The infernal chill from our nights camping at Lobuche has finally found its way to Utah and crept through the cracks in my windows last night to numb my toes. I thought that the bitter cold at 16,000 feet in the late autumn of the Khumbu was miserable, but at least I had a remarkably warm microfiber sleeping bag and the most miraculous moon jacket. Just as soon as I squoze into that puffy, extreme cold weather coat it would buffer the frigid sting of breeze. To be honest, once I was bundled up in that ingenious insulation I had hardly a concern on my mind. Now I can appreciate that because the heater in my apartment just couldn’t keep up with the cold last night. My blankets couldn’t capture enough warmth and even with an extra electric heater blowing right at my face I just could not break the shivers. The temperature at Lobuche must have been somewhere between zero and not much, and at the time I thought it was the depth of discomfort. Now I look back longingly to the perfectly cozy nights I spend zipped up and Velcroed in to my mummy bag sleeping on the lumpy ground listening to a roaming pack of yak bells.
I understand that the deep winter is one of the preferred times for expeditions to the prominent summits. The cold temperatures and the clearer skies helps to keep the snow and ice accumulation a little more stable and reduces the risk of avalanches. I could never wrap my mind around the concept of spending up to two months at bases camp and beyond acclimatizing and breaking trails. I could not bear the cold and it would get so monotonous. I guess I’m not thinking it through very well though. Now I realize that the cold is not such a major factor thanks to the great cold weather gear, and base camps are usually built up pretty well for some basic comforts and diversions. Wearing that expedition coat it hardly felt like cold weather at all, and with a tent village hopping with other adventurous explorers I now imagine things could not stay dull for more than a day at a time. I didn’t know how good I had it back in the Khumbu, and now I think I’m going to pay Richard and Gaye a visit to see if I can borrow one of those marshmallow coats again.avalanche camping cold wear exploration extreme cold weather gear hiking mountains Trekking in Nepal weather