Apr 27, 2002
The day starts with a camera disaster. I had just cleaned the lens, but when I went to change the roll of film I find a twig blocking the lens from the inside. Not quite sure how the twig got there. I'm assuming the whole roll of film is ruined. It's a tragedy - this roll contains all of the photos of Ama Dablam and from Chukung and Chukung Ri. The memories are what is important, as they say. It's not quite the same, but in the age of the internet I should be able to easily find and borrow someone else's photos.
It's a bright and sunny day with lots of snow still on the ground. It is slippery, but the bigger problem is the sun. Even with my glacier glasses it is blinding. In what may be the final chapter of the compass/thermometer saga, I walk for a while with a Yak herder. His job seems to consist of walking slowly while yelling and whistling at the Yaks to keep them moving. I give him the whistle, which is no longer attached to the thermometer, and he sees very pleased with the labor saving device.
After a long lunch, I head outside to find the weather completely reversed. The snow has melted. The sun has gone behind a wall of clouds. It is very clod and windy. I have a bit of a hard climb to reach 16,000 feet and then the trail flattens out. At 16,000 feet, I feel good. I got in shape walking from Jiri. I've acclimatized properly. I've done everything right and feel good for it. I find in Laboche the first real crowd of the trek. In part it is because of the nearness of the goal. Mostly, it is because the trekking groups in tents are deciding that it is too cold and have moved into the lodges.
FACTOID - Tolkien was in Nepal while writing the Lord of the Rings. This could be wrong, but it sure would make sense. The scenery is fantastic. I wrote about Puiyan as a fairy village. It could have just as easily be Elvish. I wrote about the cliffs where the porter fell. Walking along those cliffs I was reminded of the scene in the Lord of the Rings where the company of the ring is turned back by the mountain. I didn't write about it this way because it seemed to be a bit overly dramatic. Now it looks like it wouldn't have been. Those very hills may have inspired Tolkien. Finally, Mordor - the inspiration seems obvious. Scattered throughout these mountains you see areas that are decimated. Completely lifeless and covered with piles of huge boulders. These are places where glaciers have shown their dominance over the earth. The temperature is wrong and there are no Orcs, but other than that it really is Mordor.
bonsoir ca va la belle