“I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to skip; your Protector will not slumber.”
We’ve been so blessed to have beautiful weather this entire trip despite the forecast for snow storms. Our guide said he’s never seem weather as good as this during an Everest trip!
Today was a short 3 hour walk to Gokyo Lake. However, the short 3 hour walk included super steep and rocky terrain of which I can only compare the feeling to being a little kid being told to go down a terrifyingly steep water-slide. We saw 2 rock falls which was exciting, but I found myself nauseous and weak for these 3 hours so everything seemed a little more dull than normal.
I was so happy when we reached the lake! It truly is beautiful. I took a nap on some rocks by the lake in hopes to feel better…but found myself worrying as I looked at the people climbing up the mountain we are supposed to venture up tomorrow. My guide said it’s just as challenging as Kala Patthar…the mountain where I hit my limit.
(View from where I took a nap. You can see the path on the mountain we are supposed to climb tomorrow.)
Climbing up Gokyo Ri (5360m) was definitely a challenge, but not nearly as bad as Kala Patthar (5545m). Thank goodness for breakfast and sleep beforehand. As expected, altitude took a toll on my body. It’s such a strange feeling when your body begins to move so slow and you begin to feel as if you have suddenly aged by 30 years. But we made it to the top and enjoyed the beautiful view of the 3 Gokyo Lakes!
When we came back down, my guide, Russian-American friend and I went to a local mountain bakery and shared some fresh bread that reminded me of home 🙂 The night ended with a walk around the lake, some card games, and dinner (though I seem to have no appetite but I know I need energy for tomorrow’s trek).
People have been saying that Renjo La Pass is easier than Chola Pass (which we conquered a few days ago). I’d have to disagree. It took us 3 hours to make it to the top…but it was 3 hours of ice, mud, rocks and high altitude (5345m). Oh, and my Russian-American friend vomiting the entire way up.
Needless to say we were more than relieved when we made it to the top…where our team of 4 enjoyed the leftovers of the bakery bread I bought yesterday 🙂
I was instantly filled with joy and renewed energy when I realized that we had done it! We had conquered all the uphill battles. From here on out we were going to be traveling downhill! No more passes or mountains…I was officially “homeward bound!”
But the way down the other side of Renjo La Pass was no joke either. I guess you could say today was filled with extremes, no “happy mediums” allowed. My legs shook as I took nearly every step down the icy mountain, fearing I would slip as soon as I put pressure on my leading foot. I was beyond thankful for my guide who knows how slow and uncoordinated I tend to be when going downhill…he simply took my hand at some points to help me down the hardest parts.
At one point we had a mini snowball fight which was fun and much needed after such a straining morning. And then, as usual, we continued trekking down steep terrain. At one point I felt like my kneecaps were going to fall off because of the pounding of every step downhill. But I couldn’t complain because I still would much rather be going downhill than uphill!
When we reached the tea house for the night I stretched my legs out and enjoyed the company of the most entertaining group of our trek so far. It was a fun and joke-filled night : )
Day 14 & 15
The rest of the trip has been enjoyable as we’ve been walking leisurely downhill (with some uphills here and there). It has been fun running into people we’ve met throughout the past 2 weeks…and celebrating our accomplishments over coffee and baked goods at Namche Bazar bakeries (we don’t have to worry about junk-food or caffeine now that we are acclimated and traveling down).
In 3 days I will be flying from the most dangerous airport in the world back to Kathmandu (no worries mom & dad, tons of flights take off from Lukla every day…it’s just cool to say it’s named the “most dangerous airport”).
Also…good news…I finally got a shower and feel like a real human being again : )