May 10, 2008 - A two day trip on the way up turned in to a six hour one day trip on the way down...

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Dingboche – Namche Bazar

Today I went down to Namche Bazar. A two day trip on the way up turned in to a six hour one day trip on the way down. Not easy, you still have to gain some 600m since the trail goes up and down, but much better than going the other way. My lungs still hurt badly whenever having to climb and thereby strain myself so it was a relief that most of the day was down hill. I made company with my two new Swedish friends, Anders and Niklas, whom we have met several times during the trek. They have been on the same schedule as we although two days ahead of us. Anders succeeded in climbing Island Peak yesterday but Niklas had to turn back just some 100 meters from the summit due to fatigue. Congratulations and well done to both of them! Their company made my trek much easier and I still don’t feel TOO disappointed about missing out on the Island Peak climb.

Arriving at the familiar Khumbu lodge in Namche it almost felt like coming home. The family running the Khumbu lodge is really nice and they even remembered me from 2004 when the whole Holst family visited Namche. European children, then aged 12, 10 and 6, are not very common up here so maybe it’s understandable that they remember. After having a long longed for real shower, it’s been 8 days since last; it was just down to trying to find the least dirty clothes to put on. Nothing is clean any more but some underwear, socks and shirts are a little less dirty. I have to give my compliments to Eva and Norwegian company Janus who has provided us with underwear, shirts, longs, fleece clothing and so on. All in finest merino wool. The wool
keeps you cool when warm but more importantly it keeps you warm even if the cloths are wet and dirty. In this case it’s also a benefit that dirty wool doesn’t smell. Artificial fibres don’t do all this. The clothes have really been a asset to the expedition. And today it was nice not having to smell too bad after the nice shower. Tonight we will feast on Yak Sizzler (Yak steak brought to you on a hot sizzling platter). The beer however will have to wait until Kathmandu. Alcohol and high altitude doesn’t mix too well and with my lung problems I’m not taking any chances.
Right now I would think Lena and Greger is in Lukla, spending one night and then flying down to Kathmandu early morning tomorrow. My thought also goes to Rolle and Per-Ivar. Right now they should be in the Island Peak Base Camp. Going to bed early and then starting the climb around two o’clock at night. Anders and Niklas has told me that it’s a real hard climb, almost 1000m in rough terrain, and both where very exhausted when I met the after their climb yesterday. I hope Rolle and Per-Ivar are able to “dig deep” and find the strength to reach the summit. It will take a few days before we know. There is no way for them to communicate properly before they reach Kathmandu. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed and whish them luck!