DAY 13 – 7th May 2013
We had breakfast and left at 7.30am with Bibas bidding God Speed to Lhakpa and Chemi. Avani also joined us on our trek to Gorak Shep which was a good turn of events to have someone else along to have a conversation with on the way.
We got to Gorak Shep (5,190m) at lunchtime and had the rest of the day off after lunch.
Gorak Shep, welcome to location of the highest internet cafe in the world! Gorak Shep is the last point of civilization for expeditions embarking on a climb to summit Mount Everest.
Manoj and I went to nap and I borrowed a book to read from the lodge’s library which consisted of a single book case with books contributed by trekkers and previous expeditions to give those who were making an attempt to summit Everest, something to do during their free time on the mountain. After all, it was a 3 month exercise if you wanted to tackle Sagarmatha, more commonly known as Mount Everest.
The book I had borrowed was entitled Maharaj, and was about Shivaji Raja of Maharashtra, India. I too ended up taking a 1 hour nap after getting through a few pages of the book.
None of which I recall reading now.
Afterwards, we all got together in the dining hall to socialize and chat. As usual, this was accompanied by honey and ginger tea.
We had an early dinner today because we would be starting out at 4am that night…
Overnight temperatures were well below 10 degrees outside, with wind chill.
The first and second picture on the first row shows the crude helicopter landing spots created for emergency evacuations of people who are suffering from the effects of high altitude.
The third picture on the first row is Lobuche Town with Lobuche Peak directly behind it.
The fourth and fifth peak show Mount Pumori (a 7,000m+ peak) in the distance. On the fourth picture, you will notice a person walking at the centre left of the image to give you a sense of scale. Similarly, with the fifth picture, the centre of the image has scattered groups of people walking towards Gorak Shep, our destination for the next 2 days.
The second and third pictures in the second row show Nuptse Peak at 7,855m sitting adjascent to Mount Everest.
The first and second pictures in the third row show the Khumbu Glacier…a river of ice and crushed rock. It stretches for hundreds of kilometres and we’ve been walking alongside it for most of the day to get to Gorak Shep. It is difficult to get a sense of size of the scape unfortunately from the picture. Definitely doesn’t do it justice.
The fourth picture in the third row shows the route to Kala Patthar (5,500m) with Mount Pumori (7,165m) directly behind it.
The first picture in the last row shows a Yak carrying supplies back from Everest Base Camp back down towards the airfield at Lukla.
The last picture in this set shows Gorak Shep town. Featuring the world’s highest internet cafe at 5,190m and in the distance is Everest Base Camp. At the dead centre of the last image in the distance lies the dreaded Khumbu Ice Fall which claimed the lives of 16 Ice Fall Doctors in 2014. Ice Fall Doctors are special teams of skilled high altitude Sherpa who fix the routes for the rest of the expeditions to follow and climb past the Khumbu Ice Fall. Everest Base Camp is located at the very base of this Ice River.
The Khumbu Ice Fall is a river of ice that moves at the rate of 4 inches per day downwards daily. That is the first obstacle for climbers to overcome as they make an attempt on summiting the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest.