Awoken by my alarm, I peered my head out of my warm sleeping bag and felt the cold rush to greet me. I looked outside from my room and Ama Dablam was covered in clouds. Brrr it’s going to be a chilly day.
I decided on thermals and after ablutions and changing, I headed for breakfast. In between the sun came gaily with nary a concern to greet while the clouds bid farewell. I went back to my room to change. The way of the mountain, charming yet unpredictable.
We headed up Nagarjun Hill which was a straight 400m accent and returning down the same path to Dingboche. We decided on 60 steps, rest, 60 steps, rest, repeat as our strategy which worked well giving us milestones and focus. Climbing with little oxygen soon gets you out of breath.
The climb gave me new found respect for the mountaineering greats. Hiking as a subset of mountaineering is tough by itself. But mountaineering requires technical acumen, dexterity, fitness, huge resolve, dedication, strength of character and commitment. Salute.
I marveled as a few eagles swiftly glided pass. We reached 300m where most of our group stopped before descending. A few eager beavers headed for another 100m while we opted for a large rock another 20m up. The clouds started drifting in and the temperature dropped further. Sign to get down.
Descending is certainly faster but trickier especially with loose stones and gravel. We passed many hikers still making their way up. In no time were we down and having an early hot shower. Shortly afterwards soft hail fell for a few minutes followed by some rain and then the sun popped in to see what all the fuss was about while the snow was falling. The way of the mountain.
Today we hiked 3 kms in 2 hours 35 mins accenting 324m.