November 30, 2015
Oh sweet Gokyo! This area is simply magnificent! Everywhere you look there is a prize for the eye! We woke up early to climb Gokyo Ri (ri means ridge or soft peak). The "soft peak" cracks me up because Gokyo Ri is 5360 m/17,585 feet high! It's a nontechnical climb which is probably why they call it a "soft peak". We started at an elevation of 4790 m/15,715 ft which gave us 570 m/1,970 ft. climb to the top. Surprisingly it was much easier than we thought it would be. Just shows how amazing the human body is by its capacity to adapt to environmental changes. As we were climbing the clouds started to roll in and we hurried so we could get a view of Mt. Everest. Unfortunately we didn't get a view of the big girl at the top of Gokyo Ri but did sneak a peak on the way up. She is just amazing!!!
We contemplated moving on from the village of Gokyo towards Cho La pass but we decided to stay another night to let our bodies acclimatize some more in preparation of Cho La. We have both been anxious for Cho La because it is higher than we have been, it has a glacier crossing which can be a little sketchy, and we are carrying our own packs which makes the climb far more strenuous. Cho La pass has been the part of this trek that made us rethink hiring a porter but we are going to try it and neither of us are afraid to turn around. We understand the power of Mother Nature and aren't afraid to yield to her. Tomorrow (December 1) we will head to the village of Dragnag and then on December 2nd, if the weather cooperates, we will attempt Cho La!
I got up this morning with the full intention of reading my book and drinking coffee all morning......yeah right! I did get up and drink coffee and read my book but I just couldn't keep my eyes off the bluebird sky day and Gokyo Ri overlooking the village. So what do you think we did? Yep we climbed it for a second time and both john and I are glad we did it! At the top we got clear views of Everest. We also enjoyed panoramic views that we missed yesterday because of the clouds. We met our fellow lodge mates at the top and celebrated with cookies for everyone!
After the climb we packed up and headed to the village of Dragnag (also called Thangnak) just a short but complicated distance away. We had to cross a glacier/glacial moraine to get there. We both felt like we were walking on the moon because there wasn't any vegetation anywhere around us and there were hills of rocks and frozen lakes. It was crazy!