April 5th, 2009
Dole (13,485 ft) to Machhermo (14,663 ft)
Todays’ walk was supposed to be a short one, 3-4 hours. We started at 8.30 am. The hike started with a steep uphill climb for the first 45 minutes. Soon we passed the treeline as we entered Gokyo Valley. We passed several villages along the way. Snow showers started after an hour.
Gradual slope started after the first climb. Snowstorms started getting stronger. The mountains decided to show us the power, which we embraced with smiles and waterproof jackets. Snowfall obscured the views but the surroundings started looking breathtaking with fresh white powdery snow.
We kept walking for another three hours or so to reach Machhermo. Getting inside a cozy shelter felt really good. We removed our wet layers and got comfortable. I ordered a plate of momo, a vegetarian variety while sipping a hot cup of ginger lemon tea.
It was still snowing outside. An emergency physician lady walked into our teahouse and invited us to attend AMS talk at 3 pm at a nearby clinic. I was amazed by her energy, despite the snow and windstorms, she was walking to all the teahouses in the town to invite tourists to attend this educational session.
The village of Machhermo houses a Hospital and a Rescue center, which is run by volunteer doctors, the same building also contains a Porter Shelter. We walked to the clinic located towards the end of the town, to attend the session. The talk about Altitude Sickness, Prevention and Treatment were very informative and timely. We made small donations to the facility.
We returned around 4.30 pm, this is when the sky got absolutely clear and it opened panoramic views of the surrounding mountain peaks. Views of Tauche, Phortse, Kangtega and Thamserku was on one side and Machhermo Peak stood tall right across on the west! We witnessed one of the most stunning sunsets, all the peaks lit golden as the sun set behind Machhermo Peak. I rushed out with my camera to capture the magic! What a grand finale of another adventurous day in the Himalayan mountains.
Day 8 ->