Day 13: Lobuche to Gorek Shep

This morning we got our now typical 8:30am start after yet another cold and restless night. We had a corner room, which we learned the first night we shouldn’t get. With the room as warm as it was when we arrived, we didn’t really think about the fact that it had two outside walls. Now we really know better!

We had mentally prepared for an easy day, into Gorek Shep in a couple hours and then resting for the rest of the day. After all, Gorek Shep was really just up an easy valley floor. As it turned out, the trek from Lobuche to Gorek Shep stunned both of us as we just weren’t mentally prepared for the elevation gain nor I suppose the fact that we were now back at very high altitude. What felt like several very long hours actually only took us 2 hours and 55 minutes. This was almost exactly what our guide predicted, but not at all close to the time the guide book suggested. The first part of the path was an easy stroll up the valley, as anticipated. That quickly ended at another moraine that had a steep goat path leading up it. This lead out rapidly to a glacier that resulted in a lot of short sections of up and down that served as both a physical challenge and a mental deterrent, making the short time seem like far longer. Exacerbating the problem was the fact that we couldn’t see where Gorek Shep was to orient us to how much more lay before us. We rolled into Gorek Shep beat and ready for tea, a room, and a nap in that order.

Despite having spent three days in Gokyo (4750m vs 5170m for Gorek Shep) I came down with a bad headache. While Anne tried her best to nap, I pulled out all the down I had, wrapped up, and drank a large pot of hot lemon. Diamox, ibuprofen, and a mid-day nap quickly did their work to restore me to normal.

It was good to flake out for the afternoon as both Anne and I needed the rest. We’d essentially not had a rest day since Namche, so time to just lay back and relax was welcomed, even if it seemed as though we were squandering precious time. During the day, the room gets good light, enough that it warmed to the point where you actually want to open the window to keep a nice temperature. We’re staying in yet another “Yeti Resort” (The name seems to have special affection, and there have been numerous lodges along the trek with some form of “Yeti” name) and this one really isn’t too bad given the remote location. The dining room is cold as it doesn’t have enough windows facing the light during the day. The main hallway also smelled too much of the pit toilet, which was a little off-putting. Otherwise, it wasn’t bad.

Tomorrow the plan is to summit Kala Patthar in the afternoon to catch sunset. Maybe we’ll also try for Everest Base Camp if we feel up to it.

Stats for the day:
Miles: 3.07
Ascent: 355m
Descent: 114m
Total Time: 2:55
Moving Time: 2:00