Day 15: Dole - Machermo
The first picture in the slide show is a good example of today's trek to Machermo (4410 meters) gaining about 400 meters in elevation. Of particular interest on this stage is the Machermo Rescue Post providing medical care for Nepali's & trekkers and high altitude education. In Dole you may have noticed the nights are colder and you require more layers to stay warm. In addition, you may be getting up to urinate more often. This is a good thing as this means you are well hydrated. You begin climbing out of Dole and pass a small Chorten and the Yeti Lodge following a ridge to the left of the Dudh Kosi River. Passing pockets of Rhododendron you walk through Lhafarma on relatively flat ground with a few lodges. Walking out of Lhafarma the views across the valley and of the river are inspiring. At this point you pass the tree line and may notice more snow on the ground depending on the season you trek. Keep on the trail and it's another 30 minutes to Luza where you pass spectacular scenery and a mani wall with a memorial to a trekker that died of AMS. According to Jamie McGuineness's informative book "Trekking in the Everest Region", this Italian trekker walked from Lukla to Gokyo in 4 days, became ill, and died as he was being carried down to Luza. This is an excellent example of the dangers of climbing too far too fast. Luza is a friendly hamlet with a number of lodges that is quieter then Machermo. Crossing the confluence of two streams walk out of Luza, taking the trail straight where a pleasant 30 minute hike ends in Machermo. Looking down on this village you have several options for lodging. We stayed in the Trekkers Lodge, past the bridge, which is one of the last lodges before the trail leading out of Machermo. The food was quite good and the dining room comfortable. Although this is another short day, there are side trips walking out of Machermo (towards Gokyo), and following a line of prayer flags up a hill. Or you can simply explore further making a left after the bridge into Machermo and walk up the valley following the stream. We took a side trip to about 4550 meters. While in town please visit the Machermo Rescue Post that is set up to provide medical services to Nepali's for minimal/no cost and trekkers for a fee. You can attend a discussion on AMS where they give you safety tips for acclimatization and raise money for the hospital. They will also measure your O2 saturation and collect donations. Please donate to the rescue post as it provides essential services at virtually no cost to local Nepali's and fee for service for trekkers.