The day started early for I wanted to capture a few images at sunrise (5:52am). I didn’t sleep particularly well anyway. I think its the jetlag mainly and a little bit the altitude (3,600m) that I need to get used to. Its been a few years that I had an overnight that high up (Mt. Elbrus base camp @ 4,000m from memory). Still I feel well rested and in good form. The staff at Ama Dablam View lodge were very accomodating and helpful despite poor conditions (they literally live in the kitchen). Before 6am I had a hot tea in my hands.
And there it was … Ama Dablam (6,856m) and Mt. Lhotse (8,516m) with snow blown off its top by some gusty winds. No time to climb just yet. Beautiful start to a day and promising weather for the day. Better bring fresh batteries for the camera. While I busied myself with my tripod, a little boy enjoyed inspecting my camera kit before I put a spiderman episode on my iphone. 20minutes happiness all over his dirty little face.
The team took a while to get up. Only Blake joined Jon (who was the one to actually work out that we are looking at Lhotse and not some other hill) and myself on the terrace for an instant coffee and some mint tea at 7.30. By now it was very sunny and an excellent morning to enjoy breakfast … today even without being rushed out of the tea house to make the next one on time. Excellent.
Medical update: More team members are now suffering from some form of stomach bugs and general unwellness. I count 2-3 with mild symptoms, one more severe case (Sami stayed home today to rest) and Tim also continues suffer from his bug (but puts a brave fave to it). So far I have been lucky.
Hike to Mongla @ 3,975m (dist: 5.5km asc:370m dsc:370m)
The program today was a pretty steep hike up to a tiny village called Mongla, where we had lunch at the ‘hill top sherpa lodge’. The views were stunning all the way. Ama Dablam with its beautiful and characteristic shape stood out. Great stuff. Worth the effort. Climbing up got the heart rate going, but remains effortless all considered. No signs of altitude problems either. I guess the acclimatisation from the altitude center (2,800m) & Jebel Toubkal (4,167m) help me now. However, sooner or later this will have to change.
In the afternoon Tim held a briefing on altitude sickness, how to recognise and prevent it. I guess all of us will drink more now and reconsider pushing high too quick (not that many really did). My take away is that I am glad we have someone here that seems an expert. Feels like a safe pair of hands. Turn around when: vision impaired, vomit, very heavy cough. Else seek advise first. Most altitude issues (other than HAPE) dont occur suddenly. So listen to your body and chdeck in with the guide … I guess thats the message. And drink. Below links to the most common altitude issues:
We concluded a fine afternoon by visiting the host’s amazing prayer room. Her name is Tashi. Take a look here. It’s really impressive.