April 6, 2014 Deboche

April 6, 2014 Deboche

Yesterday was a rough day for me as I was pretty sick in Namche. Feverish all day, weak and cold! I was able to stay warm with my 0 F sleeping bag, but every time I got up to go to the bathroom I would freeze! Namche can be a cold place. Of course, nothing compared to what’s coming for us!

I slept a lot yesterday and I slept a lot last night. This morning I still felt feverish and very weak when we started. I took some pain killers and started feeling better after we finished the initial big hill and the trail flattened at about 11,800′. 

The views are incredible. These mountains are so steep and so huge it is hard to imagine the scale of these giants from the photographs.

Today, finally, we got our first view of Everest! It is incredible to be here and look at that giant mass of rock, ice and snow that comprises the summits of Nuptse, Lhotse and Everest! All my life I have dreamed of seeing Everest with my own eyes and today it happened!….and it did not disappoint!

What’s more, I had no idea there were any places in this world where you could have a view of Everest from your room window!! Turns out there are!! And I am in one of them here in Deboche!! It’s incredible!

Today we hiked 6 miles with a vertical gain of about 2500′. Since I was sick, I went slow. Somewhere about half way to Deboche the team offered to help me carry my gear. I have never had anyone help me with my backpack in my whole mountaineering career but given that It is extremely important that I get better as soon as possible so I don’t arrive at Everest base camp sick or this could turn into a serious problem, I decided to let the team help me. Ian, Peter, and Jay took some of the heavy items in my pack and Dia helped me with the pack, so for a while I was not carrying anything! Quite the luxury! But a good thing to help me get rid of this cold asap.

Later on, on a steep and long section of the trail up to Tengboche monastery I ran into an old friend from Aconcagua who is working on an Everest expedition. LUCKILY I had asked Dia to take turns up the steep hill and I happened to be carrying my pack and she was just carrying her water bottle. I would have never heard the end of it if my friend (who’s a guide on Aconcagua) would have seen me hiking with no pack and with a trekker carrying my gear!!! It’s the kind of story that will go around the internet and will probably have no mention of my fever or sickness! After we passed them I told Dia about my incredible luck and we laughed and laughed! The truth is Dia, may only be trekking to base camp and back but she is very strong and she would have had no problem carrying my pack all the way. Her husband Louis got ill on Phakding and hired a sherpa which left Dia and Louis with just one pack to carry. Today I benefitted greatly from this. I ended up carrying the pack up to 12,000′ and then Dia insisted on helping me saying: “you have a big mountain to climb, I don’t”. I figured it could only help me to take it easy today so she carried it to 12,700′ to Tengboche and down the hill to Deboche where we are staying now. I owe her and the team big time after today!

Tengboche is an amazing place! The monks picked an incredible setting for their monastery! You have incredible views of Everest and Lhotse! Ama Dablam is right in front of you with its steep slopes and hanging glacier that makes it look like it can’t be real! Like it’s out of a fantasy movie with computer generated images!

Tomorrow we climb up to the village of Dingboche which is 14,466′ which is just about as high as the highest mountain in the lower 48 states of the USA.

We will spend two nights there to let our bodies acclimatize to the now high altitude. It may be no big deal to go up to 14K foot peaks in the US, spend less than 2 hours above 14K and get back down with no problem but it’s a whole different thing to stay at 14k, sleep there and then go higher! Many people get pulmonary or cerebral edema at these altitudes when they don’t spend enough nights at intermediate altitudes before they sleep above 14K. The thing is we will spend more than month and a half above 14K. Most of it above 17,000′ since base camp is at 17,500′.

I can tell, in spite of my cold, that I am acclimatizing just fine as I have not really felt the altitude yet.

It is great to be here! 

Thank you all for making this possible for me! Every day, I am here I remember how lucky I am to be the recipient of your generosity!




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