecast that we could get indicated that the temperature for the next few days would remain cold. This meant that the pass we planned to go over to get to the Gokyo Valley would be snowed in and may stay that way for several days. This left our group with a decision to make, we could trek up to Everest Base Camp and spent the next several days waiting for the pass to possibly open and possibly run out of time and have to skip the Gokyo Valley, or make a long trek back down, around and then back up into the Gokyo Valley. However the second option would mean we had to leave immediately and miss out on visiting Everest Base Camp. This was a tough decision for the group, base camp was a goal for many of us and had been the reason I had originally come on the trek. However, something I had come to realize walking up these mountains was that Everest no longer mattered. The mountains were unbelievable and although Everest may be the biggest, I had become more fascinated with Khan Tiega. It was no longer about just Everest and the group agreed we decided to skip out on base camp and head down the mountain to spend the night at Dingboche a six-hour walk.
Once the decision was made we packed quickly and got ready to move. It was a brand new experience, walking trails that we had done the day before, but now were covered with snow and ice. The snow wasn’t terribly deep and we were making very good time considering the conditions. We flew the two hours down to Lobuche and the pace was frankly too much for me. Even going downhill at almost 17,000 ft the altitude can get to you, I was never so excited for a cup of tea as I was arriving at Lobuche that day in the snow. I had been nauseas most of the morning and now was dizzy on top of it, I hadn’t eaten much at all, but it was time to go back out in the snow
Below is what I wrote that night about walking that day:
“Felt nauseas all morning and the dizziness was not helping at all. However the walk was spectacular as the mountains were snow-covered and kept dancing in and out of the clouds, it was the prototypical Himalayan Trekking day as I had envisioned it in my head before coming.”
It was a crazy day walking, at times the ground, the sky, the mountains and then fog crowded in on us and there were no borders to the world. There was a real fear of walking off the side of a cliff and luckily, as usual, my friend Mark and his size 14 boot prints were in front of me marking the way. Then, suddenly, the clouds would blow out and the sun would beat down reflected off of everything and you’d be hot as hell. At least four times during the day I either stripped down from my parka to my t-shirt or stopped to quickly bundle up again.
Retracing the steps we had done two days before we came to the ridge above Thugla and to the chortens marking lost climbers. It had been magnificent and somber a few days before, but now it had taken on utterly surreal quality in the snow.
We ate lunch at Thugla and then moved on towards Dingboche, as we came down the valley I took one of my favorite photos of the trip:
We arrived back in Dingboche and truly I’ve never been so tired walking down hill, but it had been a magnificent day. The effects of altitude are amazing, dropping from 17,000 to 14,000 feet my head felt clearer, and my appetite had returned. We made a lot of jokes that night about the fat air at 14,000 feet, a joke that I could not have imagined finding amusing even two weeks earlier.
Tags: base camp, breashears, everest, everest imax, gorak shep, icefall, Khumbu, life, nepal, trek, trekking
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir
I was feeling better this day as evidenced by my appetite returning with a vengeance, I ate a big breakfast, a big lunch and snacked constantly all day until dinner where I ate well. The walk was long and beautiful, down through Dingboche again lunch at Thugla and then up a really tremendously large hill behind the lodge. At the top we were in a field full of markers that commemorate lost climbers, it was a truly somber and beautiful place. We stopped there and took some time to recover from the hill and take in the monuments.
We proceeded up the valley to Lobuche(16,190 ft) and got settled in for the night. We had noticed that David Breashears was also staying at the lodge and it created quite a little buzz in our group. If you don’t know who he is you can check him out at the link below:
The group got even more excited when Breashears came to join our group, turns out he had previously met with one of the people in our group. David was kind enough to sit and talk with us for quite a while and tell us about his glacier project. David is taking comparative photographs of glaciers, essentially taking the same picture that was taken decades before and comparing them to determine how much the glaciers have retreated. It is an interesting project and I was fortunate enough to meet with David again this fall and they are really making a lot of progress with the photography and the development of the website should be pretty amazing. You can get a little more information at the following link:
The next day was a hard walk, it was windy and cold and we moved slowly up the mountain along the valley containing the Khumbu Icefall.
