19 July 2009

Everest Region December 2003 - Day 12

Lobuche to Dzonghla

You can see a slideshow of my best pics from Everest on flickr.
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Angels at my Window

We got back to Lobuche after Kala Pattar to find an English couple, Gayle and John, had come to visit. They were on the end of a 'round-the-world tour, had walked in from Jiri, and were planning to walk back out again (which they did) after visiting Gorakh Shep. We had a great night talking about movies, learning card games, and catching up with each other as if we had known each other for years.

The morning broke sparkling, and we had decided that rather than walk around from Lobuche to Gokyo via Phortse, taking about four days, we would go over the Cho La (Chhugyuma) Pass. Hopefully, if the conditions were good, this would only take three days (Dzonghla, Dragnag, Gokyo) and give us another day for the Ngozhumpa glacial valley. If we couldn't cross the pass, we'd be stuffed, and would miss out on Gokyo altogether.

Heading back down, we took the high road west of Dughla, and skirted around the 5245m hill - Awi Peak - that separated Lobuche from Dzonglha. It was a beautiful "side-of-the-mountain" walk, much like walking out from Namche, or north of Pangboche, or towards Chhukhung, or the high road from Dingboche to Dughla. There is no dearth of beauty in the Everest region.


Taboche and Arakam Tse
The Tshola (or Chola) Glacier spills around the corner below Taboche Peak (6367m), adjacent to Cholatse and a truncated Jobo Lhaptshan (Arakam Tse, 6440m), above the frozen lake Tshola (Chola) Tsho. The range above the valley heading to the right includes the Cho La (Chhugyuma) Pass, the last two bits of snow on the right.

Two ways to keep warm

Cow dung wallpaper. When it's not being burnt in a pot-belly stove to keep us warm, it is being used to insulate the walls of the dormitory wing. Despite being sunny at midday, Dzonglha was a depressingly cold place, and with ice flitting through the air in the late afternoon, we wondered if we had done our dough on the Cho La Pass gambit/gamble (two totally different words having strikingly similar meanings in this usage). We spent a pretty glum Christmas Eve in the dingy dining room, hoping the stove would keep us warm.

“Oh, and I s’pose I should say ‘Merry Christmas’”

<grunt> ( = “You needn’t bloody well bother”)

Even at 4843m, it was the nadir of our trip...

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As seen on Andrew Purdam's Bushwalking Treasure Box blog.

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