4am we put our extra layers on while still in our sleeping bags. We get up and look like the Michelan man. No wash down this morning it’s too cold. The toilet water is frozen over. Our drink bottles are frozen, quick lets get moving.
Our head torches light the person in fronts feet. It’s probably a good thing we can’t see how steep Kala Patthar is in the dark.
Jill stops and waits for Matt every 10 mins as he can’t breathe with the cold and altitude. He’s only a quarter of the way up and doesn’t think he can go on. After an hour the sun starts to come out but we hardly notice the beautiful mountains as we focus on our frozen hands, toes and faces. Jill has snot frozen to her face and Matt can hardly speak with frozen lips.
Not far from the top the track stops and the remainder of the way is climbing up boulders. Jill’s had enough. “I can’t go any further!” We rest for a bit but Matt won’t let her go down till we reach the top.
We made it! The best view we have ever had of Mt Everest. Matt gives his camera to Shannon. “Jill my love for you stands as strong and proud as Mt Everest” trying to be comprehensible with frozen lips. Jill says “What are you doing?”
Down on one knee “We create so much happiness together” struggling to pull out the ring with frozen hands. “Will you share the rest of your life with me?”
“YES!” frozen extremities forgotten for a moment at -30 degrees and 5600m above sea level we are the happiest couple alive.
Jill says it was now worth climbing up this freezing mountain and we make our way down as happy as can be.
Everyone is excited about our news.
Shannon gives a one eyed salute.
We huddle around the yak poo fire in Gorak Shep to defrost and fill up with hot porridge.
We head off at 9 and make our way down pretty quickly. Rudd is feeling better but Tessa is not feeling too good and Kelly has to take something to plug her up.
After a short sunbake on the rocks at Lobuche we head down the boulders from hell. Rudd and Tessa take a break again at Thokla but the rest of us keep moving.
We power on down the wind tunnel valley to Periche where we play a little marriage and devour a good feed.
Not that we want to but we get up and trek another hour and a half to Pangboche 3930m where we have hot showers and a cold beer.
After 8.5 hours trekking we sleep like logs.