These were my exact thoughts when I hit Gorak Shep (16,975):
“This place (Gorak Shep) is stark. It’s a climber’s place lots of reminders of past expeditions and treks. Seeing some familiar faces from the trail, met a beautiful Spanish girl who is heading for base camp at Island Peak. It’s cold here, and going to be a cold night’s sleep.”
The day was also my friend Mark’s birthday, Mark is an incredible hiker and even with a pretty severe chest infection led our group most days. He’s pictured here below:
We had put together a little bit of a celebration for Mark scrounging together some candy, chocolates, cheeses etc… and a couple of us who knew in advance were carrying small presents for him. The manager of the lodge even put together a little present for him. Unfortunately as I went back to my room I got the sudden urge to go to the bathroom, I say unfortunately because the urge trailed the action. I moved as quickly as I could under the circumstances and spent the next couple of hours squatting in the lodge’s bathroom. My lack of energy two days previous now made sense, it was when the intestinal infection I had picked up took hold and zapped my energy. That I had picked up the infection was not a shock, it’s common in fact and I came prepared with ciprofloxacin and that little miracle antibiotic would cure me in less than 24 hours. The real issue was my soiled long-johns, it was cold and base-camp was up next and there wasn’t a lot of heat in the lodge. The solution was to do some impromptu tailoring by cutting the soiled portion of my long-johns away with a knife. It wasn’t pretty and surely not to become a fashion (sorry I called you Shirley), but it was necessary to stay warm in the mountains. Sometimes adventure isn’t pretty.
The second surprise of the evening was that the snow that had started as we reached Gorak Shep was picking up. The reason this is surprising is that November is typically a pretty dry time in the Himalayas and one of the reasons the treks run at that time of year. I slept hard that night and let the medication work its magic. The one thing I really liked about Gorak Shep was the view at sunset:
Tags: Chhukhung, everest, Khumbu, life, marathon, periche, trek, trekking
Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral. ~John Burroughs
We had a couple of people in the group who haven’t been feeling well, a number of people in the group had a chest infection. We hiked up to the Periche Aid station today to get people checked out, happily everyone turned out to be ok. In Periche I saw my favorite sign in the Himalayas, here it is:
In all fairness English is a tough language and you see a lot of funny signs overseas when people translate, I was just happy to be someplace where they try. After leaving the clinic we popped over a little 600 foot hill and dropped down into Dingboche(14,105 ft) for the night. Before going over the hill, we were getting our gear together and we hear a bell ringing and we look up to see someone actually running down the hill we are about to climb, and then another, and another. We were actually witnessing part of the Everest Marathon, yes folks for some runners a marathon at sea level isn’t enough they have to go run one in the Himalayas, you can read more about it at the following link:
We started out the next morning walking up the Chhukhung Valley heading to Chhukhung at 15,580 ft. The valley is a wide gently sloping valley with a small river running through it with amazing peaks rising up on either side of the valley, truly spectacular and even the skies that day were amazing.
At one point on the way up the valley I saw a woman hiking in a skirt, I really thought I was mistaken until we met again later that day at our lodge and I confirmed she was hiking in a skirt. She also turned out to be an amazingly beautiful and cool woman and we would run into her and her boyfriend a number of times on the trail, this is them below:
It also turned out to be by far my worst day on the trail, I had no energy, absolutely none and I was walking like an 80 year old man. It was amazing, no matter how hard I tried I could not force my feet to move any faster. It was a day to learn how great my hiking companions and my guides were, people took turns hiking back with me and Lhakpa and Kim were absolutely amazing, here’s a picture of those two below.
That day as the sun set we were treated to one of the most amazing sunsets I’d ever seen.