|October 16, 2006:
Lobuche to Dzonghla
When I woke up it was cold! A little below freezing in my room! I stayed in bed until about 7 am.
We had no rush this morning as we only wanted to hike to Dzonghla which wasn't very far nor were
there any big altitude changes (read: hikes up). I had breakfast and then I took a shower and
shaved. First shower since Namche. If felt gooood! After I was finally done with all my "chores" the
lodge was pretty much empty as everybody was gone. Bharat and I left around 9:15 am for our hike
to Dzonghla. First, we retraced our steps towards Thukla until close to the Climber's Memorial and
then we headed to the right and followed the trail on the right side of the valley which would
eventually round the mountain and head north towards Dzonghla. Wonderful views of Cholatse,
upvalley towards Pumori and Lingten and downvalley towards Pheriche, Ama Dablam, Kangtega
It took us about 2 hours and 40 minutes from Lobuche to Dzonghla through this beautiful
mountain scenery. During the trek, several groups passed us coming from Dzonghla and heading for
Lobuche, including an REI trekking group. Before I booked my trip, I was thinking about joining
one of those group treks, but now, seeing all these people hiking together, I am glad I didn't. I was
always glad when these groups had passed and Bharat and I were alone again. We finally reached
Dzonghla. There are 2 lodges. Both were full (i.e. no single rooms), but there was still room in the
dormitory of one of them for me. That was fine. After eating lunch, Bharat and I were taking a
short excursion up to the ridge where we could see the Cho La Pass and the approach we were going
to take the next day. It did not look too bad and too steep at all, except the very last part.
It was getting cold, cloudy and
windy, so we went back to the lodge.
From about 2 pm on we were
spending the rest of the day in the
dining room. We talked to the other
guests. 2 Dutch guys and several
Italians (nice Italians...) and also the
older Canadian couple from
Vancouver who I have seen pretty
much every day for the last 3-4 days.
Besides smalltalk, not much else to
do. It got really cold in the dining
room, everybody is sitting there with
their downjackets on or even
wrapped up in their sleeping bags.
Lots of stories being told about Cho
La Pass, except by the lodge owner
who constantly says it is easy.
Nevertheless, I was hiring a porter
who will carry my backpack from the
lodge to the top of Cho La. It will
cost me 1,800 rupees. It sounds like a
lot, but we are going up to 5,400
meters and I don't want to take any
chances. The people who came up
from the other side are saying that
the lodges at Dragnag are pretty nice,
but this one, oh well! Finally had
dinner. Tomato soup and fried rice.
What was interesting: The cook
shoved yak dung into the oven with
his bare hands (of course), then went
back into the kitchen to fix supper.
Then he served the dishes.... I liked
the guy and it turned out that he was
my porter the next day. Went to bed
around 8 pm in the dormitory. The
dormitory was big, enough room for
16 people, 8 downstairs, 8 upstairs.
Three Japanese were in there as well,
they slept upstairs, I slept downstairs.
So I had a lot of room and slept
Trek towards Dzonghla. You can see
the trail on the side of the mountain.
The trail goes around the side of the
mountain and then to the right.
View back towards
Ama Dablam and Kangtega. Pheriche
is in the middle of the picture.
Another view of
Ama Dablam from
Approach to Cho La from Dzonghla. You
can see the ice field peeking out in the
Dzonghla and Ama