Day 7

view from the throne

Altitude: we left the Shangri-La and went down 800m to the gorge. Then up 600m to Kharikola town to camp.

Weather: Oh Boy – 35-38 degrees with the sun beating down for the ascent. The clouds chased us but never caught up today.

We had a slightly slower start to the day today. Normally wake-up is around 5 but today we woke up at 530. Got packed and left the lodge at 730. We descended to just below 1500m altitude (800m down) and it was like dropping into the tropics. There were leeches on many branches and Yanick had one attach. One of the porters had a leaf with a leech on it – about 0.75 cm long and 0.25 in circumference. But boy do they grow. You can get them to do a dance by holding your skin above them – they will stretch and stretch to try to get to your skin.

The gorge was quite beautiful. The waters are fed by Everest – green and cold. We then climbed up the other side for lunch (potatoes, our soon to be available at a Dale and Heather’s Tibetan Bread Store bread, veggies). Then the slog up hill under the heat of the sun. The team started to stretch out over the climb. Dale and I reached the top where there is a spectacular monastery with many kids running around. Traditionally the 2nd son and the 2nd daughter must become monks/nuns respectively. Although this is slowly changing this has always been the way. The monastery was so colorful– perched on top of a hill overlooking 3 separate valleys that converge.

We arrived in Kharikola were our camp is sitting overlooking a deep three pronged canyon. They have set the tents out in two slightly distinct groups – those of us who brought tents on one side and the Trekking company tents on the other – we prefer to think of our side as Park Place – certainly location location location holds!

On a serious note Charles has significant sleep apnea. As part of the research that is being done on acclimatization we all wore oxygen saturation monitors for our first night over 3000m. Almost everyone had levels in the 88% or > range. Charles’ oxygen levels dipped quite low, in a rhythmic way, during the night. Last night (he roomed with Dave) he had apneic episodes (stopped breathing for a period of time). The decision has been made, for his safety, for him to proceed to Lukla and on to home. That means tonight is the last night with the team together. Tomorrow Charles will go in one direction, accompanied by a Sherpa, and the rest of the team will move on towards Mera. It has been quite an emotional time this afternoon, and I personally can relate having to come off mountains now on 2 separate occasions. The disappointment is immense. However, the single most important thing is that everyone comes home safe. He did an amazing job, and is absolutely fine, dejected but fine, this is completely out of his control.


5 Replies to “Day 7”

  1. Hi Heather and team 🙂

    Sorry for my delay in posting here.
    I am here “home alone” (HR and DD away….) – it is a tough job but I believe I am doing it ok. The service is very busy this week, lots going on. I love it!

    I went through all the post, comments and of course the pictures. This place seems UNBELIEVABLE!!! Such a peaceful feeling I got when I saw the pics of the mountains. Just amazing… Makes me want to go climbing too!! 😛

    Well, I wish you have a safe trip and a safe climb. Promise I will continue to be following closely and posting more often (not only check on the pics).

    Boss, you are missed here!! Dale, take care of her 🙂

    Peace xx

  2. pics are spectacular..behold the humble umbrella…sad to hear of your teammate’s turnaround…coldest spring ever here in thunder country…planning a little soiree for Peg’s birthday after work on Saturday….happy steps to u and team…fitz et al

  3. Edge
    by Pamela Carter

    Not as the sharp of a knife
    Nor as the red of my blood
    Nor ever as the deep of my dark-side
    But for the surge, the pound, the beat of my blood
    Inside and against my own skin
    For that push
    For the swell of my heart
    I want to know the edge.

    I will perch on the edge
    Because the sharp gasp at the drop
    The glory of the far-flung horizon
    And the effort-summoned, expended-to arrive
    Remind my animal self of my actual size
    In full view of planet home
    All mirrors far below

    I try for the edge
    For the truth of first-hand
    For the belief in history
    For the sharp note I play that is the same that manic Mozart made centuries before

    For purpose
    For longevity
    For the development of neural synapses
    For beauty and logic and peace
    For fear and bravery and the chance of a fall
    For love,
    For love,
    For you.

  4. Mitchell says: “It’s cool that you’re climbing the mountains to raise money for heart research at the hospital. I loved your picture of Mt. Everest!

    Sabrina & I wish you much success and hope you reach the top soon!

Comments are closed.