Day 21: Dingboche - Chukhung
This is a short day, about a 2 hour hike from Dingboche (4350 meters) to Chukhung (4750 meters). The trek is short because of the gain in altitude up a steady incline as well as the fact that Chukhung is the last villages with facilities before Island Peak Base Camp, Chukhung Ri, & the route up Lhotse. Despite the short distance the views of surrounding peaks & snowy terrain are breathtaking and some of the best in the world for high altitude scenery. You begin the trek on the north side of Dingboche passing small farms and grazing areas in high altitude grassland eventually leading to a tiny settlement of Dusum with small lodges that provide food for trekkers. After leaving Dusum you pass herding & grazing areas before traversing over large stones and crossing small streams until you arrive at a memorial for Jerzy Kukuczka, a famous Polish climber who summited all 14 of the 8000 meter peaks in addition to two other climbers, whose names I cannot recall. Another 30 minutes up the trail you come to Chukhung. We stayed at the Panorama Lodge, which had clean rooms and wonderful food. The owner of the lodge is very friendly and always checks in to make sure you are being treated well at her lodge. You can take several side trips including the trail to Island Peak Base Camp where you can stop and gaze at Ama Dablam Glacier or walk up part of Chukhung Ri to acclimatize. From Chukhung you can also view Lhotse Glacier. Enjoy your short day and rest up as the trek up Chukhung Ri is long and difficult.