Base Camp. Day 9, Lobuche to Gorak Shep to Base Camp to Gorak Shep

As always, an early start this morning for a long day. The route to Gorak Shep from Lobuche is around 3 hours, where we deposited our bags and got ready for the final journey to base camp.

Gorak Shep is right on the edge of civilisation, and it feels like it. The rooms that we had were quite literally in a tin shed. Luckily, there’s a big sign showing the way to base camp.

The walk to base camp from Gorak Shep about 2 hours of hard trekking along a rocky ridge that is teeming with walkers going in both directions along the single track path. The final section is especially difficult as you scramble across rocks to the final point, a small rocky outcrop at the bottom of the icefall. The actual site itself is somewhat underwhelming but the feeling of being there is quite special, if a bit chilly!

This particular place does now hold a rather special place in my memories, not only for the experience of getting there, but because it is the place that I asked my girlfriend Nicki to marry me. Luckily (for me), the altitude left her delirious and she said yes.

After stopping for the obligatory photos we started to make our way back along the narrow, rocky ridge. On our way back, the clouds came in with a vengeance and snow started to fall. A quick change of attire and the addition of a number of pieces of warm clothing and we were back on our way, braving the snow and heavy winds.

After a couple of hours of this, we stumbled back into the tea house and made our way into a packed to the rafters dining room.

After dinner, we wandered back to our rooms, through the snow and ice to the tin shed. Sleep was not forthcoming though, as a tent directly outside our window was being buffeted by the wind and it sounded like the crack of a whip every time the wind blew, which it did constantly. The temperature in the room was substantially below zero, causing the water bottles to freeze, along with the condensation of my breath on the outside of my sleeping bag!