Everest base camp, day 8, 9: The retreat

October 2014

If everything went well, we should have started towards Lobuche. But things were not rosy. Subbu’s condition had become bad. Climbing up was out of question. It would be foolish if we had tried in such conditions. If two days of acclimatization could not solve the issue, climbing up would never. There is no point in risking HACE or HAPE; both of which are fatal.

Sunrises over Ama Dablam as we set to depart
One thing was clear. Having prior experience in High Altitude trekking does not make one immune to AMS. It can strike any one at any time at High Mountains.

The sad part about returning back is that we will never know whether we took the right decision or not.

If it had taken five days to climb it, it took us just two days to return back to Lukla with a night halt at Namche Bazaar. It was painful to climb back the steep path towards Namche but the last climb to Lukla was the toughest!!

When we reached Lukla, it was around 2PM. The weather had turned bit cloudy. We wanted to avoid stay at Lukla and return to Kathmandu as soon as possible. We had not ‘heard’ any flights for quite some time. And we had to prepone our tickets also.

Tough life of locals
As we entered into the empty Lukla airport, we were whisked to the tarmac without much delay. There was a flight about to land at Lukla!! It did not matter when the return date was. As long as there were seats, we could just jump in.

Everest seem from Tengboche
The security at Lukla airport was strange. They did not have scanning machines and hence security consisted of few questions like whether we were carrying banned items!! An answer “no” is enough to pass.

Shortly three flights landed at the airport and within 5 minutes we were flying on air!! The journey was more turbulent due to cloud cover. The pilot was driving the flight like an auto rickshaw.

This would be the first view of Everest. Before Namche Bazaar

At 2PM we were trekking in the Everest region. Within an hour, we were in the streets of Kathmandu. It was too much of a contrast for our confused minds and body!!

Final words: 
Will I try again? I am not sure. But one thing is certain. I will not be trying the same itinerary again. It will be too much of repetition.  Combining with Gokyo or three pass trek can be thought off. But for now, I will be giving a break to Everest Base Camp for some time. 

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