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Australian Professional Cyclist

Mount Everest Base Camp: Day by Day…..

Day Seven Trekking: Friday 2nd November.

Morning Trek:

Gokyo Lake to Thangnak: 4,1km

Starting Altitude: 4,704m.

Finishing Altitude: 5,239m.

Elevation Gain (Not Difference): 550m.

Moving/Trekking Time: 2hr05min

Average Heart Rate: 83 bpm.

Max Heart Rate: 142 bpm.

Blood Saturation 1hr Pre Trek: 70%

Blood Saturation 1hr Post Trek: 68%


Afternoon Trek:

Gokyo Lake to Thangnak: 3,9km

Starting Altitude: 4,704m.

Finishing Altitude: 4,692m.

Elevation Gain (Not Difference): 192m.

Moving/Trekking Time: 1hr43min

Average Heart Rate: 88 bpm.

Max Heart Rate: 116 bpm.

Blood Saturation 1hr Pre Trek: 67%

Blood Saturation 1hr Post Trek: 80%

Unfortunately I didn’t get any sleep again last night and in addition to being over-tired – I feel like I have a chest infection, my chest is scratching and wheezing when I breath, and coughing feels like I have knives cutting inside my chest… This could of course just be a symptom of altitude. Most of our group are complaining of really bad sinus pain which could be from the dusty trails or the dusty rooms. I suffer really badly from Sinus pain so I’m quite used to it.

We’ve all been told that we now need to start sleeping sitting up a little bit. When I was coughing last night I thought I had something as bad as fluid on the lungs however once again – these are probably normal altitude symptoms.

Wow, this morning’s trek up to Gokyo Ri was tough, really tough! We left in the dark at 5am so we were all wearing our headlamps and every single layer of clothing we had!

We started off by walking over some icy rocks (across a flowing river) and I was being super cautious not to slip- as I didn’t want to climb in wet socks! I was actually more nervous crossing the rocks on the way back into our accommodation with daylight than I was in the dark early this morning!

The climb started immediately so it was not long before we stopped and took our down-feather jackets off. Only about half of our group woke up early to attempt this peak and we were all climbing at our own pace. I stayed with our guide until about 150m from the top and then I had to stop for little rest, I got hungry and head-spins. There was only one other person with me (Dylan Borlee) and he hammered on… and got to the top while I was still doing a few steps and stopping again. I wanted to make sue I didn’t faint, or over-do it!

One thing I noticed about following the steps of our guide (both up and down) today was that you don’t really give yourself the opportunity to use the muscles you want to use. You find that following his steps means it might not be the most efficient climbing/descending for your own body/muscles. So, at a certain point, I just let the guide know I was going to walk 5 metres behind him – this way I could choose my steps and use the muscles that were less fatigued.

We had amazing weather and views this morning. I’m so glad I did it! Everyone in our group is getting tired and I can relate their ’emotions and actions’ to those of days 7-10 on the Giro d’Italia – back in the day. Everyone starts looking out for themselves, they get short and snappy, demanding etc… including myself of course!

This afternoon we had another gorgeous trek through the Ngozumba Glacier, it was much less demanding than this morning’s effort however it was very different. The majority of the walk was over huge rocks so balance was super important. We also experienced some super steep (but short) sections that were very loose dirt – which made grip very difficult.

Most of our group really enjoyed the walk through the Glacier and we’re now waiting for a late lunch in the warm common area. I’ve just heard an Australian voice over the other side of the room so I’ll go and introduce myself and have a chat later! Our group are all speaking French or Flemish in social environments so it’s a little difficult for me to enjoy their jokes and laughs. Walking is where I get to have good chats with my friends in the group and catch up on everything one on one.

Our guide has summited Mount Everest several times!

My body has held up well again today however I’m worried about my chest. Actually, as I was descending the mountain this morning I heard an American lady say WOW- this is like having open-heart surgery without needing the knives! So, I’m sure I’m not the only one with chest pain.

Lunch in the lodge is now over… We don’t get a choice for what we eat at lunch as it’s just served as soon as we arrive. It’s often noodle soup and rice! We ordered our dinner at 5pm for 6:30-7pm and all the lodges have been very punctual with the timing of meals so far. At dinner, we order what we want for breakfast, I’m a BIG eater in the mornings so I’m always taking the porridge (with honey) and a pancake! I’m absolutely loving the breakfasts here!

I’ve just got back to my room and there are no lights/electricity in here so I’ll be using my head-lamp by 6pm.

There’s also no rubbish bin so I’ve got a huge pile of dirty wet-wipes built up after my ‘Dutchie’ shower with Muc-Off’s DRY SHOWER.

Here’s a little tip. Don’t try to save your Compeed plasters by wearing them for two days trekking… It took a huge effort to pull then away from/off my skin, it was like they’d embedded into my skin – that can’t be good. I’ve given my feet a good scrub and dreid then well with my micro-fibre towel. I’m only wearing the Compeed heal plasters as a precaution, I don’t have any heal pain but just want to play it safe. I like to be organised and get my fresh plasters on before I go to sleep but tonight I’m letting my skin air out from the plasters – however I am wearing two pairs of socks – long Skins compression socks and Marino Wool thermal socks over the top. I’ve got 4 layers on my chest and will soon put another layer on.

I’ve only got 15% battery left on my Mac Book Air and can’t charge it through my solar charger (as the laptop charger is not USB) however I can re-charge my phone, Garmin, airpods etc. tonigh as I have full power on my solar charger after a stunningly sunny day!

Wi-Fi at the lodges is getting more difficult to get a connection- they say they have Wi-Fi but actually getting a signal and connected is quite a task!

More tomorrow!

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