Unfortunately Anna woke up with quite a headache in Phortse Tenga … really way too early to show symptomps (it’s only at 3700m) and we didn’t continue on the next day. Instead we decided to climb up to Phortse (at about 4000m), have lunch there and then go back down for the night.
Anna was fine the next morning, but by then our guide realized, that his plan (to do both the Gokyo and Everest valley) was a bit too ambitious. After some back and forth we decided to go with my original idea, to only concentrate on Everest Base Camp … and ascent extremely slowly.
So we hiked on to Pangboche, which turned out to be a long day and we could see Finn running out of gas when we reached the high point for the day (4200m). He slowed down quite a bit and needed to be coaxed on by our guide and us … eventually he made it , but I’m a bit worried how he will handle the days to come. He is showing no signs of AMS, but just doesn’t eat enough. He’s a picky eater in Germany, but here it’s becoming a real problem … he’s simply expending way more calories than he is taking in. It might be time to start feeding him candy bars 😦
We decided to have a rest day here in Pangboche. The kids stayed at the lodge with our guide, while Anna, Ute and I had an acclimatization hike up to 4600m. Truth be told, we all struggled with the steep ascent and were pretty beat by the time we were back in the guest house.
It’s way colder than I expected, we are already spending all day in our heavy down jackets and thermal underwear. What makes it really cold is the biting wind that seems to start around noon, just when the sun disappears behind the clouds. In the afternoon we are having light snow flurries, but it’s too cold to snow heavily.
We’re now higher than the Mt. Blanc (the highest peak in Europe) and there are still 1500m in altitude to go in order to reach Base Camp. Honestly, I have my doubts that all of us will make it there.
To maximize our chances, we’ll go with the classic approach for the next days. Hike up to the next lodge, stay the night. Spend the next day hiking up as high as possible, before descending again. Then stay a second night before moving on and doing it all over again.