Monday, 21 December 2009

Island Peak Memoirs IV

Thursday 23rd October – Namche (3,440m) to Deboche

I awake to another beautiful day – feeling better and pretty soon have wonderful views of Everest as I get myself on the track and start to move my way up again. I have lunch at Phagding after crossing a beautiful river (Dudh Kosi) on a swing bridge as laden yaks pass me by. After a steep, hard slog I take in dramatic views of Thamserku and the majestic Ama Dablam eventually reaching the magical monastery village of Tengboche. Unfortunately it’s fully booked up by trekkers in this busy period so I head my way down to the idyllic little spot of Deboche. A place where legendary Russian Climber Anatoli Boukreev apparently frequented in his rest days acclimatising for many Everest expeditions over the years. Apparently he would come right down this low to give his body a real chance to recover at lower altitude rather than EBC (Everest Base Camp) where most climbers drop down to rest. The Ama Dablam lodge is baked in bright sunshine, so I take a nice seat, reading and soaking up the Vitamin D and sublime mountain vista all around me. It is fairly short-lived however as some late afternoon clouds arrive. I Chat with a British father and son who are a little clueless to where they’ve actually visited (obviously guided and not paying too much attention) and discover they will also be climbing Island Peak. They had envisaged the summit day to be 6-7 hours I advise them that 12-15 hours was a more realistic target! A pleasant chat though and its better they hear it from me now than discover that later, on the mountain! I have a nice little walk to the nearby nunnery and just before dusk spot one of the funny large ground birds – the Tibetan Snow cock and get a glimpse of a shy Musk Deer. Dinner is more Dahl Bhatt with lots of Chai (milky sweet tea) to wash it down by the cosy fire – ‘Chai-dration’ to the max!!!!

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