Distance Travelled for the Day – Est Steps: 25,331 Distance: 19km
Periche (elev. 4240m} Oxygen Content -10.3% / 21%
We started the morning just after 4am heading up to Kala Patthar to catch the sunrise over Mt Everest. Kala Patthar is a peak that rises to about 5600m about see level and is not much more then rubble with a trail reaching up to the peak.
The trek to the top takes a few hours and is one of the hardest climbs on the trek with your body demanding more oxygen then available in the air around you and the cold (-9 degrees Celsius that morning). Just about everything that could froze on the trek up, including my water bottle, pictured below.
Again a great sense of achievement as the group reaches the top. The sherpas and guides again make it look all too easy as they steadily hike up the hill barely breaking a sweat. In fact the most sweat we saw them break the whole trip was on the dance floor.
The climb to the peak is worth it with some of the best views of the trip right in front of you. You get a true sense of the elevation you now sit at with a view across the Himalayas that is absolutely breathe taking.
As the sun rises from behind the few mountains that still tower over the rest it is truly an awesome experience that is hard to describe. One does get a feeling of how humbling it is and what a privilege it is to experience some so magnificent.
Heading down the hill the sun warmed the track in front of us and it was amazing the difference in temperature as the sun brought warmth back to the mountain.
Even on Kalapattar there are things that popped up unexpectedly and here is one of them. A small bird that decided that the sunrise over everest was an event that even it could enjoy. This bird hopped along happily following us down the trail for a while before flying off.
We had breakfast and then headed towards Pheriche. This was about a 7 hour hike. The hike into Pheriche was pretty flat heading steadily down hill for the most part. The last part of the day we followed the valley floor following local tracks beside streams formed by the melting ice of the mountains.
Along the way we passed through an area dedicated to those that have died attempting to climb the peaks of the Himalayan mountains ranges. Bringing home again the attraction this place had to people from all around the world and the dangers that it presents.
The valley floor is mostly damp and muddy covered with moss and other small patches of vegetation. As the sun dropped below the mountains the temperature dropped as rapidly as it rose this morning as the sun rose over Mt Everest.
Combined with the hike this morning this was by far was of the longest and hardest days. Everyone was definitely feeling it when we finally hit the lodge in Pheriche. Hot tea and chocolates continuing to be much enjoyed by the group.