22 October 2018
Hello everyone from Kote, where we have returned to a Tea House that we stayed in a few days ago.
Over the last two days we have descended from 6,500m to 3,600m and so breathing is much easier.
After the amazing euphoria of summiting yesterday, we needed to trek down to Khare, passing both High Camp and the Mera La base camp. It was a very long day as we set off for our summit attempt at 3am and arrived in Khare at 5pm.
I was very conscious that I struggle with the downhill sections and some of the way up had been incredibly steep. I also was conscious that many accidents happen on the way down from summits. I asked to be put next to our guide so that he could help me if needed. The first part was incredibly steep snow steps down from the summit and our guide gave me an impromptu lesson in crampon usage! I came down safely and enjoyed the trek to High Camp. When we arrived, we met two of our team who had stayed at High Camp, both of whom were still suffering and had been on oxygen. The third man had gone straight down to Khare as he was very ill.
We collapsed into our tents and could barely move, the exertion of the day (so far) hitting us all! We tried to eat, packed our bags and an hour later headed off further down the mountain. I had been nervous about the final stretch of the glacier as it had been so steep and thankfully our guides took us a slightly different route back. This meant we got on to the steep part much lower down and again our guide told me to simply walk down and not worry about the gradient and ice! I was nervous but eventually got down. By which point, I was exhausted and we still had the rocky patch to come! I fell over once but didn’t cause myself any damage.
When we arrived back at Khare, we met the final member of our team who was still quite unwell. We were worried about him and knew he needed to come down the mountain further quickly which was the plan for today.
I slept very well, unsurprisingly! Today, we have retraced our steps to Kote and all was going very well, despite the steep descents, until it got dark and we needed to complete the last hour in the dark with head torches! This added extra complexity and challenge for me! I slipped a lot but didn’t fall over so was very pleased!
It has been an amazing two days and I feel incredibly grateful and privileged to have been able to achieve this dream. I feel very lucky to be supported by so many generous people whose support has allowed me to do this. Thank you all so much.
Tomorrow, oddly, we head back uphill so that we go another route back to Lukla and see more of this wonderful country. I’ll keep you updated on our progress tomorrow.