Gorak Shep and Kala Pattar - Day 11
25 - Nov 15, 1998
Today was for some the hardest walk yet, from Lobuje to Gorak Shep was a long, steep
three hour walk. Mike was suffering from lack of sleep and a painful headache and Jeff was
trailing behind but feeling fine. We got to Gorak Shep and had lunch. Mike had Rara with
vegetables, Jeff had Rara with Vegetables, fried potatoes with garlic and cheese, and a
Potato roll and snickers(this was the most expensive snickers ever and most expensive part
of the meal - $2.50 US!!!!!!!!). After we ate we lounged in the sun for about an hour.
Emmy woke us all at about 2pm we decided to head up to Kala Pataar to watch the sunset.
Kala Pattar means "Black Rock" in Hindi and is the most popular view point for
Mount Everest and the Khumbu icefall, the top is 5600m and the highest point we were to be
at on our trek..
Gorak Shep is at 5160m and consists of two lodges, one lake and spectacular views. Even
though the climb from Lubuje to the top of Kala Pattar was a 600 meter gain, and
potentially dangerous, by climbing high and sleeping lower then you have hiked up in the
day we had done the best thing you can do to aid acclimation. The hike from Gorak Shep to
Kala Pattar is straight up and it took almost 2 hours, near the end you feel very heavy
and the urge to turn around is very great but, when we heard Manny doing his best Tarzan
imitation from the top we know we were less then a half an hour away.
The view of Everest was majestic, even though we could only see the south face, Everest
has its own distinct character and beauty. However the true majesty of Kala Pattar was the
incredible views of Lhotse, Nuptse, Pomori, and the Lhola Pass between Nepal and Tibet, as
well incredible glaciers, turquoise lakes, and numerous other peaks. Everest just becomes
part of the unbelievable and moon like landscape not the focal point. We tied a prayer
flag to a walking stick and flew it with pride and celebrated and meditated and absorbed
the magic of Kala Pattar.
As the sun began to set we began a quick 1 hour descent back to our lodge. The wind
picked up and we walked straight down watching the sunset reflect off the magnificent
peaks. Those who stayed and bared the freezing wind were treated to the site of the full
moon rising behind the pinkish-gold sun-lit tip of Everest.