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Deboche to Dingboche
by Denis Oakley in

Today we climbed another 700m to Dingboche. We went above the tree line and are now in a arid semi-desert region that sucks the moisture out of eyes, mouth and nose.
Oxygen is now only 55% of what it is at sea level and walking is becoming increasingly slow. There is a lot of dust in the air which irritates everywhere and the UV is becoming increasingly intense. I will be black soon enough.
Todays strategy was to take it easy. At the moment my GI disorder is giving me increasingly frequent cramping and whilst I can hold off going to the toilet for several hours it is not pleasant. I feel no urge to run.
Tonight I am going to ask the Doctor for Antibiotics so that I can get the GI sorted out intime for the marathon. I hope that they will work because it is becoming somewhat debilitating.
Taking it easy now means walking very slowly and trying to keep my oxygen consumption down to what can comfortably be sustained by breathing through the nose. In and out. In practice this means that I am heel to toeing my shoes on the uphill sections and only striding a little longer on the flats (in Nepal flat is anything less than a 20% slope).
Taking this easy approach means that I have a perceived exertion of between 2 -3. At one point I had to run to avoid a rockfall started by a Yak moving on scree above me. This was about 20 yards and had a perceived exertion of 8-9. Running back down is going to be harder than I thought.
We covered another 12 kilometres today and are probably only another 15km from the start. The trail for much of the race seems to be pretty good. Dirt with scattered stones and then difficult stone steps on many of the descents. As a normal run it would be fun but challneging.
What is challenging is the diet. We are now on a pure beg diet and one which is over 90% carbohydrate. I guess we need it but the huge helpings of pasta, rice, potato and bread are becoming increasingly difficult to stomach especially as I can't use chilli sauce to improve the taste due to my GI.
I'm supplimenting it with instant noodles, a mars bar at the end of the day and accelerade during the day. The Endurox R4 is a waste of time as I just can't bring myself to drink it. What I crave most actually is some marmite.
I can't think of much else useful today. I'm tired and the altitude is getting to me. I have a huge respect for the Everest climbers who go on another 3000m beyond the highest that I will go. 93 summited on the 17th and 1 died. My heart goes out to the friends he or she was climbing with and also to his or her family. I'm very much aware given the inhospitability of this place how harrowing it must be to have a father or mother go into these mountains and never return.
That said - i'm still cheerful and laughing and I guess once I sort my stomach bug out again I will be on top form. Literally top of the world :)


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