Mt Everest Trek: Day fifteen

By Ian Connellan 7 November 2013
Reading Time: 2 Minutes Print this page
The trekkers descend a newly-formed family, as journey’s end draws nearer.

Read more about the AG Society supported Ama Dablam Everest Trek in Nepal, run by World Expeditions.

It’s cool at the Phakding campsite with the sun barely peeking over surrounding peaks. The rushing sound of the Dudh Koshi has been a soothing background for the night, and most of the group are well rested. I, on the other hand, am claiming my worst sleep of the entire trek: my sleeping mat was running down and across the slope, and I kept migrating towards the bottom corner of the tent. Most uncomfortable.

Before breakfast we gather in front of the mess tent for a short but important ceremony: it’s time to thank the trekking crew and announce the tips they’ll be receiving. Lincoln, who speaks rusty but serviceable Nepali, thanks the porters, kitchen boys and Sherpas on the trekkers’ behalf. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without you,” he says. Before breakfast there are photographs taken of everyone together (during which I’m furious that all my camera batteries have died). We tuck into porridge and chapattis and eggs for the last time, then dawdle off towards Lukla. I spend most of the morning walking with trekker Ray Blumgart, a Sydney radiologist, and we prattle on about mountaineering and rockclimbing and why being where we are is fabulous.

It takes us little time to reach Ghat, the site of our first night’s campsite, and we all know that from here it’s only a couple of hours back to Lukla and the end of the trek. We enter the village about midday. Everyone stops just inside the Pasang Lhamu memorial gate to wait until we’re a full group and can walk to lunch together. There are backslaps and handshakes over our effort and achievement; it feels a little like we’ve won something, only better.

After lunch we walk past the airport to our lodge – the Hotel Villa Sherpani – to take a shower (mine’s barely lukewarm, but I feel wonderful afterwards) and then chill out for the afternoon. Some of us head into Lukla for proper coffee; others go no further than the lodge’s front lawn for a beer. That night there’s a grand dinner and, appropriately, loud praise for trek leader Manoj Sitling and host Lincoln Hall.

We look forward to the fun of a morning flight back to Kathmandu, and then a couple of days exploring the Nepalese capital’s wonderfully hectic streets.