Everest Base Camp Day 5

April 13th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Today was around a 350 metre descent day, climbing to Machhermo at 4,400 metres. My head ache from yesterday returned which pretty much confirmed I have acute altitude sickness.

It’s not a pleasant thing to have. If it gets worse I will either stop ascending or descend. To try and mitigate or treat it I have doubled the Diamox dose from 125 mgs twice daily to 250 mgs twice daily. Also having garlic soup for lunch and dinner, and drinking at least four litres of water a day.

The Diamox makes you go to the toilet more often anyway, and add to that four litres of water, two bowls of soup, and lots of lemon tea – well when at the lodge I’m going to the bathroom around every hour, and usually twice at least during the night. Luckily I’ve not yet needed to go while between lodges – as that would be very cold!

But the discomfort doesn’t take away from the amazing experience and views.


Some amazing birds you see high up in the mountains here.


The view from outside the lodge at Dole. Not a bad sight to wake up to.


This is the sink. The water was frozen this morning.


Believe it or not this is one of the better toilets!


The rooms are basic and very very cold during the night. Am now sleeping with clothes on in the sleeping bag. Also the walls are paper thin so you don’t get a lot of uninterrupted sleep.


A nice section through some trees.


Dole from above as we leave it. Stunning views.


The view ahead.


A typical local house.


Two of our guides with a great view behind them. The guides are fantastic. Great senses of humour and lots of experience.


A long trail along the hills.


Finally Machhermo at 4,400 metres.


Some local crows to welcome us.


To help acclimatise we climbed 200 metres up the hill, which gave us a good view of the next day’s trek.


One of the guides showing his climbing skills.


A cute baby yak.


We attended a free seminar by a (New Zealand) doctor at the International Porter Protection Shelter. The charities involved do amazing stuff. This is the chart that stuck with me – that we were already at only 57% atmospheric pressure.



A tenting site for the really hardy ones.

Will decide in the morning whether or not to go up to Gyoko. If I can make it to there then we have two days there which should help me with the altitude sickness.

13 Responses to “Everest Base Camp Day 5”

  1. PaulP (228 comments) says:

    Great photos and commentary thanks DPF.

    Doesn’t help you now but for next time suggest altitude training before you go. They remove oxygen from the air at each session so you get used to it. http://www.altitudeinc.co.nz

    Also excellent for other sport.

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  2. Elaycee (4,536 comments) says:

    @DPF: Great pikkies – what a place! But not good to read about your headaches…. is there a medic in your group? 😕

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  3. Akaroa (1,333 comments) says:


    Your recent travelogues have been very interesting and all that, but please don’t neglect the real reason why so many of us come to your pages.

    Have you seen the mess your blog page has got into recently? Hundreds and hundreds of chiefly vacuous vapourings. And a lot of it merely garbage!

    How about a bit of editorship/control/direction, so that those of us who take you seriously can get some non-time-wasting value out of browsing Kiwiblog?.

    And, please David, don’t tell me its your blog and you’ll do what you like.

    Blogging on the net is a public service in my book – in the interests of the serious discussion of subjects of interest and the wider proliferation of opinions and views.

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  4. holysheet (1,608 comments) says:

    Akaroa. leave the poor man alone. If you don’t like what you have seen on the last general debate don’t look.
    Everyone is entitled to takes a break now and then (even if he takes more than most).
    Just enjoy the fantastic photos that he is posting and wait until he is back. Your life must suck if you have to rely on KB to this extent.

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  5. wiseowl (2,273 comments) says:

    It is DPF s’ blog akaroa.If you don’t like what you are reading post something interesting.

    Great pics David.

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  6. Akaroa (1,333 comments) says:

    Hi Holysheet!

    (Neat nominal btw!!)

    Oh, don’t worry!. Its no big deal, and I do understand how David must feel particularly pumped up at being so close to the ‘Roof of the World” and all that.

    Its just that other people’s holiday pix aren’t on my list of ‘must-see-at-any-price’ or, ‘How-good-is-that?’.

    Holiday snaps are usually pretty personal in my book, and one’s colleagues are generally quite relieved that other people’s pix don’t dominate morning tea, or get passed around the office, whenever the holiday-maker returns all bronzed and rested and full of , “Hey guys, you’ll never believe what I did on my hols…….”

    Thinks. Must get out my “Hitch-hiking-round-the-South-Island-in-2010” pix and post them on line sometime.

    (Don’t worry! Just kidding!!)

    I went to

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  7. tom hunter (7,633 comments) says:

    Thanks for all this DPF. I doubt that I will now get to such places so this is the next best thing. You’re also showing a hell of a lot of grit: having a constant headache, or any sort of constant pain (even if it’s low-level) can really grind you down.

    Still, you’re in the right part of the world for meditation exercises!

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  8. Akaroa (1,333 comments) says:

    Hey Wiseowl!

    (Where do you guys get these neat nominals?)

    Something interesting?

    Mate, after seventy-plus years – which included knocking around the World for 39 of those years in two Air Forces – I wouldn’t know where to start!

    Or stop!!

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  9. peterwn (4,281 comments) says:

    Akaroa – he has to live for the present! We are lucky that he has some internet connection (or is it pigeon post carrying a micro SD?) but cannot expect him to spend all night moderating Kiwiblog.

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  10. Elaycee (4,536 comments) says:

    @Akaroa. This is DPF’s personal blog and he writes matters of interest… to him!

    The rest of us are guests. On his blog.

    But there is nothing stopping you from creating your own blog if you don’t like what you see here…

    Just saying…. :roll:

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  11. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Hi DPF – I’m really enjoying your comments and pics from afar!

    A pity that the locals don’t have any coca-leaf tea (as they do in the Andes).
    I’ve heard that that works wonders for altitude sickness!

    All the best – take care.

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  12. Laksa (23 comments) says:

    If you are cold at night and need to pee a lot then I have a simple solution. Pee into your zig water bottle and you instantly have a nice hot water bottle to snuggle up to.

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  13. TheContrarian (1,117 comments) says:

    Highest altitude I ever got to was 2 .5 kms above sea level in Bolivia. Wind chill temp was -26. Chewing coca leaves religiously (mind the pun) keep the illness at bay but my nose bleed like a fucking hydrant.

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