Day 4 – Thursday 15th – Debuche to Dingboche (4410m)
That night I managed to sleep all the way through the night without waking up. With a few extra layers on while I was sleeping it felt really nice and warm. I woke up around 0530 fresh as a daisy. It was too early to do anything and too cold to want to get out of bed. So I sat and meditated for a while.
Eventually, I dragged myself out of bed. I had a quick ‘wet wipe’ shower around the main offending body parts then got ready.
Breakfast was a bowl of porridge with honey and ginger team (a breakfast which had served me well two days in a row). And the view from breakfast was pretty awesome.
It’s not a bad view to wake up to.
My headache had disappeared so I decided we would march on.
My porter walked fast that morning, but my muscles hadn’t warmed up yet so I struggled a little bit. 30 minutes later, however, with warm blood running rampant around my body, I reached a good pace going both up the hills and down.
My Achilles was still hurting, but a lot less than the day before. I figured more exercise could only be good for it.
At around 10 am we paused for tea. The porter said we’ve still got about 2 hours left. I was a little confused because it was only meant to be a 4-fhour hike and we had consistently been faster than everyone else. I figured we should only be at most an hour a way.
We pressed on with an aggressive pace after tea. The porter was always walking about 30-40m ahead of me though to be fair when I lifted his bag there was barely 2kgs in there.
Fallen bridge from the earthquake
Some pictures of the magnificent Ama Dablam Mountain
As we moved uphill, it felt noticeably more difficult from the previous days. The air was becoming much thinner. About 40 minutes after the previous tea stop, (at around 1125) my stomach growled with hunger. My guide was ahead and turned into a building in the village. I desperately hoped we were stopping for lunch. When I went inside he said we were stopping for lunch and asked the same. He replied, “No we’re at Dingboche, this is where we’ll spend the night”. Excellent, I told him I wanted food, and I wanted a substantial amount.
We both feasted on a massive Dhal Baht meal during which it started snowing heavily. I started feeling a headache come on.
After lunch, the snow had ceased falling and the warm rays of the sun spread across the valley.
I thought it best to try and climb up a little higher so that I would have ‘hiked high, slept low’. I started climbing the Eastern Valley Wall, the valley that separates Dingboche from Pheriche. The higher I climbed the more my head started hurting. The pain moved from the front of my head to the middle and then the back. It was slow and difficult. Especially considering I was only trying to climb about 30-60m altitude. I made it about half-way up. Eventually, the pain and muscle fatigue was too much. I dropped down about 10 metres and set there for about 5 minutes. The view below me of Dingboche:
I then climbed another 15-20 metres in altitude. It was slow work and hard work. I sat there for 5 minutes too. After becoming frustrated at the fragile mortality that comes with being human, I started to descend back down the valley wall.
Back in my room I curled up into a little ball and had a nap.
That night, I had more garlic soup, drank lots of tea then turned in at 2030. The night was very cold.