I made it to Lobuche 16,210 feet which is roughly 1500 feet below Everest Base Camp. I was feeling really good here for the first couple of hours and then my first taste of altitude sickness hit me. Seems like it is pretty common at this altitude. For me at that moment, it was dizziness. I then ordered a bowl of garlic soup followed by a cup of ginger honey tea. That is the recommended sherpa altitude sickness cure and I must say I did start feeling better. Talking with someone, they said everybody feels the altitude here. One girl couldn’t even get up and was waiting on a helicopter which couldn’t arrive til the morning. She looked in bad shape. I then noticed people walking around appearing half drunk. They said not to worry that it is no big deal but I am thinking people die from altitude sickness. Seems contrary to what all the warning posters say around here. After I chilled out in the common room and started to feel better, I decided to do a small hike to higher elevation and then come back down. That is supposed to help you sleep better. And I must say I slept great last night but I did get a splitting headache which is also a symptom of altitude sickness. I took some advil last night but my thought was to play it by ear in the morning.
So in the morning, I still had a headache. Not worse which is a good sign. If symptoms were worse, I would have made my way down in elevation. I decided to go get breakfast and coffee and make a game plan. I actually started feeling better after my cup of joe but I was still on the fence to move forward or have an acclamitization day.
During my breakfast, I chatted with other trekkers most of which didn’t get any sleep. That is another symptom that comes from being so high up. I was extremely lucky that I was able to sleep so well. Many people I was talking to had really bad symptoms but they are with tour groups with set itineraries so they are made to play them down. They can’t say I need more time to acclimatize. I watched a half dozen people air lifted out today so I would prefer to not be one of those people. Altitide sickness can be fatal and should be taken very serious. I have all the time in world and I am not traveling with tour group on a set itinerary. So I thought to myself why be in such a hurry and enjoy this Himalayan experience for a little bit longer. As I watched the conga line of half dazed tour group people who look like they had one too many march on to higher elevation, I decided to stay another day Lobuche and prepared for my photographic acclamitization day hike. And I must say it was incredible. I can’t wait to upload my photos from my dslr.
Tomorrow the plan is to push on!
By the way, I am feeling great today! No symptoms what so ever.