Gokyo 28th October 2015 4800m
Well we made it to Gokyo not without incident. We lost Leanne at Namche, having to arrange a heli rescue for her on our fourth day. She nearly didn’t make it up Namche hill struggling to walk and having to be carried by our guide and one of our porters. Then slowly succumbed to symptoms of altitude sickness in the days after. We lost James her husband a few days later at Khumjung as he was not acclimatizing to the altitude and our guide deemed it was unsafe for him to continue. He did however get a scenic flight on the way out (along with 2 of our crew who thought it was the best surprise ever) so at least he got to see where he would have been walking.
The rest of us continued on up the Gokyo Valley and as the days went on the oohs and aahs of “this is so much better than the heli” got louder.
On our walk from Khumjung to Dhole I was concerned about Andrew and the joke about who would be the last one standing was starting to lose some of its funniness.
Yesterday I was suffering, battling sheer exhaustion on the walk from Machermo to Gokyo. I along with Andrew had been battling severe diarrhea for 8 days now and while he had improved over the last 2 days I had gotten worse and had been unable to keep any fluids in my body. In the evening on looking at my hands and how wasted they looked (and performing a pinch test) I was horrified as I realized my exhaustion was due to acute dehydration. Even though I had been having enough liquids through the day obviously not being able to keep it in had taken its toll. So I retire to my room and ask Andrew to have my toast delivered there in order to rest and take in a batch of hydration salts as soon as possible. I think Kaji our guide is worried but I ask Andrew to brief him and to send him to my room if he needs me to confirm in person.
The fact is that altitude wise I’m feeling really good. Given the dehydration it is a miracle that I don’t have a headache. And even though it is exhausting walking up hills my breathing quickly returns to normal.
The following morning I wake early after having frets in the night about having to take a rest day and miss the walk to the forth and fifth lakes (this alone is enough to make me feel better). The early morning light on the lake near our lodge is stunning and well worth braving the freezing conditions for photos.
My stomach seems a little better. The fluids seem to be staying in better which is positive for the dehydration. But the problem is I have massive amounts of gas in my stomach. I joke that I have a monk in my stomach reciting mantras and doing puja, hitting his drum and blowing his conch shell.
The walk to the forth lake is absolutely stunning, so glad I was not forced to take rest. The view of the mountains from the forth lake is exceptional. It is also our first time over 5000m and a good acclimatization for our walk up Gokyo Ri tomorrow. We decide to go no further to give us a chance to rest before our climb tomorrow. I’m grateful for that because the puja in my stomach is causing some pretty severe stomach cramps.
I make it back to Gokyo albeit in some pretty serious discomfort and decide to spend the remainder of the day resting.
And then it starts to snow……