We were woken at the crack of sparrows for our trek up Kala Pattar, from which we are promised the best views of Everest we will have!
A beautiful starlit night greets us as we step outside to awaited a delayed breakfast as the cooks overslept – I don’t blame them at this time of day! We are to have half our breakfast before we go and return for breakfast he other half to sustain us for the remainder of the day’s hike!
The porridge, once cooked, was hastily eaten and we were off on a very chilly morning, it’s now light enough to see without a headtorch as we cross a dried up lake bed before hitting the slope.
A long hard slog up the hill in the cold which numbed any exposed flesh along with the toes. Even when we stopped for breath we had to keep walking on the spot to try to keep our feet warm.
Eventually we could see the prayer flags and knew the top was in sight along with the best views we were to have of Everest. We summited (albeit a low one among the 8000ers around us) moments before the sun came over the horizon.
There is a small free climb to reach the very top of Kala Pattar, which was a little exposed – particularly given the winds we had. It would have been a shame to miss out on this, so up I went to the concern of our guide!
From the top it was a welcome relief from the wind to drop down a little and find some shelter from the wind whilst allowing the sun to warm us up whilst soaking in the view.
With a long hike ahead of us we couldn’t stay too long, so the much resented downhill began. Not only resented because you have put in so much work to gain the height, but also because for me I have little issue with the uphill but my knees were starting to hurt from the downhill pounding.
Our journey today was taking us on to Pheriche through a recent landslide with a temporary bridge over the Tsola River and then on past a series of monuments to Sherpas and climbers who have died on Everest – a poignant reminder of some of those incredible people that have taken on the elements to climb much higher than we have walked.