It is hard to believe that only 4 days ago, I was thinking that Bobby had reached his high point in Pangboche. Remarkably, we are now in Lobuche (4900m), and only a few days off accomplishing our first goal. Having studied Bobby’s movements and witnessed his progress, I still cannot identify the formula to keep Bobby is at his strongest. It is evident that sufficient rest makes a huge difference, but this is not the only factor for consideration when operating at such a high altitude.
Today Bobby walked with purpose, and his foot placement was reasonably precise. He was quite steady on his feet, able to navigate rocky terrain, and only fell on one occasion, where the Sherpas feathered the fall. He had a few minor stumbles, which only required taking hold of him until he was steady, but apart from that, it was a superb day.
I estimated a 5 hour walk time, and we arrive right on schedule.
It is very difficult to appreciate the sheer effort and willpower that has been invested into this journey so far. It is also difficult for the average person, myself included, to comprehend the level of pain that constantly targets Bobby’s body. When I asked him to describe the pain, he likened it to constant electrical shocks being sent throughout his body, which he puts up with 24 hours a day. Just walking is a challenge, let alone doing it day in, day out, in the Himalayas.
One thing I have noticed though, the man can eat, and gaining higher altitude is having no effect whatsoever on his appetite! This is always a good sign, and as long as he is eating, I am happy.
We have had the privilege of meeting some great people along the trail, and have had some entertaining evening conversations. Bobby continues to work the room, whilst we are content chatting with people who have made their way to our table. Last night, Rabin, our friend and Himalayan Ascent cook, joined us in Pheriche, after packing up in Everest Base Camp. Sharon and I, the Sherpas and Rabin shared in a glass of whisky to farewell Ankaji Sherpa, Ash Bhadur Gurung and Tenji Sherpar. It was a moving tribute, and I could see the pain on Rabin’s face, Sharon and I echoed that same feeling.
Tomorrow, all going to plan, we will head for Gorak Shep, which should be a relatively short day, but put us in prime position for an early morning climb of Kala Patthar.
Until then, bye for now.