Day 6: Gokyo Bubbles

November 9, 2022
Start: Machhermo 4470m (14,662ft)
Stop: Goyko 4790m (15,711ft)
Distance: 7km (4.3 miles)

After getting up for the bathroom, I rub my feet until the warmth starts to return. My sleep is so-so because my feet are cold for half the night. Clearly, my fleece socks and down booties aren’t doing the trick. I try taking off my down booties which maybe helps because my feet are warm enough for me to drift back to sleep. During breakfast at 7:30am we find out that Sue’s helicopter is coming at 10am. My veggie omelet smells and tastes a little funky and I force myself to finish it. The next update is that the helicopter, which is coming from Kathmandu, will arrive at 9am. We decide to wait so that we can send her off.

At 8:50am the helicopter comes whipping over the mountain and we launch into action. There’s no time for a group picture as Tiger, Bikram and Dipak quickly take Sue and her gear out to the chopper. The helicopter lands on the tiniest patch of dirt right on the ledge above the small creek. Within less than a minute after landing, Sue is loaded and gone. The dust swirls around us as we wave goodbye.

The climb is fairly gradual out of Machhermo until we ascend rock stairs to the first Gokyo lake. The wind is ripping through this little draw and when I can no longer take it, I stop and add gloves and a windbreaker layer to my core. The glacial brilliant blue lake shimmers in the wind as some oxen pass us. Since breakfast time I haven’t been feeling well. Lots of pressure in my stomach. I’m gassy and belchy and relieve myself any way possible. I can smell the foul odor of my breakfast bubbling up.

Against the backdrop of Cho Oyu, we arrive at Gokyo and Lake 3 just after noon. I can see the tiny trail ascending far above us up to Gokyo Ri. That’s for tomorrow! We have peach tea at the Fitz Roy Inn and Sophie challenges Clearance and Jeremy that if they jump in the lake she’ll pay for their charging the rest of the trip. I can see they’re thinking about but they don’t commit. Caspar and I go and check out our room which has a sweet view of the lake. There’s also an en suite bathroom with a shower (which might only have cold water), sit toilet, a sink with running water and charging outlets next to our beds. Wow! This is definitely the nicest room yet!

I spot a pair of Ruddy Shelducks out on Gokyo Lake 3. Buddhists consider these birds to be sacred. Because they are protected, the birds often form long lasting pairs which also makes them known as love birds. My stomach is feeling off so I have toast for lunch. I spend the afternoon not feeling well and there’s so much pressure in my stomach that I now have the worst heartburn ever! I guess laying down wasn’t such a great idea. Just in case, I take meds for a stomach bug. I repeat toast for dinner too.