It's noon on April 4 in Kathmandu as I type this entry. We flew out of Lukla this morning under much nicer weather conditions than those present on arrival.
A brief summary of the last few days:
After our hike to Kongde (13,500') we trekked down the ridge to the small town of Thame on a relatively unused trail. Some trailbreaking was required in that our path was occasionally blocked by snow and ice. We arrived in Thame seven and a half hours later and pretty tired. The lower elevation (12,100'),however, made for much easier breathing.
The next day we followed the ancient Tibetan trade route (dirt road, about ten feet wide) to Namche Bazaar, where I had last been in 2002, walked around for an hour and then left towards Monzu, where we spent the night. This was an "easy" hike, only about five hours!
Yesterday we concluded our descent to Lukla via Phakding, the only segment where we retraced our steps. Bill's altimeter watch calculated a cumulative vertical gain of about 17,000 feet during this trek, and I believe this will be helpful as we start our Everest climb in 2-3 days.
I'll do my best to keep updating as frequently as possible. In the meantime, I believe I'm becoming a better typist!