1 April – The joke’s on us

We woke to another sunny morning. A chilly sunny morning. Our usual routine and we set off up and up through a beautiful evergreen forest. We stopped for tea, sat in the sun in our shirt sleeves and soaked up the warmth. Climbing higher we entered another forest and the path became snow covered. The higher we went, the more snow. Some of it was hard, some icy, in some sections we post-holed. Actually I didn’t, I was just light enough to stay on top. In some sections it was difficult to see the trail, in others the trail was a deeply foot printed quagmire of mud and melting snow. We climbed out of the tree line and panted up to a rustic guesthouse in Laurebina at 3950 metres.

We arrived here just before 11 am. My kind of trekking day. The sun continues to shine but the wind is fierce and bitter. We have retreated into the dining room where we are huddled around the wood stove. Wood is hauled a long way up this mountain to provide heat. Water is also being boiled and thermoses filled so the stove is serving double duty.

There are two bathrooms here. In one, the ice is thick on the flushing bucket and the floor is too slippery for the foot purchase required for a safe squat.

Now to describe our room. A northern gale runneth through it. It is therefore the same temperature as outside and outside is about zero. Brrr. Tonight I will sleep in fleece leggings and wool socks, a merino wool shirt, a fleece, a down vest, wool hat. My sleeping bag has a liner, and yak wool blanket stuffed inside and there will be a lumpy wool stuffed quilt on top.

As night time temperatures will fall, I’m hoping I’ll be snug – and not suffocate. I won’t even mention the freezing trot down the windy hall to the toilet in the middle of the night. Double Brr.

If you don’t get another blog – it is likely I froze.

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