Published: May 19th 2012March 23rd 2012
Despite yesterday's horrors I can't wait to get stuck into today. We take the summer path which is essentially pretty flat. Each little ascent that we make though is getting harder, it has become noticeable to me now that we are at higher altitude. SOBOE- the abbreviation that I use at work all the time for short of breath on exertion springs to mind. The track is dusty and stony, there is no low lying ice or snow. We take our first long suspension bridge for the day over to the other side and pass through Chuli Lether (Letdar)- lots of spelling variations it seems. We don't stop, it's only been an hour or so of walking to this point.
Another hour of the same terrain brings us across another even longer bridge and we take a tea stop. We stop at (New) Buddhas Kitchen, Feche. The kitchen here (and like most we peer into) is immaculate- the shelves are lined by shiny cups and plates and utensils, it's all really orderly. The weather is a bit chilly today in the shade, but the sky is so intense, and it is warm in the sun. We enjoy the break -
NPR 40 for a cup of back tea, 50 for ginger tea. Out come the chocolate bars. That over, we continue on and past another tea stop, Mary goes over to take a photo and recieves a BIG, LOUD telling off from the tea shop lady. Moving swiftly on.....
The next part of the track takes us through the landslide areas, huge towering cliffs and walls of rock and loose rock, it is very spectacular. Stephane leads the way and nears the end of the path when a hole opens up near him. We all head carefully onwards. We leave Manaslu behind us and welcome the west face of Chulo. Awesome. We reach Thorung Phedi (4540m), Santos is already here and has rooms organised at Hotel New Phedi. It's quite a desolate little stone building, the sun room that takes you through to the rooms though is special- it is warm, it is really sunny and Mary comments on how nicely I match the curtains. Room 15 is the go here, down near the end and past the 2 loos. I am amazed to see that we have a power point in our room which is a bit exciting-
time to do some recharging. It takes a trek bag, an upright stuff sack, a trekking pole and a strategically wedged pack of Kleenex to get the charger to maintain connection with the power point- but it succeeds...
Lunch in the sun room is nice, after that the plan is to take a walk towards High Camp. Off we go up the hill, acclimatising, acclimatising, acclimatising, acclimatising... bloody hard work this acclimatising business. We only walk 2 lots of 20 minutes with stops in between and it's really hard work- I feel the first few beats of fear for tomorrow's climb. We turn to go back down as the sun starts to dip behind the mountain. It's stunning and then it's stunning but damn cold. The H for helicopter spelt out in stones provides a short distraction as we bodily make an H- I am thinking it would make for a cool photo- the concept was there- the photo? .... not so much. Then we are back in the warmth of the sunroom in Thorung Phedi.
Gear is repacked (yet again) for our early morning start. There is an overwhelmingly bad smell in the room-like yak or sweaty
socks - it turns out to be the thick blankets on our beds- they get relegated in attempt to clear the air. We eat with 3 German Med students and agree that we will all go over Thorung La in the morning together. Dhana, Mary, Stephane, Santos and I have a final Yahtzee fling- Santos is the winner over 6 rounds, Stephane is the loser- so sad! I, however, am not in a good position to gloat- I am 2nd last. Head to bed at 8.30.
Alarm set for 4am I get into bed.... and lie awake....
There are more photos below