Photographer's Note

In order to acclimatise for our climbs on Island Peak and Ama Dablam we trekked around the Everest region to Gokyo and then over a high pass called the Cho La.

On the day we arrived in Gokyo we agreed we would try and go up to the top of Gokyo Ri (5350m) that afternoon to gain some height in preparation for the days ahead.

During the afternoon the cloud rolled in and by 4pm there were no views whatsoever. Still, we needed to get higher so we set off on the 500m climb anyway. All the way to the top we were surrounded by thick cloud and we felt disappointed that we weren't going to see anything.

As we reached the prayer flags and cairns at the summit of the hill, miraculously the cloud started to break up and we were afforded longer and longer glimpses of what was around us.

Nick joked that he had put in an order for views at about 5.15pm and they had come up with the goods!

We could see Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world, and Everest herself and a multitude of other jagged peaks. I have been to see the sunset from Gokyo Ri before but this was truly special. The cloud swirled all around us and as the light faded and the hues changed, shafts of golden light cut across the sky, the scene was maginificent and ever changing. Finally as the last of the light was receding there was an extraordinary silence, the wind ceased and all the cloud dropped below us into the valley and the sky was tinged pink and purple.

I took this shot just a couple of minutes before all the colour had faded completely and all was left was grey. I have not altered the colours in any way.

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Additional Photos by Richard SG (escher1) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 30 W: 5 N: 240] (1268)
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