Day 15 Thukla- Lobouche BC (5300m)
Yesterday my water bottle was frozen solid when I woke, today my water, boots and sun cream were all solid (I didn’t even know sun cream could freeze). Another breakfast of muesli and hot milk (something I’ve developed a soft spot for), then up, up and up some more. When we got to the steepest section (just before B.C. which is by a frozen lake) we seemed to be stopping every 5 minutes and actually not down to me, although I certainly didn’t complain with the extra rests. During one rest I had an apple and guess what it was frozen too, a different sort of crunchy apple to what I am used to.
We got to the BC, cleared a site of snow and erected the tent by 12.00. I had an awesome toilet trip which had stunning views; I would argue that you couldn’t find one better. Aashman left me alone for 4 hours to go and set up a rope on a supposedly very difficult section. In the mean time I boiled some water had some al dente rice and had some more water (yes I know you’re all thinking how very interesting). I tried to get some sleep even though it was only 13.21 because I knew that in 13 hours we would be up making our summit bid and every little helps.
Whilst laying there I thought I heard someone shouting so I stuck my head out the door to listen, sure enough a cry and a whistle came from up the mountain. In a panic I rammed my frozen boots on, grabbed my discarded down jacket, gloves, hat and goggles and set off towards the sounds. The shortest and quickest way was up a rock face, 100 near vertical metres later, fuelled by adrenalin I reach the top from where I could see most the remaining mountain. To my delight I spot a figure moving upwards, Aashman wasn’t in trouble and needing my rescuing like I thought. I stood a little longer until my breathing settles a little and I noticed 3 more figures moving upwards. I was annoyed that my efforts were wasted but relieved Aashman was fine but also confused as to where these other guys had come from as there have been no other steps in the snow ahead of us as we’d gone.
Aashman’s return signified the start of snowfall and it turned out that the shouts belonged to some Koreans who had just come up to have a look as Lobouche but weren’t climbing it.