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Ep.3 Everest Base Camp Trek - Phortse to Pheriche

Saturday 31st March to Sunday 1st April 2018 - Day 5 to 6

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The Phortse to Pheriche leg of the trek was going to be a wounder and it didn't disappoint!

Most of the hike was along the top of a ravine, with the trail getting far too narrow for some of our group's liking! Around 400 metres below was a rumbling mountain river, crystal blue with a white-water froth, so very beautiful.

We left the hostel in Phortse on Saturday the 31st of March. With our normal routine of breakfast at 8am, leaving our kit bags out for the yaks beforehand. We had our breakfast and watched as they started to get loaded. I’m fascinated by them, they’re so placid but happy looking, and are very important to their herders.

After around two hours we stopped for a cuppa at a tea-house, I was busting for the loo but didn’t fancy using what was on offer. With lunch another hour and a half away, I could wait.

As normal, it was heavy going, ascending the mountains, then descending into the valleys, up and down, up and down.

The limit for my Mortens Neuroma to start becoming painful seems to be two hours of hard walking, so has been playing up. With the left foot worse than the right, I kind of have to alter how I step up and down, using my right foot for the hard push-ups.

Eventually stopping for lunch at another Tashi Friendship Lodge, this time run by another sister of Phurba Tashi Sherpa. The usual excellent fayre was on offer, and soon after eating we set off again. Some of the group thought this was our stop for the night, quite a disappointment when they learnt we had another two hours to go!

This stop gave the yaks time to overtake us. Catching up with them some time later on the narrow ravine edge, which I loved for two reasons, one is they are slow and two they are so fascinating. The terrain changed to open moorland for the last hour or so and was steeply uphill all the way, eventually descending into Pheriche, then a short walk up to the Edelweiss hostel.

It had started snowing just as we arrived, Pheriche's fourth snow of the season. It was a cold night, with around 50mm of snow. My headache returning at this altitude, which woke me, to see the most beautiful clear full moon lighting up the peaks surrounding the hostel.

To reach here we'd been travelling for around seven hours, six of them hiking. It was pretty hard going, for the last two hours I was running on fumes and bloody minded determination. Two of our group were taken ill on this hike, with the doctor having to attend to both of them.

By morning both had felt recovered, alas on taking a short rest day hike on Sunday morning, which I abstained from btw, one of the guys had to turn back as he was still exhausted.

Jacob, Dan and Ross, the three that are attempting an Everest summit, took a more difficult rest day hike, up to the top of one of the many summits surrounding Pheriche, using it as part of their acclimatisation procedure.

Pheriche has a helipad, and choppers are in and out quite often. The Himalayan Rescue Association is run from here, with a well equipped clinic being on hand.

The next day, a rest day, whilst the trekkers of the group took a short hike to 5000 metres, I decided to stay at the hostel to rest and blog. I could have done with the 5000 metres acclimatisation but I know my body, and rest is what it needed.

The guys got back for lunch, and the rest of the day we either slept or chatted. The four remaining guys of the satellite group turned up late afternoon. They will have a rest day hike tomorrow.

Currently on this Easter Sunday, we are all sitting having dinner!

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