Friday 6th July
06/07/2012 - 06/07/2012
My head was still painful in the morning so I took some tablets and it lifted slightly. Tommy had suffered during the night too and had little sleep due to the limited air giving shortness of breath. We woke to very excited friends, Ama Dablam mountain (6858m) and Tobuche Peak (6367m) were as clear as day outside our lodge, the mountain range was visible for the first time in its greatness. The contrast of the small valley against the colossal mountains it made our walk yesterday seem minuscule, the mountains were glistening with snow and the sky was so blue as a backdrop! The first climb was up a mountain face and so hard, climbing over boulders and rocks, we had to meander up as it was too steep to climb up straight. Our steps got smaller as the mountain got steeper and we stopped every 2-3minutes. It felt never ending, with Tanka bearly breathless. As the air got thinner our breaths were shallow and when we stopped for rest we found ourselves gulping for air. We were walking in the footsteps of legends, which made us appreciate what was needed to carry on. This couldn't have been highlighted better when we reached the summit of our climb, we were greeted with many tombstones of tragic results for climbers and sherpers together. The sun disappeared and the mist rolled in and surrounded us with a biting glacial chill, this set the scene perfectly for our stop. The towering peaks that surrounded the memories demanded we take time to understand where we were and the dangers ahead. All around were stacks of rocks piled 10ft tall as a stark reminder that Everest can take lives just as easy as it fulfills dreams. The plaques read gave us an understanding of the people who had climbed to the summit, some numerous times, and never made it home, they were laced with coloured prayer flags which looked replenished often leaving the tombstone as the last memory so close to its killer. The German couple and our group paid our respects whilst we caught our breath. The plants were shrubs and heather and we were accompanied by a little dog who cheered our spirits up and led the way. We continued on and arrived at another glacial river, raging down the valley, relentlessly battering the rocks and shaping the land for generations to come. We climbed and climbed through misty, wet clouds and along the valley. Yaks became a constant reminder that we were only visitors in a stunning, natural place where commercialism had not got its claws in too badly! We arrived at Lobuche (4910m) after climbing 300m, we are now one stop - two hour walk from our final destination where we will make out final ascent to base camp. We had to alter our plans as we had increased in altitude the skull cap of pain had continued to rear its ugly head. By Lobuche I had to give in which was really frustrating as we were so close it was around 11am so it felt that we could have easily made it to Gorek Shep! I lay in the dining area trying to massage the pain away, it felt like someone was squeezing my brain or my skull was being filled with air squashing my brain, it was painful in the light and I was starting to get worried as it had been 2 days now.
Luckily our little team all decided to stop at Lobuche so Tommy had lots of company with the Canadian and American girls, the Austrian boys, the German couple, a new Russian guy and a West Virginian guy. Tanka advised that I eat garlic soup as the garlic helps the oxygen circulate, Tommy supported me all the way and ordered his own bowl... I'm sure it would be nice and Tommy did eat his but for me at the time it just turned my stomach. I must have had ten tiny spoonfuls before I gave it back, I tried so hard as I knew it would be good for me but couldn't eat anymore. My next battle was to get over the queasiness... I think brought on by the soup but the guides advised it was best not to be sick, so I got my room key and went for a lie down as the dining area had become very crowded. As the day went on things improved and my lovely nurse Tommy kept popping in to see if I was ok. I emerged after a few hours and had dinner, the colour had returned to my cheeks and I felt so much better! Again we played cards and discussed a book called 'The Game of Thrones' which everyone seems to be reading - Matt, Emily and Toby were in sequence and awaiting the next book from each other.