After one last look at Gokyo's 3rd Lake, I headed out towards the Cho La Pass towards Everest Base Camp.
The hike starts with a pretty easy scramble over the Ngozumpa glacier.
A quick rest on this slow-moving sheet of ice is punctuated with the sound of ice dropping into a warm pool of water, but amplified 100 times again.
And then, on the far side, the trail rides up over the side of the lateral moiraine.
Early the next morning, fog and soft light embrace the trail towards the Cho La pass.
Shortly below the pass itself, the fog thickens so much that even large groups disappear into the mist.
But as the sun rises, the heat burns the fog away into a beautiful morning.
Beyond the Buddhist prayer flags, the view from the top also sweeps over the Himalayan peaks.
The pass itself covered in snow, the going is slow for porters and trekkers without crampons.
Trekkers who came before have already left message marking their ascent.
From the far side, though, the mountain-view panorama with Ama Damblam at the center immediately makes the snowy scrambling all seem worthwhile.
I seemed not to be the only hiker who appreciated the views.
Staring at the beauty of Ama Dablam the whole way down from the Pass, I woudl eventually turn out of the valley and up towards Everest Base Camp.