Onward and Upward! DINGBOUCHE
Today is supposed to be not as hard as the last few days. However, I am finding that each day is quite difficult. In the mornings I often feel weak and sort of low blood sugary. They take our pulse and O2 every morning and night and I am doing well. No headaches or other symptoms of altitude. I think that may be the benefit of going so snail like in my days of hiking. Kate, the young Ausie girl has been sick for several days and trudges along with her father at her side, Now he is sick and she is nearly better, but this is not easy work. The morning has been hot down through the rhododendron forests. I am hiking in shirtsleeves. But as we climb up away from the river the weather changes quickly. I have what I think is a soft shell. However, it is not because a soft shell should give you some protection from rain or snow. The next few hours are awful and wonderful all at once. The narrow trail winds up from the river around the contours of the mountains. Ama Dablum is up there every now and again saying hello. But the snow has come and I haven’t the right gear and simply must push onward. Mani is the Sherpa assigned for the day. I cannot help but feel sorry the he cannot simply spring ahead and get in out of the weather. But his job is to stay with me and to protect me.
The snow was really coming pretty good and we were high up on a ridge. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would be alone with a Sherpa, high in the Himalayas, in a snow storm.
When I arrived for lunch with the others, I was soaking wet and had to have one of my momentary cries. Then I settled in, ate a bit of food and the Sherpas fashioned a poncho for me out of plastic. I knew the next three hours would be tough, and they were. The weather didn’t let up and the climb up from the river seemed even harder. I couldn’t understand why because I thought we were going to be at around 12k again, but I was mistaken. When we pulled in, we were over 14k in altitude…higher than Mount Rainier. This is an adventure. It is hard