Everest Trail Race – Race Day 4 Kharikhola – Phakding
It was a wonderful calm night and relatively warm, certainly in contrast to the previous night. I was up and on the trail by 0600 to hike my way in to CP1 at Kari La (2893m). It was a tough 8km, basically climbing 1000m in 5km.
Kharikhola to Phakding is a very busy trail with Sherpa’s and Porters making journeys up and down the trail, there are continual mule trains ferrying all sorts of supplies to shops, lodges and other facilities. This is the only way to move things around. This the motorway of this region!
I arrived at CP1 approximately 30 minutes before Pasang Lama arrived, once again he was leading the way. He covered the initial 8km in a ridiculous 60-minutes. Today, Casey Morgan was feeling jaded with a head cold, he pursued the Nepalese runner with Miguel Capo Soler but the writing was already on the wall. Andrej Sterle Podobnik controlled the ladies field from the front once again putting race leader Jennifer Hill under pressure. Jennifer looked relaxed as she followed but Andreja was pulling away.
It seems highly unlikely that Pasang Lama will not be the 2016 Everest Trail Race winner but the ladies’ race has an exciting battle between Andreja and Jennifer.
From Kari La, the trail drops down through twisting and winding trail; sometimes technical and occasionally muddy. However, if you are confident on your feet and feeling good, you can certainly keep a great pace going.
Pasang arrived at CP2, Surke in 2-hours with 17km covered. His nearest rivals were 17-minutes later.
The further down the trail we went, the busier it became. We started to see more and more groups of trekkers with Sherpa’s and porters and of course the continual ferrying of all sorts of items escalated as the demand for supplies increased.
From CP3 at Cheplung, passing Nurning the towns became a little more organized, formal and touristy. I don’t mean that in a negative way, but our early days on the trail had been remote, almost isolated. We were now entering in to the hub of Nepal’s trekking arena and our proximity to Lukla was obvious. Lukla is a main hub for the doorway to Everest.
Weaving in and out of the trails, passing on the right of mules, squeezing past trekkers on the left and jumping around porters, the finish of stage 4 was soon in sight.
Dropping down the trail and crossing the Kamsyawa Khola (river) the day was done. An exhilarating and eye opening day on the trails of Nepal.
Pasang Lama once again took victory with Casey Morgan and Miguel Capo Soler placing 2nd and 3rd. For the ladies, it was Andreja Sterle Podobonik ahead of Jennifer Hill and Sarah Davies. Importantly, Andreja now has the lead in the ladie’s race.
- Pasang Lama 3:45:43
- Miguel Capo Soler 4:03:33
- Casey Morgan 4:03:34
- Andreja Sterle Podobnik 5:10:50
- Jennifer Hill 5:55:29
- Sarah Davies 6:54:02
- Pasang Lama 15:29:55
- Miguel Capo Soler 16:07:16
- Casey Morgan 16:15:50
- Andrej Sterle Podobonik 21:48:00
- Jennifer Hill 22:32:54
- Sarah Davies 28:22:35
Stage 5 Preview: Phakding to Llegada 20km
Leaving Phkakding at 2600m runners will only gain 200m in the first 8km. The climbing of the day begins but the terrain and severity is much more relaxed than the previous days. CP1 Namche Bazar is at 10km (3400m). Phunki Tenga at 17.5km (3300m) now will offer the runners the most spectacular views of Everest and the other 8000m peaks. This sight will spur them on for the kick in the tail, the 2km climb from 3300m to 3700m and the finish at Tyangboche.