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Freitag, 24. Dezember 2010

Himalaya reloaded 2011-12th day-Dhole

12th day, 24th of December 2010, 
Phorse (3.810 m) – Dhole (4.110 m)
3 hours
I took this picture at 6 a.m., when I had to go outside to the toilet.This was the scenery from my room window.
Yesterday evening we agreed to start later today and to do a shorter trek. It wasn’t possible to reach Gokyo today after such a long trek yesterday, you need at least 10 hours to Gokyo. I could sleep for a short while, but not enough. I visited the toilet about 4 times over the night, it was a wonderful night, a big almost full moon, a huge mountain in front of the lodge, stars, quiet. Amazing time, a total different dimension of life. The bad news – no news actually – is that I loose more blood from the nose, having bigger breath problems because of my stuffy nose and cough and an unexpected specific body problem occurred this morning.
Am agreat aseară cu toții să pornim mai târziu astăzi și să parcurgem un traseu mai scurt. După o zi atât de lungă ieri, era aproape imposibil să ajungem în Gokyo astăzi, eram toți epuizați. Am putut dormi fragmentar, dar nu îndeajuns. Am fost nevoită să ies la toaletă de patru ori. Era o noapte minunată și o lună aproape perfect plină trona peste satul uitat de timp. Viața la alte dimensiuni. O veste proastă - de fapt nici o noutate - era că pierdem mai mult sânge din nas și aveam probleme mai mari de respirație din cauza nasului înfundat și a tusei. La toate aceste suferințe mai intervenea, total pe neașteptate, o altă problemă specifică corpului uman feminin. Și asta chiar era o veste neplăcută în acest context. 
I had a big breakfast at 9:30, very late: hash brown with cheese and Sherpa stew. In the dinning room were four Tibetan monks chanting.
La 9.30 savuram un enorm mic dejun: cartofi pasați cu brânză deasupra și Sherpa Stew. În încăpere se mai aflau patru călugări care-și incantau rugăciunile de blagoslovire a gospodăriei, în modul lor specific.
We left Dhole at 10:15, pretty enthusiastic. We talked about reaching at least Nha (4.400 m). We crossed the descending village, it was very sunny. Cold but sunny. I could see the settlement entirely, a very simple, but interesting corner in Himalaya, fixed into a nice terraced valley. It is interesting to see how these people choose their places to live and as I already observed two years before, in a different part of Nepal, the big surprise for me was to see how intense populated is the land of Himalayas, how many small settlements are so close to each other, only 2 up to 3-4 hours walking distance. The only notable difference from Annapurna Range is that I didn’t meet children and I only can think about the fact they are coming in the highlands only during the warm season, the rest of the year they are sent to live in lower regions, to relatives. It was a really challenge to find children for giving them the toys I am carrying with me, I still have 3 pieces of it hanging on my backpack.
Am pornit din Dhole la 10,15, destul de entuziaști. Ne vorbiserăm să ajungem măcar până în Nha (4.400 m). Prin soarele generos am traversat la vale satul. Era foarte frig, dar ținutul era inundat de soare. Aveam o privire de ansamblu asupra întregii așezări. Un colț uitat de timp undeva în Himalaya, amenajat de oameni și cuibărit printre terase îngrijite ce curgeau frumos orânduite spre valea îndelungă. Este interesant să vezi cum oamenii au găsit locuri să se stabilească și așa cum comentam cu doi ani în urmă, cea mai mare surpriză a fost să văd cât de populată este regiunea montană înaltă a Himalayei, maximum de distanță dintre așezări fiind de 2-3 ore de mers în general. Singura diferență notabilă dintre regiunea Everest și Anapurna este că aici nu prea am întâlnit copii. Presupun că aceștia sunt aduși la altitudine doar în perioada sezonului mai cald, în restul anului fiind trimiși la altitudini mai scăzute. A fost o reală provocare să găsesc copii cărora să le las din maldărul de jucării de pluș pe care le căram cu mine în rucsac.
 It was a cold morning, of course. Peter, the Danish guy, fell because the hidden ice under the thick dust. The descent until the forest took us about 5 minutes, then we entered a forest and the difference of 250 meters in altitude meant another 15 minutes of going down to the Dudh Koshi River. We stopped there to adjust our clothes to the huge steep climb of the hill on the opposite site of the river. We saw only a crazy path going straight up through the forest and we followed it, it seemed not to have a second choice. And it was crazy indeed. For almost one hour I experienced the steepest, longest, coldest and tightest forest climb I remember. Every step was like when the knees are touching my chin – of course it is a little bit of  exaggeration here, but I do appreciate a hill inclination of 70. We knew that we probably took a shortcut because we didn’t find the normal route in order to reach the main way to Dhole.
O dimineață rece, cum altfel? Peter, danezul, a bușit-o rău pe un segment de gheață ascuns sub stratul gros de colb. Am tot coborât abrupt vreo 5 minute și am cotit la dreapta, pe lângă o stupă simplă din plăci de piatră, intrând în pădure. Diferența de 250 m altitudine negativă ne-a mai luat 15 minute. Ne îndreptam spre râul ce străpungea cu o culoare intensă de turcoaz ținutul împădurit, Dudh Koshi. Am oprit pe malul râului pentru a ne adapta îmbrăcămintea. De partea cealaltă ne aștepta o foarte lungă și abruptă urcare, care cu siguranță urma să ne epuizeze. Am pășit pe prima potecă care intra pe versantul împădurit, nu vedeam nici o altă variantă de traseu. Oricât de nebunească părea înclinația, pe care o aproximez la un 70 de grade, am început să urcăm anevoie. Și a fost cu adevărat o nebunie. Timp de aproape o oră am experimentat cea mai abruptă, îngustă, lungă, friguroasă și întortocheată urcare despre care îmi amintesc să o fi parcurs în viața mea. Fiecare pas făcut era ca un genunchi dat în bărbie. Bănuiam cu toții că nimeriserăm pe o scurtătură care ne va scoate pe drumul cel mare către Dhole.
 There are two possibilities to reach Gokyo from Phorse: one is to cross the river and to go on its left side, the other one is exactly parallel one on the right side of the river, but the British couple was afraid to choose that thinking that maybe we don’t find open lodges for overnight.
 Există două posibilități de a ajunge în Gokyo din Phorse: una este aceea de a traversa râul învolburat și de a înainte pe partea lui stângă, în amonte, fiind partea umbroasă, deci friguroasă. Cealaltă opțiune este de a merge paralel cu râul, la sute de metri deasupra, pe poteca ce șerpuiește pe dreapta lui, versantul fiind blagostovit cu toată puterea soarelui de decembrie. Cuplul britanic a ales partea de peste râu, temându-se că pe dreapta, care era mai puțin populată, am fi putut să nu găsim locuri de înnoptat și de mâncat. Am decis să merg cu ei.
We reached the main route, this is meaning following a larger way through the same cold forest, alternating the dusty path with long steep and high rocky stairs through icy waterfalls. Because everything was in the deep shadow and there were many long frozen waterfalls the hours on this segment were particular cold, varying between minus and plus degrees. We met about four short, but enough dangerous frozen rivers coming from the high mountain which framed the left side of the path. Dangerous because you can slip so brutal on these segments of ice.
40 minutes from our river cross we met a local guide accompanying an older American couple. He said us, we need about 45 minutes longer to reach Dhole. Again that sort of Nepali time, because we reached Dhole after one hour and half only, at 1:30 p.m. Although the shortest trek day, it wasn’t easy for me. Not only the heavy backpack, but a terrible headache and the stuffy nose disturbed me very deep, every step was a new suffer. In Dhole we entered the first lodge for a drink and we also ordered a Sherpa Stew. It took long time, half an hour. It was very early indeed for staying here, but the last three hours were pretty tough for all of us, so we were very unsure about what are we intend to do. In the dinning room were three Indian people with their guide, they stopped here for the night. The guide told us that the next village, Maccherma (4.470 m) is about 3 hours away and the route is the same exhausting. 
To be on the way at 5 p.m. wasn’t very appealing to us and we all agreed to celebrate Christmas Eve in Dhole, but to go in the valley to the next lodge. We already climbed about 500 m altitude today, it was more than recommended on highlands. Additional surprise was to see the sunset at 2:30 p.m.! All around was swallowed by the shadow and frozen cold. We choose Yeti Inn Lodge and I lied in my sleeping bag in the dinning room for three hours, getting high fever. I was official sick.
About six o’clock I collected all my positive efforts to enjoy the evening. The sympathetic owner of the lodge has a very small, sweet, full of energy, white little dog and this was like a Christmas present for me, I spend some enjoyable hours with the dog and writing my diary. There were another 3 Polish men going to Island Peak, two Germans and us. One of the German guy went outside

