Day 9: Lobuche to Gorak Shep

Out of all the tea houses we stayed in, I hate to say it, but I think the one in Lobuche was my least favorite. The set-up was just odd. There were about 8 or so rooms on one cement hall, interconnected by a cemented bathroom to another cement hall with its own 8 rooms. It was all pink dark cement. Odd. To add, everything was wet and dingy. It was off-season, we get it. Anyways, when 6:30 wake up call came, I was ready to throw on my clothes and hit the trail. Before doing the grudge work of getting out of my sleeping bag, and packing everything up, I took a peek out the window of our small room. I could see that the clouds wanted to take a gander at what the ground felt like. Heavy rain swells lied within them, and it was almost certain to me that our morning hike would be a wet one. Rob took a look as well. In agreement, we slid on an external rain tight layer that we bought for under 30 Euros in Kathmandu. Apparently Northface. In a jiffy, we were headed to the breakfast table for, who would have guessed it, porridge and oats. Sustenance is sustenance eh?

Roughly around 7:30, we walked out into the wet cloth of outside and headed for Gorak Shep. The air was really wet a thick, yet a deep inhale still filled my entirety with fresh mountain air. So entirely invigorating. Within the first 100 meters, we saw a helicopter landing pad made of green grass and yellow flowers and painted rocks which made the H with the circle around it. Being that my Gramma is a helicopter pilot, I automatically thought, how cool would it be for her to fly here right now and see us climbing this trail! Everest, I am sure, is out of the question. My next thought was, I am glad we have not had to fly a helicopter this trip. A helicopter flight would have meant a life threatening situation and at least $5,000. So, yes, glad no helicopters joined our adventure.

Gorak Shep lies at 5184m. It was about a 3 hour walk from our tea house in Lobuche. For some reason, I had envisioned that the last stretch to the last tea house would be tough. But, it could quite possibly have been the easiest day, both physically and mentally. The streak from Lobuche to Gorak Shep is just a steady, constant incline. No major changes. Just steadiness. The trail climbs over rivers, valleys and makeshift bridges, but all with rather easy forward footing. Once the rain came, my initial reaction was a bit of dread, but after a couple of minutes and the realization that my rain gear worked, I was so happy it was raining! With strong legs, steady breath and a light heart, we treaded on! Life felt real, gritty and beautiful. And as we mounted the village of Gorak Shep, just a short three hours after departure, a beautiful white horse stood under the day’s last view of Everest. All I could do was smile with my heart.

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