Valerio Massimo Everest Expedition 2009

Me on the summit of Cho Oyu with Everest in the background

Yakkity Yak

May 4th, 2009 by Alix

Hello! This is my first chance to see the internet – or in fact any electricity- in over a week, since my last posting. My mother and I (assuming voice of the Queen for Tim) went off into the backwoods where the lodges are made of nothing but plywood (nice if your neighbour is a snorer) and heated solely with yak dung stoves (resulting in lovely scenes like the pictures below when I add them). Our goal was to climb the glorious Gokyo Ri, a 5360m peak with views of no less than 7 of the nearby giants, including Everest. Then I headed over the Cho La Pass, which may have been magnificent but may also have been Birmingham for all I could tell as I was immersed in a massive blizzard for the entire climb. Once down, the sun suddenly appeared, revealing pristine peaks all around us.

I am writing quickly as I have very little time and this is my last stop before Base Camp, an hour away, and I am trying to post a few photos… the temptation to post millions of pictures of mountains is of course very high!

In answer to the query about yaks, I too was puzzled as to how they manage to sustain their massive frames on grass that is little more than  a millimetre high in more places. It turns out that their tongues are as sharp as razors, and they literally lap up the coarse mountain grass. More yak info… ‘yak’ in fact only refers to the male, a female is a ‘nak’… causing giggles and general hysteria among the Sherpas every time a blundering trekker asks for some ‘yak cheese’.

Anyway my time has run out so on to Base Camp… Valerio is coming down the mountain today and I’ll be waiting, big grin and shaving equipment in hand…

PS a last fact… Jonathan Ulysses sounds rather magnifcent when surrounded by all these soaring peaks, and my Sherpa guide is quite converted- he keeps stealing my ipod.

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