Dropping like flies
Deboche (3820m) to Dingboche (4410m)
We lost one team member after morning tea. Lisa had suffered stomach pain since the first day, and struggled with the uphill climbs. She and our guide made the call for her to be evacuated by helicopter. This turned out to be the right call, because it turned out Lisa's stomach pain was an inflamed appendix, and she had to have it removed in a Kathmandu hospital. Good times. We later heard Lisa's partner flew in to keep her company and we assume her second tour to India was cancelled.
The walk itself on this day was manageable, with highlights including bypassing a collapsed bridge and seeing two mountain goats.
By lunchtime we lost two more team members. Our teenaged Sophie felt (and looked) super unwell by lunchtime and was also evacuated with her dad.
By now our lunch menu had become very predictable, but having reached higher altitudes, most restaurants and lodges also offered oxygen services.
We had now risen above the tree line and the landscape was much rockier with not much more than small shrubs covering the hills.
We arrived at Dingboche fairly late in the day, and after dumping our bags we thought we'd go for a walk through town. We made it up the guest house’s steps (about 7 steps, so it took us a few minutes) and immediately called off the expedition. It was seriously cold. We all instantly panicked and decided we would freeze to death before reaching base camp.
Safely back inside the dining hall, we heard that Peter had wandered off to the bakery alone. We waited for an hour before deciding he must have perished in the cold and the dark. Dan, Peter's official health and safety buddy, felt a little remorseful, but not much.
Next time, read about our rest day in Dingboche and the continuing debate as to whether rest is best or rest is rust.