Mt Everest Trek: Day seven

By Ian Connellan November 7, 2013
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The cold finally hits home, and our editor encounters a new animal.
Read more about the AG Society supported
Ama Dablam
Everest Trek in Nepal, run by World Expeditions.

DAY SEVEN: It’s a cold morning and trip leader Manoj calls for 7am tea to keep us all warm in our sleeping bags until it’s closer to the time that the sun will peek into camp. There’s now barely a trekker in the group that hasn’t had some problems with altitude sickness, and many – me included – are on half a Diamox morning and evening. I don’t care what it’s doing to my kidneys – it’s working.

After breakfast we briefly follow the main Everest trail then turn off onto a lesser trail, climb immediately, and enter a fantastic forest of rhododendron and beech. Not far along there’s a pile of rabbit-like droppings in the middle of the trail, which Manoj tells us are from a musk deer — endangered because they’re hunted for their musk glands. Later trekker Libby Packer thinks she sees a wallaby, but doesn’t tell anyone lest they think she’s hallucinating; Manoj has the pleasure of telling her, no, you’re not nuts — you saw a musk deer.

The morning’s spent climbing and descending on little-used trails with views of Ama Dablam, the Nupste-Lhotse ridge and Everest’s summit pyramid; finally we descend again to the Imja Khola for lunch in a sheltered spot near the river. It’s warm in the sun, and there are plenty of joke groans when the “zoom zoom” call to walk again comes. It’s a steep and crumbling climb from the Imja Khola to camp, near Mingbo, and we’ve gone very little distance when the clouds and wind swirl in and we’re reaching for Gore-tex and warm layers. By the time we get to camp at 4500 m it’s bitterly cold and everyone’s very sore. The view has disappeared altogether and even a bowl full of warm water for washing fails to rouse most. Dinner does the trick — even though it’s as cold inside the mess tent as we’ve experienced — and everyone drifts off to bed relatively happy, to sleep well.

Read more from Ian on his Himalayan trek