Everest Base Camp - Day 8 (Lobuche - Gorak Shep - Everest Base Camp - Gorak Shep)
Gorak Shep Travel Blog› entry 74 of 136 › view all entries
The night at Lobuche was restless and uncomfortable. I awoke shortly after midnight and could not fall back asleep. The rooms were quite cold and I couldn't get comfortable to fall back into a good sleep before the 6:00 AM wake-up time. It was an early wake up but necessary for what was to be a long, long day.
The first stage of the trek from Lobuche to Gorek Shep was mostly easy walking (other than the fact that we were approaching 5000m (16405 ft) of elevation). We started below the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier and gradually ascended. Then came the crossing of the Changri Glacier(s). Changri Shar and Changri Nup Glaciers descend from the two sides of Changri mountain down to Khumbu Glacier.
It was still quite early on arrival at Gorek Shep (9:30 AM) but our day wasn't nearly done yet. We checked our bags into our rooms; ordered some hot tea to attempt to warm up briefly; some sandwiches to take with us up to Everest BC; additional candy bars as needed for fuel; and then headed off for Everest Base Camp.
The trail wound in and out, up and down along the lateral moraine of the Khumbu Glacier before eventually stepping out onto the glacier itself.
Before we reached the tents of base camp we came across a stone marker on the glacier. The marker was a generic location marker for Base Camp at 5365m (17602 ft). Especially in the non-climbing season (when no one would be at Base Camp), this location would serve as a general location for trekking groups coming up to BC. Being climbing season we could see the activity further up the glacier. After pictures and some time eating our lunches/sandwiches we carried on towards the actual BC, about another 30 minutes trekking away (even though a few trekkers weren't feeling too well - Mark and Nick, esp).
We reached Base Camp with amazing views of the Khumbu Ice Fall and up towards the Western Cwm far above. Al went with Pashan to see if he could locate a friend that was part of a summit team. Mike and I went off just to wander a few minutes later to explore for the allotted time Prem was giving us before heading back to Gorek Shep. The rest of the group hung out around the Everest Bakery and tried some of the Apple Pie that was being served at about $4 a slice. Out in BC, I saw some incredible views and amazed that expeditions spend weeks up here literally camped out on the glacier in preparation for their summit assaults. Rocks and ice were always shifting slightly as the glacier inexorably moved beneath us. And to live here for a few weeks - not sure I could do that.
Base Camp trekkers weren't exactly looked at kindly by the expeditions. It was like we were intruders on some sacred quest and that we didn't belong here in this area. It was more the fact that we were basically ignored, shunned as it were by the expedition groups. Not even a hello or anything. But then things ended up getting really strange. When I returned from my BC explorations at the designated meeting spot everyone was gone. Mike returned a few minutes later looking as surprised as myself. Neither of us was sure what was going on although we did know that Mark and Nick had not been feeling great. We also didn't know if Al and Pashan had returned from trying to find Al's buddy or had left with the rest of the group.
So at least 40 minutes behind the group the four of us headed down as well. We didn't rush but we didn't lounge around on the way down either.
Once back at the teahouse we ordered dinner and relaxed. No one felt much like doing anything at all at this point after what had been a 10 hour day of trekking. Other than the trouble sleeping I was feeling rather strong. Hoping that today's long day would help me sleep here. But as I went to bed at 8:00 PM my night at Gorek Shep proved just as restless as last night in Lobuche. Not good preparation for the 5:15 AM wake-up to climb Kala Pattar in the morning and then descend from Gorek Shep.