Dingboche: 4410m/14468 ft.
Well, I made it one more day. That’s about all I remember after we said goodbye to four members of our team and continued up the hill. When we arrived at Dingboche I went straight to bed and stayed there for a solid day, making trips to the bathroom to dry heave. Ryan gave me permission to skip the acclimatization hike on the morning of our rest day.
The teahouse was lively and seemed full of fun, and I heard Dingboche had a coffee and pastry shop that I was sad to miss. I didn’t feel like socializing, but our room had ice coating the inside of the window and the warmest place was the dining room, so I took short forays out to drink Sprite and nibble on bread. A group of 5-7 English men sitting at the nearby tables struck up a conversation the first night. They were drinking pretty heavily which amazed me seeing how badly that goes with altitude and exertion. Our group stuck to tame entertainment like Yahtzee and cider. That’s Ellie the yak watching over the game.
A retrospectively funny moment happened early on, as my husband and I were leaving our room for dinner. The doors lock on both si1des so that you can secure your belongings when you’re not in the room. On the outside of the door is a padlock with a latch that closes over a hook, through which you secure a padlock. When we went into the room and closed the door the latch must have flopped over the hook, which left us unable to open the door. Panicked, I knocked – ok, pounded – the wall trying to attract the attention of our neighbors. My husband gave me the sharp kind of command to stop that you’d give a dog, and it worked just the way it should, startling me out of my reactionary thinking. We opened the window but nobody was in sight and we were on the second floor, so I resumed knocking and calling out, more quietly, on the door. Within a few minutes we heard a squeak as someone freed the latch without saying a word. This must happen often if it draws no concern.
By the second day two more team members were feeling some kind of illness, whether respiratory or intestinal. Ryan was regularly seen going room to room with his bag of meds, checking in and making sure we stayed hydrated. I continued to be overwhelmed at the care and tenderness given by the Nepalis, who have seen so many sick trekkers and know exactly what we need.
I wish I’d seen more of Dingboche, but the scenery out the window was enough for today.