The objective for today was to move up from Dingbouche to Lobuche, a roughly 1,700 foot climb to 16,207 feet. Even though I had fully acclimated to Dingbouche, I definitely felt the altitude on the hike. I've felt it many times before though. A pressure headache coupled with taking deep breaths to walk up something that would be absolutely nothing at home. But this is normal. As long as I don't get a crushing headache or nausea or vomiting it's all part of acclimating. The plan is to rest in Lobuche for the rest of today (it's Friday here) and the following day as well.
As much as I felt the altitude today, I was blown away by the porter who carried much of my gear. See the pic below. He carried all three of my bags, the gray and black ones, plus someone's else's small pack. My gear (which included the last minute requests of other climbers) had to weigh at least 160 pounds! The Sherpa are amazing athletes and make us Western climbers look quite weak by comparison. I should also note this is the normal way Everest is climbed, expedition style, really from the beginning. The mountain is really too big for an individual to take everything they need with them so porters and Sherpa play a key role in moving the expedition up the mountain. Other mountains are climbed differently. On Denali for example we all carried all of our gear and divided up the group gear on top of that. I may have had 150 pounds tops but that was split between a pack and a sled vs. all on my back. I was very impressed by this guy.
Another way gear is moved is by yak. The ones in the picture are actually a cross between yaks and Indian cows. I'm told they are stronger and better mannered than pure yaks. Who knew?
This is a pic of me shielding myself from the sun. The Buff is my best friend out here.
Today we also walked through the memorial to climbers who died on the mountain. This one is in memory of the famous climber Scott Fischer. I knew there was a memorial area but was surprised to see that there were dozens and dozens set up in this area. It was a somber place, and a place for reflection.