Today was the day we all had been waiting for and the reason why we are here. I woke up feeling great so I thanked the Gods for that. The plan was to walk to Gorak Shep which would take around 4 hours, have lunch there and then go to the Base Camp after that, which would take us around 3 more hours there and back to Gorak Shep.
Leaving the tea house in brilliant sunshine was what we all had been longing for. It was like being in a different planet. Walking alongside the Khumbu and feeling like a million bucks is a something I will never forget. Everything was going smoothly, the pace, the trail, my body, the weather, I didn’t feel like peeing. The stars had aligned. We took a lot of photos during this first part because it was truly magnificent, there were helicopters flying above our heads all the time and it really added to the excitement. We had clear views of the Pumori in front of us and the Nuptse on the right. It was beautiful!
At some point the weather got worse and by the time we reached Gorak Shep everything was covered in fog again. I ordered a big mountain of food, not because I was extremely hungry, but because I felt I would need it. We didn’t get much rest after lunch and we got going pretty quickly.
The approach to Base Camp was probably the easiest part of this trekking. We could see it from the distance and we also could see what we had left, all flat and downhill. It was almost like landing in there, we walked towards it smoothly and peacefully. It went really fast, all of a sudden we were there. It felt unglamorous and easy but then I thought that we have had to walk for 8 long days in order to be able to say that, so it wasn’t that easy all together. If we would be climbing Mt. Everest this would be the end of our trekking section, the fun part, and now the camping (and even more fun) part would begin. No matter how big of a household name you are in the world of mountaineering, you have to walk the exact same trek that we had just walked. That felt very special.
My first thought about the base camp was about where on Earth you put up a tent in there. Everything was a mess of rocks and there wasn’t any single flat spot which could be comfortable for camping. But then I learned that the BC is actually located on the Khumbu glacier and this glacier moves several meters a day so before setting camp you need to flatten the ground and fix that every day. Even though I missed having my “summit” moment, it was a very interesting place to visit and one more mission accomplished. I felt proud.
We want back to the lodge and when we got there I realized how exhausted I was, our room was cold so we sat in the main room until dinner. I tried to read my book but it wasn’t possible, I get dizzy when reading and I am mentally very slow so I just sat there. James was going through his pictures and I think I just looked at the void for some time, it might have been hours, maybe minutes. It is very easy here to think about nothing. This is going to be my first night above 5000 m and I am quite excited to see how it goes.