EBC trek 28 March – Fail!

Today was supposed to be the big day: Lobuche to Gorak Shep to Everest Base Camp and back to Gorak Shep. I had no headache or other altitude sickness symptoms so was good to go.

It was snowing again in the morning and for the first time I wore my waterproof coat over my fleece. We left at 07:30 and passed both the Gap Adventures group and the Adventure Company group who had left about 07:00. It was a fairly gentle ascent and the trail was quite slippery. We arrived at 09:30. It was still snowing and misty with about 200m visibility.

Goki spoke to another guide who had tried to get to Base Camp that morning and given up because it was too unsafe. So no Base Camp attempt for us either. And to add to the disappointment we wouldn’t be able to attempt Kala Pathar in the morning because the trail would be too icy and dangerous. Close, but not close enough; I don’t get to cross Everest Base Camp off my bucket list this time.

With no spare days in my itinerary there was no point staying overnight at Gorak Shep so we had a very early lunch and then headed back down to Lobuche in an hour and a half. The snow had stopped and the sun made an occasional appearance. We had a cup of tea and then continued down to Pheriche, which took another two hours. We’re staying at Pumori Lodge and appear to be the only guests tonight. My room is freezing but at least the light works.

The weather was basically rubbish all day so there aren’t many photos worthy of a second look. There aren’t many from yesterday either; Dingboche to Lobuche was quite tedious really. The latest ones are at Flickr anyway. Despite the duff weather I really enjoyed the trek down today and wasn’t too disappointed by not getting to Base Camp or being able to attempt Kala Pathar tomorrow. And somehow, even though the sun hardly made an appearance all day I got a sunburned nose.

Today we went from 4950m to 5200m back down to 4200m. A long and tiring day.

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