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FATMAP difficulty grade
After your exertions yesterday, today is a blissfully easy day which takes you down to lower altitudes and thicker air.
The Hongku valley is not inhabited and while there are some tiny shepherds' huts in it, you are unlikely to encounter much life. The trail down from the Mera La is not always especially clear but generally you can pick out enough landmarks to keep finding your way down.
The path crosses some scree slopes but as you descend the terrain becomes increasingly friendly, and by the time you are in the base of the valley you will be walking on short grass, which feels lovely after a few days in the tough environment of Mera Peak. Given how little distance there is to cover on this day you can enjoy a slow start, a leisurely walk and an early finish! After the challenge of Mera Peak and with the Amphu Labsta and Island Peak still to come, a cruisy day is no bad thing so savour it and schedule in plenty of reading, washing and catching up on admin for the afternoon. The valley itself is utterly wild and is a stark contrast to the main Khumbu trail up to Everest base camp.
The views of Chamlang's north face and up to Hongku Chuli are stunning and the whole ambience is one of high mountain wilderness.
Pick one of many flat spots close to the river in the base of the valley and set up camp wherever looks best.