Sunday, October 30, 2011

Everest Base Camp & Kala Patthar 07-23.05.2011 (8)

14May2011 - Dingboche (4400M) > Lobuche (4930M)
It is the most healthy life style I have had in recent years. Sleep by 9pm, woke up at 6am for breakfast and started to move on 7am. AMS still stubbornly suppressing my appetite. Going towards Lobuche, 4930m. Every step after 4095m (Mt Kinabalu's peak) is a record breaking height for me. Once we passed a village at the start, we reached a vast flat land. All the 7000m mountains were at 2x zoom closer than they were. We were ascending gradual at comfortable gradient and pace until we reach Dughla (4620M) for lunch. Discovered a fantabulous spring roll that managed to penetrate my tastebud. With help of an extremely spicy chilli source, it further stimulated all the senses in my head. I felt like all the long trapped air within my head 'ejaculated' out from every poles! What a sensation it was. It made us felt that it had cured our AMS instantly. After that, a tough climb with a straight steep route ahead.

There were some giant memorial stones along the way. Name of fallen everest climbers were crafted as a respect to those who lost their life. Prayer flags were all over that special place. I humbly asked for safety blessing silently to the whole team. Ordinary ppl like me might question the worthiness of losing ones life while attempting the summit quest. But I believe they did it after they had found something meaningful to achieve in their life while well aware of the risk. It should be the same type of explorers who are working with NatGeo currently, letting us seen all those fascinating pictures comfortably at home, with 42' LED TV.

At abt 2pm, all of us reached Lobuche. Met a helper in the restaurant who speaks Malay. Amazing! He worked in malaysia before as security guard. Later in Kathmandu, we found even more Nepalese who speaks Malay. Glad to know most of them managed to cari makan in Malaysia and back to their own country to settle down.

Appetite had evaporated once again at lunch and dinner. For me, same strategy. Just ate the egg white. I hate to rest in this trip. Rest = idle = no energy burning = COLD! Especially at such altitude. It was the toughest time to pass. At night, Raj did a briefing abt the big day tomorrow, Gorak Shep and the ultimate EBC! It was the big day for 5 of us. All looked in great shape except Ailing who was with a mild headache. A rest should do a great favor to her.
An obvious ascent from the graph.

Leaving Dingboche for Lobuche.

That 360 mountain view.

Dughla stop by for lunch. After this, it is up up up.

Awesome fried spring roll. 

A typical life of a sherpa. Do you complain about your life lately?

Prayer flags for the fallen.

Memorial to the fallen. 

A good shoes is important for such harsh terrain. 

Lobuche @4930M.

Everest Base Camp & Kala Patthar 07-23.05.2011 (7)

13May2011 - Acclimatization @Dingboche(4400M)
After spending the coldest night in the room, GWah woke me up with a confirmation news that Choy & Cleong will decent due to AMS. That means, Tiger n TBK will decent with them for the sake of their safety. The team really shredded into half now. Leaving 7 out of 12 to continue the quest. Words of encouragement & comfort exchanged before the final goodbye. It was a somber moment when they officially make a decent. Perhaps, AMS made us more emotional too. I personally felt bloody moody abt the separation. 1st, it was KMeng, now, another 4 gone. There was a sense of emptiness that made me felt this is a imperfect trip. It did cross my mind few times on wether the rest of the group will all fall in the war with AMS. Another bloody cold night ahead. Jammed my Core Suunto again.
The group photo before the departure. 

Explored around Dingboche area & found a remnant of a melting snow. 

Yak traffic. A common sight. 

With Dalwat, the reliable assistance tour guide.  'Poisoned' me that I can do a 6000+m Mera Peak. 
Possibly, the AMS cure to Malaysians. Instant noodle!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Everest Base Camp & Kala Patthar 07-23.05.2011 (6)

12May2011 - Debuche(3600M) > Dingboche (4400M)
Today, gonna be tough. From 3600m to 4400m. A nett ascent of 800m to reach Dingboche. Risk of having AMS amplified. TBK looked better but still not 100%. Stopped at a pass by restaurant for lunch, a restauraunt owner who had scaled Everest , helping in some expedition & a high altitude marathoner who clocked 3:47 from EBC to namche bazaar, 42k. Remind me of some Sherpas in trail running attire who rushed down the trail in super fast speed while we were on our way up. Must be their training.

The terrain became more & more 'retro' with the rocky n stony ground. We were indeed entering the higher point of Himalaya mountain range. We were surrounded by mountains. Humongous mountains. Land in Nepal is still growing with the tectonic plates activity at the core. When land kept pushed up, land slide happens to adjust the change. Eventually, it could become a flat land in few thousand years later. Some point at 4200m, it became cloudy and I do scare of rain at such altitude. We can't afford to fall sick! I broke away gradually from the group at the back, and tried to catch up RWen & GWah who had already reached the next lodge.

Once I settled my room with my usual roomate GWah, I instantly wrapped myself up with warm gears. At a time, the cloud covered the whole Dingboche. I thought, oh no, is it gonna rain? Chill wind kept blowing while I stood myself outside the lodge, on a rock-made fence with hope that the rest of the team can spot me from far, & that they will get the morale boost as they had made it for another day. So glad all made it safely but Choy & CLeong disturbed with AMS again. Dr TBK came to their rescue as usual although he himself was like a 'muddy buddha' who attempts to cross a river with his own health problem. At 4400m, we begged for sunlight & it feels like there's only 1 climate up there, COLD! Can't take off your socks, cold; always tuck in the hands into the pocket, cold; moisturize ur face & ur nose hole, dry & cold; insist to keep drinking water to hydrate & some said that keeps away AMS, but it makes you a frequent visitor to toilet at outside the lodge, cold; brushing teeth, clean your face in the morning, super bloody cold.

We settled ourselves to the cosy dining area. Once someone suggested to play UNO to kill boredom, we made that whole area like our own place. Can't forget pots of hot lemonade at that altitude too. It made us felt so good.

Unconsciously, AMS creeped into all of us too albeit at mild level. Everyone had lost their appetite. At dinner, I didn't eat much but forced myself to swallow some eggs for protein. Later, we had kinda heaty debate in a cold dining area about the itineary going fwd. Forgo Chola Pass seems a done deal after considering the overall team fitness. But with the next day is a rest day for acclimatization, we were still hopeful to step on EBC together as a team. Choy n cleong did look better n hopefully, the acclimatization day worked out a magic on them.

A winding high trail. 2 mountains divided by a valley with glacier river gushing down.

They are the transport, asset, and perhaps, Sherpas' best friends. Yaks. But, they are our cause of traffic jam ;-) 

This reminds me of a chinese word. 田. 

Amitabha. Colorful buddha painting on the rock. 

Vast land.

Land slide. 

Glacier water from the top.

Stones are stacked up as a boundary manifest as well as to fight wind erosion towards the house.  

Ever changing landscape.  

Glacier water. 

Posing outside Sherpa Lodge. Amadablam Peak at the back. 

The room that turned into a fridge at night. At 4C, it jammed my Suunto Core too!  (Updated: Suunto replaced the whole unit when I made a complaint to local distributor. Faulty reason? Could be due to 'old module'. Anyway, fair enough, just that, won't have chance to test it out again at such altitude & climate)

In a second, mist?cloud? covered Dingboche. 
Everyone loves this dining area. Because it's warm! Practically , it's each climbers' activity room. But for our group, we made it like Pasar! Riuh rendah.

I miss UNO! But BEWARE, when it makes u laugh so much until you feel dizzy easily. Thin air remember!