 and “had a bath in basin”, terrible thing or I was too sick for finding this as normal at about minus 15 degrees or lower.....
I shared with everybody – about 10 persons – the small halvah package (500 g) I carried with me from Bucharest especially for this evening, it was very nice.
 Tomorrow will be a tough day again, as we have an altitude gain of about 600 meters and start already at 8 a.m., this is meaning to wake up at 6,30 in the morning. I asked the lodge owner if it is possible to let here a part of my luggage, about 3 up to 5 kg probably, as I return in 2-3 days here. So, this was a very good solution and I gave up all medicine and other stuff I could miss for 3 days.

The best sign of the evening, besides I was sick, was the fact I had appetite. This is very important and a sign you don’t have altitude sickness. It was an undescriptible atmosphere in the guest room, like the time, the whole Universe would be stuporous/frozen ..... The Germans were discussing leise, the British couple snoozed in the warm air, the Danish guy was reading from his enormous book ....
I was part of a real Christmas Fairy-Tale ....

About 9 p.m. I took two paracetamols and I went to bed in the cold room, leaving the rest of them in the warm dining room.
 This is old expedition gear used for climbing also the Everest by the lodge owner's father who climbed with Sir Hillary. The owner himself never wanted to do climbing despite the will of his father. Very nice family here, I felt very well this evening.
Merry Christmas!

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