• Janie Crouch

Everest Base Camp Trek (Day 7 - Pheriche to Lobuche)

Day 7 - Stuck in Mile 19

Hike to Lobuche - 16,236 feet

Are you afraid of heights at all? Ever tell yourself not to look down over a ledge so you don’t scare yourself at how far you have to go? That’s sort of where we are now—except it’s with looking up. Every time we look up we see another huge hill we have to crest. It’s perpetually exhausting. But somehow we’ve always made it.

In a marathon, runners hit a sort of “death” zone in the 26.2 mile race, usually around mile 18-20. For me, it’s always at Mile 19. It’s the place where everything hurts, going slower doesn’t help, and going faster is impossible. You’re too far in to quit, but too far from the finish to have any sort of awareness that this, will, in fact, end. All you can do is suffer and put one foot in front of the other.

That’s where we were today. Just a perpetual Mile 19. Everything was horrible. We were all yelling at each other, crying, and sucking in air as we went higher and higher.

There were some good moments: stopping at the memorial for the people who have died while attempting to summit Everest, listening to Train’s “Drops of Jupiter” as I crossed through a particularly beautiful section of river area, and making up with my daughter after we fought and being able to tell her how proud I am of the strength and character she’s shown on this journey.

But mostly it was one foot in front of each other, just living through it. Hour after hour. Cold, windy, miserable.

But we made it to Lobuche and realized: TOMORROW IS BASE CAMP. And just like that, Mile 19 was done and the finish line was in sight.

The memorials for those who died summiting Everest

Lobuche - highest we’ve been so far. We're way past the tree line, so everything is so stark and barren. I think it must be a little like walking on the moon.

The route:

We're in Lobuche.