Day 13 Dingboche- Chhukung Ri-Dingboche (5550m)
Today is our rest day and we were doing an acclimatisation climb up an easy mountain. My alarm went off at 07.00 as usual; I decide to mix things up and I try Tibetan bread for breakfast (basically a large doughnut which was amazing). No more snow had fallen but it was up to a foot deep higher up. It was a few hours walk there and we made a rapid ascent, travelling light with just 2 water bottles and some midget gems between us. Chhukung Ri wasn’t a technically difficult climb but it was a laborious ascent, every time I stopped to catch my breath (which was often when we were near the summit) I was stunned by the majestic mountains which surrounded us. The sky was clear so we were able to see Makalu, Lhotse, Cho Oyu and Nuptse. At the col just below the summit and on the summit itself there were many cairns in memory of the many mountaineers who have died on the surrounding mountains, a humbling reminder that we were in a very dangerous area.
Our descent was rapid, at times I was actually running to catch up, which on snow/ice isn’t wise but I impressed myself by not falling down. From summit to our lunch spot it took us an hour to descend 1000m vertical metres. The return to Dingboche was hardly sedate but despite our pace we were still out for 7 hours, so much for a rest day.