Mt Everest Trek: Day ten

By Ian Connellan 7 November 2013
Reading Time: 2 Minutes Print this page
Our editor wakes to a white dawn near Bibre, on his Himalayan trek.
Read more about the AG Society supported Ama Dablam Everest Trek in Nepal, run by World Expeditions.

There’s 5 – 7 cm of fresh snow surrounding camp this morning and most of the trekkers are rather excited. Not so much Manoj and Lincoln; the plan was that we’d set off this morning for Lincoln’s base camp on his 1981 Ama Dablam expedition, but the route passes over or alongside a lot of glacial moraine and it’s decided that it’ll be too risky with an obscuring blanket of fresh snow. To add to interest, there’s swirling cloud lingering over the high peaks we can see: Lhotse, 6189 m Island Peak and, briefly, to the east, 8463 m Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain.

After breakfast, the decision’s made to break camp and move 2 km back down the valley — losing about 150 m altitude — to Dingboche. This expedition was always intended as an exploratory one, and dependent to some extent on weather, so the decision to move is neither disappointing nor surprising.

It’s a beautiful walk down the valley; the low shrubs that had yesterday seemed spiky and difficult are this morning covered in cotton balls of snow. We pass porters and trekkers on day trips from Dingboche; the hillsides resonate with yak bells. The surrounding peaks are cloaked in dazzling white robes and decorated with garlands of cloud. Here and there the track is shaded and it’s slippery underfoot, but we’ve little distance to travel and it’s easy enough to slow down and take care.

We’re in Dingboche for lunch and the trekking crew quickly sets up tents and the kitchen. We have access to a rustic teahouse for meals and it’s nice to be indoors. After lunch, assistant trip-leader Karma and sherpa guide Bharat walk with five of us up the hill behind Dingboche. There’s a stupa next to camp and several smaller stupas and chorten, all brightly decorated with prayer flags, on the way up the ridge. We walk to a chorten at about 250 m in altitude above the village, suck squares of chocolate and take group photographs. It’s cold in the wind but utterly beautiful and we descend to the village and dinner invigorated.

Read more from Ian’s daily Himalayan blog.