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Everest with Mountain Madness

Everest Base Camp Trekker Glenn Bacheller and Lead Guide Deana Zabaldo Report From Gorak Shep!

The word for today was cold”. After a 5 AM wake-up call, we were on the trail a lit­tle after 6 AM to Gorak Shep. Tem­per­a­ture was around 10 degrees F and water bot­tles were freez­ing. We got in after a few hours but the views were cloud­ed in so we waited.

Sit­ting in a cold room in the lodge, they final­ly fired up the heat­ing stove. These stoves are fueled by Yak dung and Becky exclaimed that she was nev­er so hap­py to see yak dung”.

The entire group did an awe­some job hik­ing today. One made it to Gorak Shep (17,000 feet) anoth­er part way up Kala Patar (17,500 feet) and the rest sum­mit­ted Kala Patar (18,500). Kudos to everyone!

The weath­er did ulti­mate­ly coop­er­ate and we got great views of Ever­est, base camp, ice falls and even an avalanche on Lhotse!

The day was punc­tu­at­ed by Richard who did a snow angel up on Kala Patar.

Every­one is in good spir­its and look­ing for­ward to Ever­est Base Camp tomorrow.

- Glenn Bacheller

Deana Zabal­do, lead guide, report­ed the following:

Thun­der, light­en­ing, and…SNOW! A storm rolled up the val­ley last night – first hail and then thick flakes swirling beyond the win­dows. Flash­es of light­en­ing illu­mi­nat­ed the whole val­ley towards Island Peak.

We woke in the morn­ing to find the world trans­formed – black rock and white snow, with peo­ple’s jack­ets the only dots of col­or on the earth. Even the yaks and stone hous­es are mono­chro­mat­ic. How­ev­er, the sky was clear, and we had a gor­geous day hik­ing. Just enough snow to make every­thing exquis­ite­ly beau­ti­ful, but not so much as to give us any trouble.

It was a stun­ning day, prob­a­bly my favorite of the trek. Ama Dablam and Tham­serku down the val­ley, Taboche loom­ing pre­car­i­ous­ly over us, and Pumori peek­ing up around the cor­ner as we hiked up an alpine valley.

On a high ridge, a string of square stone short­ens stand in memo­r­i­al to climbers who have per­ished in these moun­tains, includ­ing the memo­r­i­al to Scott Fischer.

We hiked on and reached Lobuche before anoth­er bout of snow rolled in…