8:00 am

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We begin our 400 metre descent to Ghorepani. I'm impressed by how many steps I'd managed to climb up at dawn.

The descent is slow because there's ice on the steps so we have to tread carefully. Going up I hadn't noticed the ice, but now that we're descending I nearly slip a couple of times. Shortly after the picture below is taken the guy in red (not part of our group) falls where there happens to be a rock and hits his head on it. Loudly.

All I do when I see him fall is to say "OH, F***." I'm ill-equipped to help - can barely keep my own balance and have no first aid knowledge - so I have to keep moving because the staircase is a narrow one and there's a line of climbers making their way down. The guy's wound is not a pretty sight, but thankfully Mahesh is by the guy's side in seconds, holding a towel to his wound, with his own guide nowhere to be seen.

It's a sobering reminder to be extra cautious when heading downslope. At this height there're no clinics, much less hospitals, so if anything happens you either bear with it till you complete the entire trek or be airlifted off the mountains for the foreigner price of USD5,000 (though in legit cases insurance should cover this).

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