Number of Survivors: 8
The day welcomed us at Pikey Peak Base Camp with a blanket of gray clouds and a cold drizzle. The weather itself was unremarkable, as it was similar to the days before, but it prevented us from ascending Pikey Peak and getting a view of Mount Everest and the Himalayas. As a result, we headed straight for the village of Jhapre and an entrance into Chyangba a day earlier than planned.
The weather, however, began to clear once we left Pikey Peak Base Camp. The brief retreat of the clouds revealed vistas of mountains and bottomless valleys as far as the eye could see. For perhaps thirty minutes it really seemed that we were at the top of the world.
The morning segment of our hike also brought us in close contact with herds of yaks/naks and yak/cow hybrids. Our group wandered right into the middle of a herd of yak hybrids where we saw a local herder milking a nak. Kim, Jackie and I also attracted the curiosity of a yak calf, which got a taste of human flesh by licking our hands.
The afternoon hike was a bit tougher as the rain returned and the terrain became tougher. With the monsoon rains, the dirt road we walked on during the final segment to Jhapre became a sea of mud. The mud swallowed our boots and made each step treacherously slippery, slowing our progress at a time when we all really just wanted to be inside our tents and away from the rain.
But despite the weather, morale in our group has been high. Our group has definitely coalesced into a family of sorts. We share bathroom humor (much to Lisa’s disgust), warnings about leeches, and a million other things that create a bond of shared experience between us.
Tomorrow we head onto Chyangba where the real work begins. I know that this family will do its best to do what it can for the people in this region.