Day 7 There and back again
We left the tea house at 07.00 and had a steep 300m climb to reach the first pass of the day. We stopped to glug down some water but on inspection of my bottle it was full of sediment, I mean it was literally sediment with dashes of water, a result of filling up the bottles with boiled river water in the dark the previous night, I dread to think what my 2 meals and 2 cups of tea looked like, maybe a good thing they didn’t have any electricity and you couldn’t see much by torch light.
During the morning crossed 2 more passes, the highest being just shy of 5000m, on the other side we met a group coming the other way who had sumited Mera Peak 4 days previously but had been living off cereal bars and dried fruit for the past 3 days because none of the tea houses were open on their return, even the ones that were open on their way up were now shut. We walked a little bit further whilst discussing our option but decided to turn around and head back to Lukla.
It was extremely demoralizing retracing our steps after all we had achieved was a headache, a combination of altitude and dehydration due to the fact that I only managed to drink ¾ L of sediment. I also had another sign of mild altitude sickness, severe wind so I resigned myself to walking behind Assman. After 12 hours of walking we finally arrived back at Lukla in the dark with our head torches on, 9 of those hours were spent well over 4000m.
That evening we decided to change our plans and attempt to climb Island peak, the most popular 6000m peak in the country, but due to the fact that the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) had booked the whole mountain because they are climbing it as a training climb we had to think again, we are now climbing Lobouche East (6119) a significantly harder, less well known climb.
Thankfully tomorrow we have a rest day which will be most welcome. I am just hoping that the route to Lobouche East isn’t as sudden as Mera Peak otherwise I think I will be requiring a rest day every other day