Apr 27 – 30, 2010
Sitting here in the Himalaya Lodge dining room. Light music in the background, quiet and warm, despite cold and wind outside. Fog is rising in the valley, most of sky covered by clouds. I just sit here, enjoy my ginger tea, and just finished Sherpa stew, re-reading the description of the trekking route I have been through, trying to figure out the plan once I recover from the bad cough— hope the strong dose of antibiotics will do its magic. No worry of putting on an all-weather/all-temperature outfit to travel between tents or rush to pee in a bottle to save the 5-minute hike to the toilet.
Life is luxurious for me for the next few days. Just rest, eat, drink. My normal appetite is back, and I can order whatever I eat, according to my taste, not the general American group taste, and not limited by the stock in the high mountains. Food won’t get cold before I finish it. Instead, I can slowly savor it while reading or writing without worrying about it getting cold. It’s warm and windless inside here, with music in the background.
This won’t be forever. Hope I will get over the bad cough and get back to EBC soon. It’s windy outside. What’s the weather in EBC like? What are my teammates doing? Are they practicing using oxygen bottles? Oh, it’s lunch time. They are just exchanging stories in the dining tent. It’s interesting to have this peaceful time all alone here on such a trip, sitting here with only my own mind to feel.
Almost forgot this is in Nepal. Tourists from all over the world come and go, except the lodge owner and the diligent service boys. The stock in the bar is amazing. Maybe that’s why I almost forgot this is in the Khumbu valley…
It’s snowing so hard outside, like Xmas. Inside, dry flowers and long candles decorate each dining table, just like Xmas. Some people drink beer; one party is celebrating a birthday with a cake. A fireplace in the center of the dining room keeps the room so warm and cozy that the window is all covered with steam. No need to know if it’s cold or windy outside. Walking down the hallway to my room, there’s even lights along the ceiling every few yards. No need to worry about forgotten headlights, no need to worry if the trail is slippery because of the snow. Open the door to my room, it’s cold. But at least there’s a switch to turn on the light, and the toilet is down the hallway, also with a light inside. It’s five-star hotel life compared to that in EBC, but I need to go back soon.
What’s happening on the mountain?
While it is snowing here, weather is not great on Everest. The consortium of all teams just had a meeting and each team is contributing a few Sherpa to fix the route between camp 3 and camp 4, but it is going slow because of the weather.
Route between camp 2 and camp 3 (Lhotse face) is slowly kicking in. The first few teams (one with strong competitive mentality is eager to climb early before the route gets into better shape) on that route would have to kick the step much harder. It’s the steep face of hard ice!
IMG is still digging (literally! It’s hard ice slope!) camp platform for camp 3. Camp 2 to camp 3 is not only a hard climbing route, but also a hard camping site.