After a long series of rotations up to camp two and three, we descended down to the more comfortable accomodations of Base Camp. After an enjoyable two nights at Everest Base some of us decided to backtrack even further into the lower elevations of the Khumbu Valley. So on the 9th we packed our backpacks with the essential items needed for comfort down low and proceaded to descend down through the Sherpa villages of Gorakshep, Lobuche, and Pheriche until we finally stopped at the hillside community of Pangboche. Pangoche is situated right about an elevation of 13,220 ft (3900 meters) and is beautifually situated beneath the towering mountain tops of Ama Dablam, Thamsurku and Kang Tenga.
The rational for descending down to these lower elevation is to allow our bodies to reep the benefits of the thicker air and take a much needed mental break from the stark landscape of the high Himalaya. Being down here among the juniper trees and vegitation that would be so alien to us up high is a welcoming home to all that is bountiful and living.
Till then we are closely monitoring the weather for the upper mountain and keeping all of those Sherpa in our thoughts as they transport the vital loads up to South Col and “fix” the remainder of the lines to the summit. This 2012 season has been a test of mental and physical dedication to climbing the tallest mountain on the planet. So far, so good.