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Youth to Everest – Day 10

Alysha is today’s correspondent:

It snowed!  We woke up at 5:45 to everyone yelling, “It’s snowing!” And it did snow!  The landscape that had previously been rock and scrub was covered in a foot of white powder.  Naturally, 14 teenagers, some of whom who had never been in snow before, were out in the snow, making snowmen, snow angels, having snowball fights.  It went on for a good hour before we all grew a bit cold and migrated inside for tea and breakfast.  

It did mean we had to change plans for the day as we could not go higher into the mountains since it was not safe.   Note from John – The adults spent about 90 minutes deliberating on the best course of action, with no access to outside advice as there was no mobile phone reception in the hollow of the valley where we were staying.   It was clear that going further up was not an option as the tracks were treachorous for those without the right equipment, but the question that needed answering was, should we stay put or head downhill?   Holly, as team leader, made the call, and as safety was paramount, it was decided to lose height, in case further snow made conditions even more difficult.

Word came from the big boss Holly that we would travel down to Kangjuma so we would have less chance of being stuck in a storm.   We wrapped up war, and started our tramp in the snow. It was amazing!   Slippery, yes.   Scary at points when you were sliding a bit down the hill.   But I had never done anything like this before and it’s a memory that will last a lifetime.   

We reached the bottom of the Thyangboche Hill, but didn’t stop for tea because we didn’t want anyone to get cold.  As we began to tramp up the other side, the snow had stopped and was melting.  The dust of yesterday had turned into a downhill flow of muddy slush.   It didn’t take us long to arrive at the lodge and dive into a lunch of spaghetti and tomato sauce.  A bit later, Mr John May arrived (in the rearguard group – John) and managed to devour two bowls with much satisfaction! 

We spent the afternoon playing cards and doing a quiz – which my group won, though only by a tiebreaker of rock, paper scissors.

It was a fun evening with everyone playing cards, talking and watching the wind in the snowy trees.   I couldn’t believe that so much snow could fall in just a short couple of hours.  Where I am from in Auckland, it never snows.  I’ve seen snow before, but not in such quantity or dramatic quality.  

The day was definitely a stand out in this unique trip of a lifetime.  I kept reminding myself where I was and what I was doing for my Gold qualifyer.  AJ, the Award mascot bird, got a bit wet from the snow, but I think he enjoyed the day too!   

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