I had stomach problems in the morning, but was determined to climb Gokyo Ri (5,357 metres, 17,575 ft) to complete the Jiri to Gokyo 100-mile trek, and see Mount Everest. My description of climbing Gokyo Ri is mixed below with photos, and there’s a video from the summit at the end.
Climbing Gokyo Ri
The sunrise looked stunning as it lit up Cho-Oyu on another beautiful clear morning, so I went out to take a photo.
I left at about 7am. Stepping-stones crossed the stream running down from the north. I made it most of the way across, before putting a foot in the water. It could have been worse: a trekker I later met had fallen back into the water!
The lake looked amazing at the start of the climb, with the sun dipping a copy of Phari Lapche into it, mixing the water between blues and greens, and framing it with the real mountains and an illuminated Gokyo Ri.
It was a steep climb from the start, and I missed the downhills I’d begun to resent earlier on the trek. However, any difficulties were outweighed by the stunning scenery being unveiled.
Looking back down the mountain, from one side of Gokyo Ri to the other, the scenery was one continuous arc of astonishment: the planet’s highest peaks shone under the sun framing turquoise lakes and a moonscape glacier.
And then I could make Everest out! It was an amazing feeling to see the highest point on Earth, and fulfil the main objective of the trip.
I reached the peak after about three hours, completing the mission part of the trek. It was certainly all worth it, with an amazing 360 degree panorama viewable from amongst the prayer flags and cairns. There was also a small Buddha statue there.
The fourth Gokyo lake was visible to the north: it was jade rather than turquoise. Small brown birds flew around freely, and looked quite tame when they landed.
Walking down was nice, although a little sad to know it was all over, and the rest of the day was spent relaxing and savouring.
Marc Latham’s central site is the Greenygrey (http://www.greenygrey.co.uk), and he has books available on Smashwords and Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/author/marclatham).