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Published: September 19th 2010
TANGNAK TO GOKYO
6/6/10: We woke up with the best night sleep we have had in a week. The thick air of Thagnak made for easy breathing. We were quick to get out of bed once we saw how clear the day was going to be. By 7:30 we paid our 200nrs for the room and 400nrs each for the mac and cheese. We walked in the general direction but managed to pick up a stray trail along the way. We managed to pick another trail that had clear evidence of foot prints heading towards the Ngozumba glacier. It ended up being the blind following the blind, we were lost. The trail took us to the edge of the glacial moraine, we looked out at the huge glacier, we all agreed this looked like the way to go. Shanker and James were still asleep; we decided to leave early so we could relax on the other side. Never underestimate the power of local knowledge, I read the map and took a compass bearing off the nearby hills. I knew the glacier moved but was convinced that this was the right trail to follow. After half an hour in the glacier and
several lost trails I conceded that once again we were lost in a glacier. I swore black and blue that we would never go into a glacier again unless we had too. It was necessary to cross but if we had of asked first we would have known which way to go. The Ngozumba glacier was nowhere near as bad as the Kumbu but it was bad enough. The only thing worse than the Kumbu was it made more noise, it cracked, creaked and groaned under the enormous pressures of moving ice, colliding rocks and boulders. After 1.5hrs we finally caught sight of Shanker and James that had left half an hour after us. It was great to see them; the glacier has a bad vibe about it and the seeing someone else felt like a sailor seeing land for the first time in months. It turned out we were only 50m from the correct trail, I made sure I emphasised this to the girls so I didn't lose face on my navigation abilities. Finding the trail made it so much easier to walk and even though it snaked in different directions along the glacial floor it was still easier
than scaling loose rocky hills and moon scaped craters. Once we reached the glacial moraine it was smooth sailing from there. The only obstacle was huge 150m high cliff that contained a steep trail out of the glacier and onto the Goyko Hill. Once over the moraine we climbed a small hill giving us incredible views of Duph Pokhari lake or lake three depending on your preference. The lake was a magnificent blue colour, almost like a tropical lake. We climbed back down the hill, losing all too often the altitude that we tried so desperately to accumulate.
We found a cheap room for 100nrs/ night at Gokyo Resort, the place was empty and so were the other lodges. We sat inside the common room for a short time until I got incredibly board. I somehow convinced Jacinta to go for a walk. We got into a heated argument; it was like she had used up all her walking steps for the day and it were against the law to use up anymore, I think she was just tired. We followed a yak trail to the far side of the lake. The water colour was even more impressive close up,
even though the wind chill was around 5Cdeg it still looked inviting for a swim, in fact had only just set a world record for swimming across the lake, I think he must have had a dry suit on. We stopped for a rest on the far side of the lake; it looked more like a tropical beach than a lake. The sun was shining on the white sand and blue water had small waves breaking on the beach that were created from the wind. The trail led past the lake and into a flood plain just below Mt Pharliapche which was 5734m high. It had three rivers that bleed from the glacier above; they then in turn form one major river that emptied onto the beach and into the lake. We must have sat for 15min until the wind chilled is to the bones. We walked back to the lodge, we lay down on the common room bench seats, and we warmed ourselves wind the sun shining through the double glazed windows. It wasn’t too long before thought about food again. Azaret had a pizza for lunch earlier in the day and it looked and smelt mighty good. As
with most afternoons we watched the clock until it was late enough to eat. Too early and you would be hungry again, too late and blood sugar level would drop causing violent mood swings and a sense that time stood still. Trust me when I say that trekking and food are part of the same thing. We paid a small fortune for two pizzas, around 450nrs each. We weren’t at all disappointed, the pizza was the best one we have ever eaten and I’m not just saying that because we had an unhuman like appetite. Maybe it was the thin air that made it taste so good. If you stay at Gorak shep, stay in the Gokyo resort and have a pizza, you won’t be disappointed.
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