The season is fully underway with teams on both sides of Everest at the base camps (EBC). Adventure Peaks reports:
10th April : Chris called today to say that the team have reached base camp they have just had a fantastic welcome lunch and all the team are in great spirits and feeling well. They are in awe of the amazing view presented to them at base camp of Everest’s North Face. They will hve a rest day tomorrow before starting their acclimatisation around base camp
Lenna Shuttleworth who is attempting to be the youngest British 7 Summits with her Everest climb (and Lhotse!) posted a nice updated as she and the AAI team are still on trek to EBC. They had their blessing from Lama Geshe. It is the Blog of the Day:
We also each went up in front of the Llama to be personally blessed with our Kata scarves being placed around our necks, unhealthy a red string tied as a necklace and our heads pulled forward to touch his. He was a character and seemed to be amused by our attempts at the correct ritual, but it was a wonderful experience and I don’t think any of us are removing the red string or abusing the Kata scarves just in case.
Another good report from the trek in from the Saint James Place team:
The higher we get, the harder conditions are becoming, and the tea lodges become more basic, dirty and unpleasant. It is so important for the team to remain healthy and keep hygiene standards as high as we can; however as basic facilities deteriorate this becomes more difficult. A number of the team are suffering from tummy bugs but these seem to be short lived and soon pass within 48 hours.
Altitude is also becoming an issue, sleeping at a height of 5,000m and above makes a good nights sleep almost impossible. Your body is constantly fighting for oxygen that simply is not there and as a result you experience a mild panic attack trying to draw in more oxygen. This whole process is extremely unpleasant. Despite all this the team are in good spirits and today we have our first sighting of Everest base camp approximately five miles away.
Ian Ridley once again brings the task ahead home to us:
So once again the enormity of the task ahead has been weighing heavily on my mind since our arrival at BC. Whilst in pure mathematical terms there is only another 3500m of ascent I know from my last attempt how hard each and every metre will be. Looking at the Khumbu ice field stretching high above us my mood swings from one of ‘what on earth I am doing here’ to a more positive ‘I’m sure it can be done’ whilst trying to remember that I got to 8300 m last time quite ill.
The Walking with the Wounded’s Francis Atkinson comments on being at Base Camp and the regular occurrence of avalanches and a comment on Himex’s White Pod:
So here we all are, settling down into Everest Base Camp (EBC). Surrounded by truly spectacular scenery, our tents float on over 200m of glacial ice, topped with rubble carved out from the valley many years ago. I say float, because the glacier is still moving down the valley (albeit very slowly) and there are regular reminders of how active this valley is.
On our first night the whole camp was awoken at 5 in the morning as a serrac fell off one the glaciers above us. The noise was incredible and we all sat in our tents hoping this avalanche wasn’t coming our way! Thankfully it was over a kilometre away and the guides shrugged it off as a regular occurrence.
Sierra Mountaineering’s Kurt Wedberg is posting some amazing pictures as they trek to EBC south. For more, click on any of the images on the right sidebar on this page to see my collection of images from my four expeditions to Everest. Also click on the links in the posts to the team’s sites for their pictures.
At this point teams are settling into BC and the next big thing will be their Puja – more on that tomorrow. Of note IMG is headed back to Lobuce, for their first acclimatization effort at 20,000′. Himex will be there soon. The first climbs into the Icefall will start later this week for non-Sherpas.
Memories are Everything