Trekking through the relatively flat valley offers much welcomed relief after yesterdays effort however the well rutted ground means that you can never rest on you laurels.
The desolate landscape that has been shaped by past glaciers offers stunning views of the peaks of Taboche and Cholatse.
The village of Dingboche sits in the stunning valley of the Imja Khola and right under Ama Dablam was the base from one of the most challenging treks of the whole journey.The challenge of acclimatizing on the slopes of Chhukhung.
Our acclimatized lungs struggled and strained to get oxygen around our bodies , it felt like after every couple of steps I’d ran a marathon. The fresh melting snow and mud just comprehended to situation.
Although we did not summit Chhukhung (4730) the views were amazing , a great reward for all our hard work.
Reaching Dingboche (4410 m) the last few minutes felt like hours on my tired legs stumbling over the rocky the path like a night on the town after one to many.
The relief of reaching our tea house ( yes we have indoor toilets), warming up with a hot chocolate and resting those legs is always short lived when our guide announces ” time for a short acclimatisation walk”
My body groans however many trekkers employ the golden rule “climb high, sleep low” to help speed up the process of altitude acclimatisation.
When time is of the essence this is though to trick the body as by exposing the body to higher elevations and triggering the adaptive process.But then at a lower attitude the body has an increased chance of restorative sleep.The body has enough available oxygen to avoid the effects of exposure to altitude.
Research is mixed regarding this technique with the argument that the acclimatization process does not happen in a matter of minutes and must be given ample time.
My feelings are mixed , your body needs rest in order to recover from a days walking. Lactic acid and other waste products build up in the muscles, which produce weakness and fatigue. At significant altitude this is a lightener process due to the deprivation of oxygen.Also by being cold your body burns more energy, energy which is required for the restorative process.
However watching the sunset over nearby peaks and the thick mist role in over the valley is priceless.It also prevents you from having a cheeky afternoon snooze whilst waiting for dinner. Avoiding afternoon snoozes was another golden rule our guide spelt out to help us get a good night sleep.