Everest Base Camp - Day 6 (Acclimitization Day in Dingboche)

Dingboche Travel Blog

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Kantega (6783m - 22254 ft) in early sunlight (5:40 AM)

After the early night I was awake early at around 5 AM (actually the good thing was that I was able to sleep this time at 4400m - at Thorung Phedi I had difficulties on the Annapurna Circuit at the same altitude).  Wiped some condensation from the window next to me and low and behold there are some actual mountains out there.  I was beginning to wonder.  Went out to snap some photos in the early morning sunlight.  Was worried though that it looked like clouds were already beginning to roll up the valley again.  Thankfully this potentiality ultimately proved unfounded.  Back in my room I curled up in my sleeping bag until I needed to get up for breakfast.

Climbing to a ridge in front of Ama Dablam
  It was quite cold wandering outside first thing in the morning.

Started at the standard time with breakfast at 7:30 AM and by 8:00 AM we were walking on the trail for our second acclimitization hike - or should I say wall climb.  We left Dingboche, crossed the Imja Khola and began an ascent up a ridge towards Ama Dablam (6814m - 22355 ft) to our south.  The climb felt like it was straigt up.  In some cases I scrambled up the steep slopes using my hands to find holds in front of me.  I think we actually spent more time resting than actually walking or climbing.  Based on Al's altimeter we would walk for about 5 minutes ascending 50-60m (164-196 ft) before pausing to recover for 5 minutes or so.  This continued as we ascended somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 meters (1312 feet) to a ridge beneath Ama Dablam.

The group in front of Ama Dablam at nearly 5000m (16404ft)
  The views of Ama Dablam's north face are quite different than those we had of the south face as we left Namche Bazaar a few days earlier.  The dual peak thumb-like appearance from the south is more evident as the two separate peaks from the north. 

We also had views up the Imja Khola valley towards Chhukhung and Island Peak (Imja Tse) - 6189 m (20305 ft).  Island Peak is one of the classic trekkers peaks in the Nepal Himalaya although still a challenge in its own right.  To the west we could also see Tabuche - 6495m (21309 ft) and Cholatse - 6335m (20784 ft).  These mountains nestle above the Imja Khola and Dudh Kosi and we walked around them yesterday as we traveled from Phortse to Dingboche.  After several photos and some time to breath the high altitude air we walked a bit further up for some more views gaining a bit more altitude.

The route of our climb to the ridgetop can be seen in the track on the left of the photo.
  And then it was time to head back down by essentially the same route.  I'm not sure how we made it down without someone killing themselves - but we did despite many minor slips and spills on the way down, including one by yours truly.

Lunch time and the rest of the afternoon was free time to relax, read, write, play cards, or just enjoy the day.  It was actually nice enough to lay out and enjoy some sun in front of our lodge although it was a bit chilly.  There's not much to do in these mountain towns.  Dingboche is not even a year round village only occupied during the trekking seasons and in the summer when people from villages further down the mountain bring herds up to graze at the higher elevations.  I spent a bit of time reorganizing some gear, getting some of the true cold weather gear closer to the top of the bag preparing for the elements at the true higher elevations to come in the next few days.  Dinner came and went and we called it another early evening, everyone struggling to last until 8:00 PM

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Kantega (6783m - 22254 ft) in earl…
Kantega (6783m - 22254 ft) in ear…
Climbing to a ridge in front of Am…
Climbing to a ridge in front of A…
The group in front of Ama Dablam a…
The group in front of Ama Dablam …
The route of our climb to the ridg…
The route of our climb to the rid…
Ama Dablam (6814m - 22355 ft)
Ama Dablam (6814m - 22355 ft)
Kantega (6783m - 22254 ft) and Tha…
Kantega (6783m - 22254 ft) and Th…
Clouds rolling in again?!?!
Clouds rolling in again?!?!
Dingboche - 4410m (14,468 ft) our …
Dingboche - 4410m (14,468 ft) our…
Tabuche - 6495m (21309 ft) lost am…
Tabuche - 6495m (21309 ft) lost a…
Tabuche - 6495m (21309 ft)
Tabuche - 6495m (21309 ft)
Tabuche - 6495m (21309 ft)
Tabuche - 6495m (21309 ft)
Lhotse - 8516m (27939ft)
Lhotse - 8516m (27939ft)
Tabuche - 6495m (21309 ft) and Cho…
Tabuche - 6495m (21309 ft) and Ch…
Me standing on a rock in front of …
Me standing on a rock in front of…
Makalu - 8462m (27762 ft)
Makalu - 8462m (27762 ft)
Descending from the ridge
Descending from the ridge
Resting along the trail
Resting along the trail
Nuptse - 7861m (25790 ft), Lhotse …
Nuptse - 7861m (25790 ft), Lhotse…
Wildflowers along the mountainside…
Wildflowers along the mountainsid…
Stone walls in Dingboche
Stone walls in Dingboche
Ama Dablam (6814m - 22355 ft)
Ama Dablam (6814m - 22355 ft)
Ama Dablam (6814m - 22355 ft)
Ama Dablam (6814m - 22355 ft)
Yak wandering out amidst the laund…
Yak wandering out amidst the laun…
Dingboche
photo by: guybooth