Already during the walk from Namche, our guide Saran looked towards the sky, turned to me and said – “It doesn’t look good, I think we will get snow”.
The morning, before walking from Thame, we informed the group to be prepared for some snow in the afternoon, even if the weather was nice at the moment. Saran could not have been more right!
The trek from Thame to Lungden starts easy. The trail goes towards Tibet and the valley is broad and brown with red patches here and there from fall colored bushes. The architecture is totally different from along the Everest High way – much more basic.
During the lunch in Marlung, where we, according to the whole group, had the most delicious Rara Noodle Soup so far, it started to snow. And not a little! We continued and after 1,5 hours of trekking in heavy snowfall we reached the lodge in Lungden. We snuggled up around the fire and drank Hot Chocolate and Masala Tea. Saran and I started to make new plans. In this weather it was way to risky to cross the pass Renjo La at 5300 meters above sea level. Should we turn around?
When we woke up the next day it was still snowing a little bit and we decided to just make a short and safe acclimatization hike up the mountain, close to the lodge and skip our planned trip towards Arie and the border to Tibet. We were back in time for lunch, all safe and after climbing around 350 altitude meters.
In the afternoon a big French group came to the lodge. Their plan was also to cross the pass the next day. In the late afternoon the bad weather got worse and worse. What we first thought was the strong wind, we later understood was thunder, when we saw the snow light up in pink from the lightening. The snow was dumping and we started to make new plans for our trip. Tomorrow, if the weather was better we could go down towards Namche again. All our itineraries was good for a few extra days and we would have time.
So, the plans where all set – together with the French we would descend again to safer and lower altitude. BUT, in the last moment of the evenings briefing, Saran looked at his barometer at his watch and said “- If the weather is nice tomorrow morning we stay here one more day and cross the pass!”
Yea right, weather turn nice?? Even the forecast we got from the radio said the bad weather would go on to the 16th. It was only the 14th today.
Saran asked our sherpas to wake him up at 5 a.m. if the weather was good. And nock nock – I was shocked! From the worst weather possible when we got to bed in the evening, it had turned into an amazing crystal clear sky full with sparkling stars and no wind 🙂 Saran and I went back to bed with a big smile on our faces.
When we woke up our group, the French group had already left for Namche. We had a long relaxing breakfast and then did our planned acclimatization hike to Arie, in a sparkling white winter wonder land under a dark blue sky and a hot sun.
The next day we woke up early and could safely cross the pass. It was worth every step, even though it was the toughest time ever, due to the heat. The snow reflected the sun and our GoreTex and wollen inner liners were exchanged to sun protection 50 and sun hats instead.
Extremely tiered, but very happy, we reached Gokyo in the late afternoon and celebrated with a nice dinner and at a very good lodge.
The day after we had a nice walk down to Dhole. Great views also this day since the Gokyo valley is one of the most beautiful in the area. We past three out of a total of five lakes in the Gokyo valley – all in different blue, green, turquoise colored water.
After our night in Dhole, I had to leave the group to go down to meet our next group – Girls Get Higher! I wish all the expedition members good luck on their adventures to come – Lobuche Peak, Island Peak, Everest BC and Ama Dablam! Stay Safe you guys!!!
News will come as soon as I get updates!
At the same moment I am writing this our “Girls Get Higher” group – our “Women’s only Island Peak Expedition” has reached Benkar and are heading up to Namche tomorrow. I am for sure looking forward to meet them all!
All the best from the Himalayas
Hi On Life