Apr 25, 2002
I start the day with a nice slow measured pace to prevent overexertion. It seems to work and I have no problems on today's hike. However, I decide that I don't like being cold. Particularly, when it is cold morning, afternoon, evening and night. You can go into the lodges, but even with a fire they aren't much warmer. After eight months in the sun on the beaches and islands of SE Asia, I have this great urge to go and climb some mountains. Two weeks in the mountains and I'm looking forward to being back on a beach. I also learn that the Gokyo lakes are covered in snow. I had been looking forward to seeing the lakes, but beautiful turquoise lakes just aren't the same when they are colored in white. I'm going to skip Gokyo this trek and come back some other year.
I might be discouraged by the cold, but Chukung is exactly what I've been waiting and walking for. A valley surrounded by at least seven peaks. It's stunning, highlighted with a great view of Ama Dablam, an amazing 20,000 foot high wall of curved ice and Lhotse the 4th highest mountain in the world.
FACTOID - After reaching Namche I was positive that I was not going to walk back to Jiri. For the last few days I had been reconsidering that decision. My legs have recovered and at altitude I'm getting stronger - growing new blood vessels every day. Now I learn that returning to Kathmandu is impossible. There is a big bridge between Kathmandu and Jiri and the communists have blown it up. I also learned that George Bush has given US$20 million to Nepal to fight the "terrorists". Just rumors? It's hard to find out up here.