Today morning it was quite chilly with wind blowing for some time and I wore 3 layers of clothing, had 2 cups of hot coffee at breakfast and off we went at . Initial 30 min was a steep climb and was sweating heavily inside so took off one layer. The next 2 hours were over flat land but the walking was getting difficult as we were gradually gaining altitude. Stopped for lunch at Thukla which is just 2 houses near a river bridge. So at this place there was an Indian group of around 14, a Singaporean group of around 12, a Russion group of around 10 and some more trekkers totaling close to 40-45 people having lunch at this place which got crowded.
After lunch started the huge climb at around , it was the toughest climb in all these days with the decrease is oxygen clearly effecting our climb.
It was all over rocks and took us over 1 hr 15 min, but after the climb we were awarded with a great view of the plains surrounded by mountains. The moment we reached the top we were greeted by an eerie silence and could feel the amazing power of nature in those silent mountains with roaring beauty but at the same time scarily silent. Could also feel death all around us, there were lots of stone cairns everywhere in memory of all the people who had died in the Everest region, mostly while climbing Mt Everest but also of those who were on the way to base camp.
Another 1 hr walk and we reached the village of Lobuche at .
Started feeling the affects of high altitude trekking immediately with the body screaming for oxygen, we could not walk continuously for over 5 min and had to take long breaks. I started getting a slight headache at the lodge and had some chicken soup with lots of Garlic that’s supposed to help avoid AMS. Tried to take a short nap but the headache was there all the time.
After some time felt a little better and my guide suggested we take a walk over some hills to see the Khumbu glacier. I had never seen a glacier in my life so started the small steep walk up the hill for around 30 mins which felt like forever. The view from the top was simply breathtaking and the glaciers were less than 50 meters away. From here also saw the tip of Mt Everest and the base camp area where the Khumbu icefall could be seen clearly with all the camps around it. The walk back was again a bit tricky as it started to snow, cold wind was blowing hard and made the walk back even more tougher. When I took off my gloves to take some picture, it felt like my hand was on fire, burning. Using the 2 walking sticks, slowly made my way down the hill and all this while my mind was playing tricks on me, and my vision was getting a bit blur. Back at the lodge and attended to the headache and waited for the night to come as there was nothing else to do to pass time here in the cold mountains. Outside it started snowing slowly and seemed might get heavy snow later in the evening. After some time I started to get my first feel of AMS and realized my breathing was getting heavier, headache was getting worse and realized was getting AMS.
So started drinking liquids, and tried to sleep but no luck and the uneasy feeling started to increase as my situation started getting bad. Tried to eat something (veg noodles) but immediately felt nauseous. My guide suggested to try something simple without oil and somehow managed to glup some chapattis down the throat along with water. Later around popped a Diamox tablet and kept drinking water all the time. Went to the loo a couple of times and on the bed started getting these weird feeling, head spinning all the time. Started thinking that if the situation does not improve by morning will have to climb down to lower altitude and now just have to survive the night. Forcefully drove all the negative thoughts out of my mind and after a couple of trips to the loo started feeling a little better. By the symptoms of AMS had receded and my headache was getting better, but still could not get any sleep, kept checking my watch every 15 min. A few more trips to the loo to ease my stomach and started feeling better and better and by morning I felt as good as any other day during the trek. Finally got out of bed around 5am and started getting ready for the big day ahead, trek up to Kala Pattar for the best view of Everest up close and personal andlater if possible trek to the base camp.
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