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Future plans

Mon 01 Nov 2010 17:17 » Jon

The views this morning were incredible. The snow transformed the valley and it looked amazing, with the trees all covered with snow and the mountains even more dramatic and imposing than usual.

As we set off from Pangboche we admired the new views and Rich and I began talking about climbing Ama Dablam. I still can’t believe we’re considering it, but Andy mentioned it last night and we’ve been debating whether it would be feasible since then.

According to Jagged Globe, Ama Dablam is graded 5D, which is the hardest technical level and one off the hardest physical level. Everest is 4E. Quite why anyone thinks Rich and I are capable of this is beyond me. To be fair to Andy, what he said was that we could be ready this time next year, if we do some training, but it still seems like a tall order. Rich is very keen and is trying to convince me to sign up, but I’d rather get back before making any decisions.

All the way down to Tengboche (where we found the monks had taken up skiing – see photo!) we had snow on the ground, and kept pausing to take yet more pictures of Ama Dablam. We’re moving at a great speed compared to the journey up the valley, and dropped rapidly down to a bridge at about 3,330m. At that stage there was still snow, but soon after that there was a muddy trail, then finally it dried out and I stripped off down to Helly for the first time in several weeks.

Just before the bridge, I spotted a face I recognised going the other way – it was Yuba Raj, the guy who’d guided Alex and me round the Annapurna Circuit back in 2005! We stopped and talked for a few minutes but the rest of the group had already gone and Andy was waiting, so I headed off after them.

After the bridge the path began climbing again, for what turned out to be about 300m. We lunched at the top of the climb then it took an hour or so along the flat to reach Namche. The sun was out by this stage and the snow was melting higher and higher up the valley sides, though the summits still looked fantastic. Unfortunately I think today is probably the last day for views of the big summits – tomorrow we drop steeply down on the way to Lukla.

Back in Namche we’ve connected to the outside world for the first time in a few days and have been chilling out in the lodge. I’ve had some washing done, so as soon as I can find a shower I’ll have clean clothes. Hopefully one more day of smelling won’t cause too much offence.

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