We woke next morning to clear blue skies and a light covering of snow, the storm had passed and we were well rested and very keen to get going. This is oftenthe longest day on the way in, from Khumjung (3780 m) to our next stop at Dole (4110 m) even though it is only around 7 km. From Khumjung we hike up to a very small settlement called Mongla (3988 m), the view from here is truly stunning and it is a favourite spot to stop for much need refreshment.
From here we set of down again through rhododendron forests to Phortse Thanga (3680 m), dropping around 100 m lower than Khumjung! From here is a step climb up to Dole, so far we have climbed up through and descended through a variety of vegetation but here we leave behind the trees for the last time.
In Dole we have always stayed in the Yeti Inn, it is lovely and cosy and they grow amazing organic vegetables in the garden. This year when we arrived we noticed a bit of expansion!
From Dole we set off towards our last stop before reaching the glacier, the settlement of Machermo (4470 m). As soon as we climbed up the ridge behind Dole we were into the snow that had fallen on us as rain in Khumjung. The usually dusty trails quickly turned into a slippery muddy mess as more trekkers came through. We were very happy to arrive in Machermo and share the sun terrace with a slightly melted snow yeti.
Machermo is home to a small collection of lodges and the International Porter Protection Group rescue post. The post was setup in 2003 to provide medical care for porters working in the region. It is staffed each trekking season by fully qualified volunteer doctors from the USA, UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The doctors will treat trekkers for a fee, allowing them, with donations, to continue to provide medical treatment to all porter for free. There is usually a daily high altitude talk given by staff from the post.