“Do you want some water?” “No, I want some air.”
— Tricia on Chukhung Ri
The weather was perfect from the moment we woke up today. In stark contrast to yesterday, there was not a single cloud in the sky all morning. We woke up just in time to watch the sunrise glazing the mountain peaks in an orange hue. We knew we had to be pretty close to Ama Dablam, but we learned how towering it was when the clouds finally scattered. With a crystal clear sky, Ama Dablam was in full display, bathing in the orange light of the morning sun.
We left the teahouse by 6am. It was a steep climb up Chukhung Ri and a much longer climb than either of us had anticipated. In the distance, Island Peak sat on our right hand side and Ama Dablam loomed behind us. And in front of us was a vertical glacial wall rising at least three thousand feet from Chukhung valley. The sky was impeccably blue. It was a beautiful climb.
We didn’t get to the top until almost 8:30am. As we were climbing, Tricia complained about having difficulty breathing. She had been having trouble breathing in the last couple nights. Climbing Chukhung Ri seemed to have made it worse. It was discomforting for me to hear her symptoms.
The top of Chukhung Ri offered a gorgeous 360 degree view of surrounding mountains. I particularly enjoyed the ice formation on the glaciers in front of us. We lingered at the top of Chukhung Ri for a while both to rest and to enjoy the view. The summit was empty of hikers for a little while when we first got there. Eventually a few fellow trekkers joined us on the top. One of them pointed out that there was another peak to the north which gets you closer to the glacial wall. I had no interest in pushing ourselves considering Tricia’s breathing discomfort.
We returned to Kangri Resort a little after 11. We had our last meal in Chukhung in the sunny courtyard. Then we packed up and headed for Pangboche.
From Chukhung to Pangboche was almost entirely descending. I was glad because I figured that going down in altitude was likely to help with whatever pathophysiology Tricia was dealing with.
Pangboche was a medium size village with several lodges. It is not a common stopping point, since it’s about halfway between Dingboche and Tengboche which are popular places to stay. It made Pangboche a nice and quiet stop for us. We stayed at the largest, nicest teahouse in town. It’s called the Wind Horse Inn. I really liked it. The room was large and clean. And there was a flushable toilet!
On day 12, we went on our last upward climb of this trip to go up to Ama Dablam Base Camp. It was another beautiful hike. Keep on following us!
Interested in reading about our food adventures in Kathmandu? Click here.
Are you planning a trekking trip of own? Check out my packing list.