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Climbing the World to End Alzheimer's
Apr 152018
 
Porters in Nepal. People like me could not do what I do without your strength, and commitment. Thank you.

We begin week three with climbers adjusting to life at base camp. As a reminder that Nepal is one of the most susceptible countries on earth for earthquakes, a minor 3.2 magnitude earthquake was felt in Kathmandu on Saturday night.

Active Rest

A key to being successful on Everest is to stay active – even on rest days. It’s often labeled with the oxymoron “active rest day.” While it’s tempting to lie in the tent, on a comfy pad, perhaps an interesting book on the Kindle or listening to music, it’s much better to have a good breakfast, brush your teeth and get out there. One of the most popular activities on the Nepal side it to take a few hours to hike to one of the lower camps on nearby Pumori. The activity keeps your blood circulating and aids in the production of red blood cells plus the other chemical changes associated with the acclimatization process. Alpine Ascent‘s leader, Ben Jones made this comment “Pumori Basecamp. We gained about 600ft or so on our first group hike after arriving to Basecamp on the 10th.

Pumori is rarely climbed as there is significant avalanche danger on the upper slopes, however this past winter Alex Txikon, Ali Sadpara, Pemba Bhote Sherpa and Nuri Sherpa summited the 23,419’/7138m mountain which is equivalent to Camp 3 on the Lhotse Face. Most Everest climbers go to Pumori base camp, Camp 1 and occasionally Camp 2 where you are rewarded with spectacular views of both the Southeast Ridge and Northeast Ridges of Everest along with the entire Western Cwm, Lhotse and Nuptse. It’s a bit long but an excellent investment for conditioning and photography. This is one of dozens of pictures I took in 2015 from C2.

View from Pumori C2 by Alan Arnette

Tingri

Tingri Tibet Courtesy of Arnold Coster

While the clients aka members take daily hikes and adjust to base camp life, Sherpas are now busy ferrying gear to the lower camps in the cwm. Most south side teams are following the same process. This update from Satori:

Update on our spring Himalaya teams. On the Tibet side our Everest North Side team and Cho Oyu team have reached Tingri and went on a 3 hour acclimation hike with this great view of Cho Oyu in the distance. On the Nepal side, the Everest South and Lhotse teams are at Everest Base Camp, will spend today getting settled in and then begin some acclimation work and rotations. The Sherpa team is busy putting in the higher camps

Over on the north side, a couple of teams are now at base camp but most are still underway. This update from Seven Summits Treks’ Arnold Coster and a picture of “beautiful” Tingri, “Wandering in Tingri. Today is a rest/acclimatisation day.” Tingri is a sad tiny town about 40 miles from Everest at 14,107’/4,300m.

Almost any trip to climb an 8000 meter peak in Tibet finds it way through Tingri. Similar to saying about flying Delta Airlines in the US – all routes go through Atlanta! I remember going there in 1998 on my way to Cho Oyu.  We crossed from Nepal into Tibet through the border town of Zhangmu, then spent additional acclimatization nights at Nyalam and Tingri accompanied by short hikes to the local peaks. The villages were a step back in time. The buildings were made of mud and stone. The economy was primarily based on trading and agriculture. Electricity was as rare as was the telephone service. However in Tingri, the poorest of the three villages, China had a military base set up complete with trucks and satellite dishes. The only 2 miles of paved road for hundreds of miles served as an airplane landing strip back then.

Luxury Race

The Furtenbach Adventures team has arrived at base camp on the Tibet side. Their guide, Rupert Hauer, posted this nice shot of base camp with Everest looking behind. Without a doubt, you get the best views of Everest from the north side as it is unobstructed unlike on the Nepal side where is is difficult to get a clear view other than from high on Pumori or Kala Patar for example.

Everest from base camp on the Tibet side by Rupert Hauer

7 Summits Club Everest Base Camp

7 Summits Club Everest 2 room cabana tent

In the race to provide the most luxury on the north side, it seems to be a battle between 7 Summits Club and their two-room cabana tent for each client and Furtenbach Adventures and their world-highest sauna. Yes, they actually shipped a sauna to base camp. Remember, trucks haul anything in so there is no limit to what outfitters can provide, except for the fine line from the sublime to the ridiculous! Video courtesy of Michale Lutz.

Climb On!
Alan
Memories are Everything

  9 Responses to “Everest 2018: Active Rest at Base Camp”

  1.  

    Alan, Do the southeast climbers and the northeast climbers merge to summit or do they summit from different paths? (lone, rogue climbers not withstanding).

    I’ve often wondered if the balcony and Hillary step are consolidated or just bottlenecked due to timing.

    •  

      Jessica, from the reports I’ve read the two sides don’t come together until the summit itself. The backups happen when there is a difficult spot with only one way up or down, especially when people are already tired.

    •  

      Jessica, the routes do not connect anywhere other than on the summit themselves. They are on their respective ridges on opposite sides of the mountain. I was surprised to see people on the summit when I got there in 2011 because I was the 4th person from the South side and there were about 10 people already there! It took a moment to fiddle it out (lack of oxygen!!!) 🙂 The Balcony is not a problem, it is a large flat spot to rest and change oxygen bottles. The last 2 years the Step has not been a huge problem as it was either snow covered or changed by the 2015 earthquake. We’ll see this year.

  2.  

    Thanks so much for your updates. I’m so intrigued by extreme mountaineering, particularly Everest. I guess because it’s the highest. My debilitating asthma keeps me in the reality that I’ll never be able to go near even EBC (but Mogens Jenson is my hero!) but your updates and my prior research make me feel as close as possible to have actually seen it 1st hand! Thank you!

    •  

      Kristen, I’m an extreme asthmatic, but I trekked to EBC in Nepal twice, when I was 55 and 58 (and 30 lbs overweight at the time). I had to take Diamox both times, but it really helped me with the elevation. If you trek on the Nepal side, you acclimatize gradually. I really wanted to see Tibet after my second trek (because I was already well acclimatized), but it was closed to foreigners in 2009. I don’t think I would do well on the Tibet side without a longer acclimatization period. Don’t let asthma stop you!

    •  

      Kristen, You exactly speak for me!!! I want to do it so badly but I just know my lungs would be my undoing!

      •  

        But with blogs such as these, we can dream from far away. I love these step by step updates from Alan. I feel like I’m right there in the mix!

        •  

          Hi Kristen. I’d like to friend you on Facebook so we can chat more as the climb unfolds. Don’t want to over post here and bore others. Don’t know which Kristen you are so friend me? I have gouldian finch birds as my profile pic right now. Jess

  3.  

    Alan,
    Thank you for your daily updates. It’s a treat I look forward to each day. I’ve always been intrigued by Everest and the people who climb.
    I will be visiting Base Camp (Tibet side) in July. I can hardly wait!

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