Saturday, 26 April 2014
The deep tones of yak bells woke us this morning, as the animals moved into camp. Yaks are the trucks of the Khumbu. Their dense bodies sport a heavy coats of long hair. A pair of impressive horns curve up and to the back, capped with sharp points. We give them wide berth on the trail. To secure loads, thick blankets drape their backs and a small wood frame sits on top. A normal load is about 60 kg, usually of barrels or boxes tied to the frame. (Note: A standard human porter load is 30 kg.)
We received a message saying Steve and Martin were in Kathmandu. Due to the abrupt termination of the climbing season, flights out of KTM are a mess. Some people may have to wait days for an available seat out. Thankfully, Jim's travel agent is doing her best to sort out the logistics.
Around 10:00 a.m., Jim, Jetha and I bid farewell to EBC and began the 8-9 hour walk to Pangboche. Several staff Sherpas remained in camp for one more day to complete packing, ship additonal yak loads, and ensure everything is clean.
We had a chilly, constant wind in our face and overcast conditions all the way down the valley. Where once, everything seemed to be heading up to EBC, now it was all going down. After reaching Lobuche, the walking became easier and the trail a bit wider.
Below Lobuche, a Sherpa memorial area sits atop a wind-swept ridge. As we approached, individual chortens covered the area. Each was a memorial to an individual lost on Everest. After searching the chortens, Jim found one of a friend, Kami Rita, who was killed on May 6, 1995. We draped it with two katas and offered quiet prayers to his spirit. It seemed appropriate that we were cloaked in a cold fog.
Going through the village of Pheriche is a bit of a cruel experience. It sits in a broad, flat river valley. We could see it long, long before we got to it. We finally put the village behind us and began our final leg up and down to Pangboche.
Arriving in the dark, we were glad to reach Tashi's lodge and have pots of tea and good food.
Lots of love to our family and friends.
Posted by: Scott Williams
Please consider providing support for dead and injured Sherpa: TheJuniperFund.org
Blogs by other members of the expedition
Shane - http://HeartHealthyEverestClimb2014.blogspot.com
Steve - http://Wetumpka2Everest.blogspot.com
Jeff - http://www.highpeakadventures.com/high_peak_adventures/web_log/web_log.html