Day 7 (Oct 29) Pheriche, 13,900
Arrived in Pheriche at 2:00 after hiking for about 5 hours. Plan is to spend two nights here getting acclimated.
The inns are getting a bit rougher, no plumbed water pipes. The toilets have buckets of water for flushing and the sinks just have buckets of water with spouts for hand washing. And, of course, no heat and it is getting colder as we head up.
We both feel good – no elevation effects so far. Bert is taking 200 mg of diamox a day and I am still not taking any.
Day 8 (Oct 30) Pheriche, 13,900
Morning acclimation hike up the hill east of Pheriche to about 15,000 feet then back down for lunch. We changed inns and….. this one has bathrooms in the room! Holy heck!
In there afternoon we walked to the Himalayan Rescue Association clinic for a presentation by doctor Andy Nyberg. HRA is a non-profit NGO that have been operating a clinic here since 1973. Then we got a brief tour of the very small (three rooms) clinic and bought some swag to support the clinic.
I have decided to start taking some very low dosage Diamox (65 mg) before bed for the next few nights. Will increase to 125 mg if I don’t see any affect or have trouble sleeping. Tommorow we head Lobuche (16,170’).
Day 9 (Oct 31) Lobuche, 16,160
Left at the usual time (8:00) for Lobuche. Easy stroll up the valley to start.
Bert’s back is acting up – talked to Carole and she got a hot water bag that Bert used during breakfast and at lunch when we got to Lobuche.
Darlene (Doug’s wife) wanted a helicopter rescue when she arrived in Lobuche but Vern and Carole talked her out of it. Her oximeter reading looks good and her only real symptom is mild nausea. She will spend the night and decide what to do but Doug says he thinks she will head back down to Pheriche tomorrow.
After a late lunch a lot of us followed Vern up the Khumbu glacier latéral morain just outside of town to view the glacier.
Day 10 (Nov 1) Gorak Shep, 16,960
Bad news! Bert was very sick last night Vomiting all night – clear sign of AMS.
Early this morning, along with Jane (who also vomitted all night) and Darlene, headed down to the clinic in Pheriche. She was diagnosed with severe AMS .
I continued on. Had a pretty tough morning to get to Gorak Shep mainly I think because I got very little sleep last night. I am taking about 250 mg of Diamox over the course of the day in 62.5 mg increments.
After lunch we hiked up Kala Patar. Didn’t think I would make it the whole way but it went surprisingly well – maybe lunch helped. All the way to 18.500’! Gorgeous views of Everest and the Khumba glacier and ice fall. Even saw an avalanche!
Day 12 (Nov 2) EBC, then Lobuche, 16,160
Long day – very tired but I slept well. Shared a room with Doug (Darlene’s hubby), Took about 1.5 hours to hike to EBC and we stayed for about 30 minutes in glorious sunshine taking pictures.
I finally heard from Bert and she is doing well so we will hook up tomorrow in Dingbuche.
The Khumbu glacier and ice fall below Everest.
Hiked back to Gorak Shep for lunch then back to Lobuche (and that thick 16,000 foot air!) for the night.