EVEREST BASE CAMP TREK DIARY DAY 12
EVEREST BASE CAMP TO PERICHE
Starting Point: Everest Base Camp (3,440m/11,300ft)
Finishing Point: Periche (4,371m/14,340ft)
Trekking Time: 6.5 Hours
Accommodation: Pumori Lodge
Waking up at Everest Base Camp was a surreal experience. Not only did the evening mark the climax of our trek in the Everest Region, it was also one of the most nerve-wracking and sleepless nights we had on our adventure. The fear of avalanches burying us and the sounds of the glacier creaking below pretty much had me sleeping with one eye open and wishing for the clock to move forward as quickly as possible. It was an experience I will never forget and one that I can’t wait to do again – perhaps when I decided to make Base Camp home for a month to summit Everest.
Morning eventually arrived and while it was freezing, we hopped out of our sleeping bags, layered up and sat in the mess tent. Our chef prepared us an awesome breakfast and warmed us up with some instant coffee, both of which got the blood moving and prepared us for our trek from Everest Base Camp to Periche. And with that – we said our goodbyes and began making our way back through Everest Base Camp.
We made our way back to Trekkers Rock, said one last goodbye to Base Camp and continued along the route in the Khumbu Valley. The further along the path we ventured, the more that Mt. Everest came back into view. There was something very comforting about having her there. We made it all the way to Base Camp, woke up safe and sound and were heading onward with our journey. It felt as if Sagarmatha herself was accompanying us along our adventure.
We backtracked along the main Everest Base Camp trail to Gorakshep and picked up the gear we left for our overnight adventure. As we continued to head further down the valley we passed tons of trekkers, sherpas and yaks. Some were heading to Kala Patthar while others were pushing onward to Base Camp. Every so often we would pass people who looked like proper mountaineers. Whether they just did a damn good job looking the part or were actually heading to EBC to make a summit attempt, I’d give an encouraging smile as they made their push.
We retraced our footsteps back through the town of Lobuche where we took another cheeky break at the world’s highest bakery. Nothing like a tasty latte and dried pastry to refuel you along the trek. To be honest, after the freshly baked birthday cake we had at Base Camp, the pastry didn’t do the trick (but it certainly did on our way up).
Further down the Khumbu valley, the trail forks – if you take a right the path brings you Dzongla (where we stayed on our way up), if you veer left you are off to Dingboche and if you head onwards you are off to Periche. We went onward and made our into the valley towards the town of Periche. The trail itself wasn’t too difficult, but I remember being constantly pummeled by wind and dust storms the entire way down. We were leaving the higher altitudes behind, so mother nature was clearly trying to ensure we continued to have a challenging trek.
One of the memorials that I was drawn to was that of Mountain Madness founder Scott Fisher. Scott was a regarded mountaineer. His accomplishments included being one of the first American’s to summit Lhotse, the 4th largest mountain at 8,516m, and one of the first American’s to summit K2, the second tallest mountain in the world at 8,611m, without supplemental oxygen. Scott lost his life in the much-documented 1996 Everest tragedy and was played by Jake Gyllenhaal in the 2015 blockbuster film – Everest.
The path continues through Periche Valley and follows along the Tsola River. To the right of the river valley is the massive Taboche (6,542m) and directly ahead is Ama Dablam (6,812m). We’ve seen both of these peaks a few times from various vantage points along our route – and now that we are in Periche (4,371m) we are now directly next to them.
Periche is known to be a big farming village that has transformed into a major trekking hub. A fair amount of its people are employed as trekking guides and Sherpas. There are also many tea houses here that serve as an important acclimatization stop for those making their way to Base Camp from this direction. You will find a basic hospital here operated by the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA) during the two climbing seasons – which often serves as an evacuation point for those who need to get down the mountain quickly.
Upon arrival in Periche, we checked into the Pumori Lodge – the last basic tea house of our trek. Once we get to the lower parts of the main Everest Base Camp Trek we go back to our luxury tea house. The hot showers, electric blankets and multi-course meals are very welcomed at this stage.
What was on? The blockbuster hit film Everest. It felt quite fitting that we just returned from an overnight at Base Camp and got to watch a film about Everest – a few kilometers from Mt. Everest herself. There was a steady stream of films that followed that evening. It was a nice way to spend the evening relaxing before heading to our ice cold room and zipping up in our sleeping bags.
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Check out the day as recorded by Stava. See the trails taken, overall elevation gains, trekking times and how fast (or slow) we made it from Point A to Point B.
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