The annual march through the Khumbu continued this first week of April 2012. The teahouses were full and so were the climbers in anticipation of reaching Everest Base Camp this weekend.
Ian Ridley climbing with Jagged Globe reported from Everest Base Camp – Nepal:
This morning we climbed up above Gorak Shep to Kala Patter a hill at 5500m that overlooks BC, the Khumbu icefall and of course the summit of Mount Everest. It looked huge and it seems incomprehensible that we may well be standing on the summit in 6 or 7 weeks time. We then descended to make the final 2 hour walk along the morraine to Base Camp which we reached at lunchtime. To get this far we have walked for 53 miles and climbed over 6550m. Our camp which will be our home for the next 7 weeks is towards the upper end of the glacier quite near the start of the icefall. The next couple of days are apparently rest days for us to sort out our kit and get used to our new home. Everyone is quite exhausted: whether its the altitude or just the relief of being here! More tomorrow.
For those climbing from Tibet, order several teams loaded their buses with gear, food and climbers and headed north for China on a week long journey that includes multiple nights in rural Tibet and the requisite acclimatization hikes en-route.
The weather was mixed all week with reports of rain then snow then beautiful warm and sunny days.
In Nepal, Everest Base Camp received a few inches of fresh snow throughout the week but there are reports that Everest proper is pretty dry which will make the climbing a bit more difficult with crampons on rock. But we have heard these reports before only to find the route above the South Col fully snow covered.
The Khumbu climbers and trekkers enjoyed a stop at the home of Lama Geshe for a blessing – this is a time honored tradition that everyone cherishes. It was great to see a few pictures of Lama Geshe with his broad smile and huge hands welcoming his guests.
The week was not without incident as operators testing oxygen systems encountered a couple of accidents involving exploding regulators and oxygen bottles suppled by Summit Oxygen. It is being handled and hopefully the problem will not result in any further incidents.
The biggest news however was that the Icefall Doctors have established the route through the Khumbu Icefall all the way to Camp 1. Several teams took advantage of this and marked their spots for Camp 1 and Camp 2. This is significant because the Sherpas can get a head start on establish these camps and, perhaps, allow some climbers to push their schedules ahead.
This will be an exciting week for our climbers as they see the Icefall up close for the first time and also their new home for the next six weeks.
I cover the Everest climbing season each year when I am not climbing, like this year, from my home in Colorado and all to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s. This disease took my mom Ida and two of my aunts. You can read more at this link and perhaps make a donation to one of three non-profits if you appreciate this coverage.
Memories are Everything