The trek to Lobuche started like any other day, except it was a little colder and we are now a little higher up. It’s hard to imagine that at this point of the trek we are 4.5 kilometers above sea level. I also started a bit harder with an uphill climb as soon as you stepped out of the lodge which went on forever. However, we were pretty much acclimatized at this point so it wasn’t too bad. Luckily the sun was out as well, but at this altitude that only means you run the risk of sunburn without the warmth.
We were rewarded with a great spot for photos after around a little more than hour of hard work. This place was called the Everest Memorial with a lot of cairns for those who died trying to climb Mt. Everest. We spent a good time here as we were sheltered from the wind and a chance to soak up some sun while taking loads of pictures. At this point we were surrounded by mountains and we could see down the valley of Periche. If Lobuche was nearer we would have stayed here as long as we can.
But it was back on the trail half an hour later. The next half of the trek was down and through a valley. It was all rock at this point of the trek, a reminder that we are quite high up. We arrived just before lunch time at Lobuche, but the last bit was quite difficult. I think it was due to the cold and the fact that you need more energy just to survive in this altitude that fueling yourself does become a factor. But for once, even at this altitude, the lodge was quite warm and we shed our layers and tried to make use of the rest of the day by rehydrating, resting and getting online to let everyone know we were ok (yes, there is wifi 4800masl).
At the lodge we met a couple of Americans who were doing the trek solo. One of them has recently been to the Philippines, and liked it so much he stayed there for 45 days. I enjoyed chatting with him as he was quite enthusiastic about his stay there which was great to hear.
Having read that it’s possible to get great hues of orange at Nuptse from Lobuche at sunset, we waited to see if the weather would clear. It had become cloudy with a bit of snow since we arrived. Sometime past 5pm, hints of colour on the horizon were spotted and we were off into the cold taking photos. It was not the overwhelming colour we had hoped for, but it was sunset nonetheless.
After the excitement of catching some sunset shots (and getting cold in the process) it was time to bed early again, as the next day we break the 5000m barrier.