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Death march day. We woke at 2:45 am to start a 12 hour hike. The stars shined overhead as we stumbled along the Khumbu glacier. In the starlight we could see dark mountain shapes loom, so we knew the day would be clear. We breathed hard, our heads floating, as we climbed to 5540 meters and the top of Kala Pattar. From this height almost equal to Kilimanjaro, we looked down upon Everest Base camp. Everest and the other mountains rose straight above us. At this altitude a fellow traveler fell ill and probably would have lapsed into a coma if our guide hadn't supplied medicine and instructions to descend immediately. This person had lost all motor control and needed to be half-carried down the mountain. As for us, we felt tired but elated at our good luck with the clear views.
Checking out Everest (black triangle in the middle and the southern ridge on the left) and her sister, Nuptse (on the right).
Everest View: The base camp is in at the bottom left of the picture, next to the bend of the Khumbu glacier.
Our guides, Jagat Sherpa (left) and Sarun the head guide (right). Sherpas are all named after the day of the week on which they were born, which leaves only seven names for the entire male population - a lot of confusion!