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Sat 10 Nov 2012 13:16 » Jon

The cards last night were considerably more successful than the previous night – I managed not to lose at all, which probably contributed to me sleeping so well. Apart from a brief awakening to use the pee bottle, I slept very soundly.

The pee bottle isn’t a necessity in a lodge with toilets just down the corridor, but once we get to basecamp, and certainly higher up, getting out of the tent in the middle of the night could be very unpleasant. At camp 2 and 3, it could be fatal, as there’s barely any space between the tents and a long steep drop, so being able to lie in a sleeping bag and pee in a bottle is a useful skill.

As well as helping acclimatise, Diamox has a few side effects: peeing more, tingling in the fingers, and making fizzy drinks taste flat. I haven’t had a fizzy drink since I started it a couple of days ago, but had some tingling at breakfast today.

We left Deboche this morning wearing an extra layer or two than previous days, and several people had gloves on. After we crossed to the other side of the valley though, we were in the sun, and we began warming up. The rest of the morning was reasonably warm, but after lunch it got colder and colder as a bitter wind got stronger.

We had some of the best views so far of the mountain today. For some reason the general feeling today seemed to be more one of anticipation today, rather than the initial terror.


We left the main trail shortly before Pangboche and climbed up to a village called Upper Pangboche, to go and visit a lama. He blessed the prayer flags, blessed the Sherpas, and then blessed all of us, putting a scarf and a little bit of orange round our neck, all the time chucking rice in the air.

We lunched in Pangboche, then walked across the gently rising plain towards Pheriche, getting increasingly chilled by the bitter wind.

Luckily in Pheriche we checked into a great lodge for tonight and to tomorrow, with a powerful stove keeping the main room nice and cosy. Rich and I decided the time had come for a dhal bhat, and it was good enough that we’re probably going to have it again tomorrow after our acclimatisation climb.

After tomorrow night, it’s off to basecamp, so no more lodges, no more choice of food, and no more stoves keeping us warm.


  1. So as usual it’s all about the food ;-) Well, that and the pissing in a bottle, what a lovely image, although I have to confess I’m now thinking about getting one for the flat, long way to the bathroom on these cold autumn evenings… ;-) Like the idea of being blessed by a llama, must have been a bit awkward for him with those hoofed feet?!

    Comment by The Chief Otter — November 10, 2012 @ 18:28

  2. Goodness I had no idea how crucial being able to pee in a bottle was. What do girls do?! Hope it doesn’t get too much colder at base camp and beyond. Picture looks terrifying /awesome! Keep safe xx

    Comment by H — November 11, 2012 @ 02:03

  3. P.S Had people round for dinner tonight so had a cheese board which would have made you proud. Found an excellent veggie blue cheese which I think you’ll approve of!! X

    Comment by H — November 11, 2012 @ 02:07

  4. Just out of mild curiosity, how are you blogging this trip? How will you be powering whatever device you’re using when you leave civilisation? (For the record, I am more impressed with your skills at climbing a huge mountain than your ability to charge a battery without a plug, just curious about the details!)

    Comment by James — November 11, 2012 @ 07:28

  5. Chief – I can highly recommend a pee bottle, though I suspect Nic would take some convincing! The lama was awesome – he had the best laugh any of us had ever heard, a bit like Frank Bruno.

    H – I have to admit I have no idea what girls do! The general consensus seems to be that a shewee would be best, but it certainly wouldn’t be as easy as rolling over and pointing into a bottle! Cheese sounds good btw, look forward to that sometime when I’m back.

    James – iPhone, either via wifi (in some lodges) or mobile data. Phone isn’t on most of the time, so I’m surviving on solar power so far, though there’s a generator at base camp so may well make use of that.

    Comment by Jon — November 11, 2012 @ 11:30

  6. “being able to lie in a sleeping bag and pee in a bottle is a useful skill” is that one on your CV?

    As you may have anticipated, I’ve nothing of value to post here!
    Just wanted to let you know that I’m enjoying reading the blog so keep it up.

    hmmm, I think that I might have pie tonight.

    Comment by Tim — November 16, 2012 @ 17:25

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