I left Namche on Wednesday morning at 6:00am and it felt great to be on the trail before anyone else. There was still clouds below me in the valley and it was breathtakingly beautiful when the sun came up over the high mountains.
Without the kids I was going full speed and was back up at the Tengboche Monastery at 9:00am for breakfast … shockingly fast. From there it was on to Pangboche and then the final ascent up to Dingboche at 4400m. I did three “normal” days in one. Unfortunately the weather pattern held and the afternoon was cloudy and cold. The last two hours I was battling a cutting wind and was very glad for my gloves.
As soon as I walked into the lodge, the owner pointed at me and said “you have very very strong daughter! She stayed here with mommy … very strong!”
I slept great (no high altitude nightmares) and kept going again at 6:00am. These first three hours of the day are truly magical. No clouds, clear view of the surrounding peaks, beautiful early morning light … and the trail all for yourself.
Don’t take this the wrong way, but if feels great to be alone up here.
By 10:30 I had made it up to 5000m and was shocked how fast I was. I had planned to be in Lobuche for the night … instead I had an early lunch and continued up to the Gorak Shep (the last lodge).
I have absolutely no altitude symptoms (except feeling my heart beat like crazy) and feel like I’m a sea level. The only explanation is that I’ve now spent two weeks between 3400 and 4400 meters … and acclimatized while hanging out with Finn in Namche Bazaar.
If all goes well, I’ll get up at 5:00 tomorrow morning and plan to be on the summit of Kala Patthar by 8:00. Then it’s on to Base Camp in the afternoon.