On the way back from EBC, I was suddenly called from afar. There was a medical emergency. I rushed back eventhough I've walked quite a distance. Apparently Ayob was in a real bad condition. He was exhausted and in a severe state of shortness of breath. I went back to assess and Min and Raj was with him. We slowly assisted him to walk back but as it was getting dark, the conditions were getting worse. We were lucky that there was a porter returning from EBC and Raj managed to coax him to carry Ayob. Initially, another guide had run to Gorak Shep to call a horse for rescue.
I was with the back group and at this time, Amir's AMS was getting worse. He was quite fatigued and had to walk really slowly back. Guess what made things to go worse? haha Snow started to drop uncharacteristicly for this season. It was getting really cold and the snowfall was not helping. We arrived in Gorak Shep lodge at about 9pm. It was cold and the dinner did not make it better. I was slowly losing my appetite.
Ayob did not do well. We had an SPO2 monitor and it showed his saturation to be 50%. Mine, at this altitude was 70%. Clinically he was having an impending APO. Woo..at this altitude with no medical facilities, it was a challenge for me to manage. Of course, the first thing Ayob should do is descend but with the snow falling hard outside there was no way he could travel down. I gave him Diamox, limit his fluids and nursed him conservatively. It was a cold night as well. If he gets a full blown APO now, thats it.We were crossing our fingers that he would be Ok for the travel down the next morning.
The weather remained terrible as it snowed the whole night. I had to go to the toilet a few times and everytime the snow level increased.(the toilet was outdoors and we had to walk quite a distance).When we woke up with the sun up, the whole scenery just changed. Totally changed. Yesterday it was dusty and today it was just snow saujana mata memandang.
The group was split into two. Me, Rathi, Amir & Razi were to continue to complete the Chola Pass trek. The others decided to descend to Periche. Ayob was going down with a horse. Raj was hoping that the snowfall was just a freak show and the weather today would be OK.
However, the weather turned worst. The trek to Dzongla was almost impossible. There was even a snow storm and it became really cold! Visuals were bad as i can't even see what was in fromt of me clearly. A group of European trekkers turned back as they could not see where they were heading. Raj offered them to follow but according to them they were lost for about 2 hours! We arrived at Dzonghla at about 4 pm and how glad I was to be in a warm area. Frost were all over our bags and it was my first experience, really doing snow trekking.
Staying overnight in Dzonghla, Raj dropped the bom and informed us that it was impossible to carry on. The Chola Pass trek is very dangerous in these conditions and for our safety he was not keen to continue. We can;t do anything as that was the situation. No point risking our lives to endevour in something an expert like Raj is suggesting. He was able to find the way to Dzonghla despite the snow storm, so he must be really good. A group of Europeans followed us back to Dughla the next day.
It was evident with the snow which was knee high when you really press your walking sticks down. But the view.. Masya Allah, was superb and wonderful. It was not easy to trek in the snow and Alhamdulillah, I was glad i was given that glimpse of opportunity to do so.