It has not been easy. 4 days of illness filled my mind with negative thoughts and many doubts. Sneezing, coughing, GI issues, headache, and body aches, how could I possibly continue for another 18 days? Encouragement from my dad, our guides, and loved ones back home was truly the only thing that kept me going. Essentially, my days have gone like this; cough, sweat, chills all night. Wake up with the “Bang Bang” in my head, no appetite, not motivation to move. Eventually, I am to choke down whatever food was placed in front of me. I pound a liter of water hoping it doesn’t come right back up. With trembling hands I pack my bag and tie my shoes, and stumble outside with the look of death on my face. I walk for as long as we need, before immediately crashing at the next Teahouse. Again, I am demanded by the team to make my way to the dining hall to eat some Sherpa Stew, drink more water, and retreat once again to bed. This process became my daily ritual moving from 11,000 to 13,000 to 14,000’. As grim as this all sounds, perseverance is what brought us to 15,400’ without a hiccup in our itinerary. My condition is rapidly improving, my appetite is back, and I am stoked to be walking with strength and confidence knowing that I am going to be okay!
After some snow flurries overnight, we were blessed with gorgeous views of dusted, craggy Himalayan peaks. With a full rest day planned at Macherrmo, a village at 14,400’, we made our way up the ridge for an acclimatization hike. The whole team was feeling strong as we slowly gained the ridge, stopping frequently to bask in the breathtaking views of the Dhole Valley and surrounding unnamed peaks. Prayer flags flapping in the southerly winds blessed us with the messages of many who came before us. As we topped out on the ridge at 15,400’ we ditched our packs and laid on the soft grass under the intense Himalayan sun. A loud rumble from the mountain above startled us from our tranquil break, indicating rockfall in the distance. As clouds rolled in with precipitation visible in the distance, we reluctantly descended back to our Teahouse.
After a hardy meal of veg fried noodles and endless amounts of ginger lemon honey tea, we are feeling strong and well acclimatized. As we rest this afternoon, we can’t help but think about the days to come. Tomorrow we head to Gokyo, followed by Cho La Pass to enter the main Khumbu zone. From there we work our way to EBC then over the Island Peak. It’s easy to get caught up in what’s to come, and critical to stay present and take each day as it comes!
Internet has been spotty, but we will keep everyone updated whenever we can!