It is 3:45am in Namche. The reason I'm awake right now is somewhat complicated. First, after my leisurely day of eating and drinking, I decided to take a nap from 3-6:45pm. Getting up from that nap was brutal. I went down to my tea house dining room and had some chicken curry with white rice. It was great but I was falling asleep while eating. That sleepiness drove me to bed again where I slept from 9pm until about 3am. Not a bad night's rest if you count a 2 hour meal time as a useful break to a 9.5 hour night. I don't. I like my sleep contiguous - that is, without interruption. So I lay hear typing my blog update...
The second reason why I am awake is due to my new friend - an invisible friend to me but definitely not an imaginative friend. My new friend is a rat or mouse who seems to take special delight in scratching the wall by my head. This animal has been going crazy with it's scratching and no matter how many times I knock on the wall, it just keeps going on with it's nightly duty.
So, between getting enough sleep and being awoken by a critter in my wall, I lay here fully rested and alert. I'm ready to move up after yesterday's 3 large meals and 5 liters of tea. Where do I go?
Option 1: Dingboche (5 hours)
I head up to Dingboche to possibly meet up with Sam and Alex. Sam sent me a FB message saying that they would be in Dingboche through today but I am not sure if they will be there when I arrive. Dingboche is an OK stop but not one of my favorites. I would go there if those two were going to stay the night but that little village doesn't offer me much beyond a place to crash. A night of catching up with Sam and Alex would be a welcomed change. Plus, I really look forward to seeing them again.
Option 2: Lobuche (8 hours)
An alternative to Dingboche is to trek a little longer and get to a higher, more remote village where I can really get back to altitude. You see, this part of the trek is hardly a stress on my body. I say that not in a boastful manner but as a real assessment of the situation. Yesterday, I woke up with a morning spO2 reading of 98 in Namche. I think and know that my hypoxic training is paying off. These lower levels just allow me to recover quickly and to stay healthy. So far, so good. Lobuche would provide a nice stressor and get me closer to basecamp. Both of those benefits seem appealing.
Option 3: EBC (12 hours)
This option is not prudent for several reasons. First, Dan sent us - sent Sam actually - a note to not rush. His note said "take your time; no climbing for another 10 days or so." Still, I would like to escape the Khumbu Valley unscathed and the best way to achieve that goal is to get out of it. With a huge push today, I could get to basecamp in about 12 hours with stops for food and gear changes.
I am not sure which option makes the most sense right now as I lay here in my comfortable sleeping bag with WiFi. The best option may emerge as I approach each destination. My general feeling is that I will go for either of the latter two UNLESS Sam and Alex are still in Dingboche. Typing out my options helped me reason through them. Thanks for allowing me the think aloud session.
OK, it is 4:30am. I have to pack up and get on the road no later than 5:30am if I want a serious shot at EBC. Hopefully WiFi works in those destinations I wrote about above.
All is well. Hope this update finds all of you as comfortable as I am in Namche. More updates later when I reach my destination.