It may seem strange that most Everest teams do some additional training at Base camp before starting their paper climb. Early this week, the course is filled! But first, the news.
Record Climbers from Nepal
The Nepal Tourism Ministry has updated their permit numbers for Everest South Side 2019.
- Nepal has issued a record 361 climbing permits to foreigners as of 15 April
- Top countries on Everest – Nepal Side: India (83), US (67), China (59), UK (40), Nepal – members, not working (12)
Sherpas Sleeping at Camp 2
IMG said eight of their Sherpas have gone to Camp 2 to set up the cooking and dinning tent. This marks the first big progress above EBC this year.
I contacted EverestLink about their wifi prices at EBC and heard back from their General Manager:
So how much is enough? Remember that 1 GB is 1,000 MB. While most people simply want access to email, text or WhatsApp, and for they would be fine at 1 GB. Others might want to FaceTime or Skype, they will need to bump up to probably 5 GB if they connect every few days. Then for those who want to stream movies or videos from YouTube, break out the hundred bills and buy the 10 GB card.
This will give you an example of how much each of these scenarios will eat up:
- 1.6 Million Emails 3 KB each (with no attachments)
- 33,000 Web Pages Lookup 150 KB each
- 10,000 Low Res Photos 500 KB each
- 1,600 3 Minute Songs 3 MB each
- 300 3 Minute Youtube Videos 15 MB each
- 29 Hours of Skype Video Calls 169 MB each
- 14 30 Minute TV Shows 350 MB each
- 3 Movies 1.5 GB each (fewer if high def)
Also, I’m hearing that the speed at EBC is painfully slow. I have a question into EverestLink to see if they are aware of the situation and what their plans are for a fix.
Driving to CBC
Rolfe Oostra of 360 Expeditions has an excellent overview of their journey from Lhasa to Chinese Base Camp aka CBC. I’ve been asked why I don’t cover the journey to CBC like I did for EBC, well its simply not as exciting .. and, you are in a vehicle most of the time, so I’m not sure what to report.
The last time I made this journey was in 2007 for Shishapangma. Back then the towns were desolate, the roads unpaved and the accommodations less than minimal. Cleary things have advanced but there is still room for improvement according to Rolfe:
Every year, Tingri the gateway town to both Everest and Cho Oyu gets bigger, more modern and slicker. At least that’s what the brochure in our hotel room promises. Sure, we no longer sleep 12 people on the floor of a dusty hut where the only heat comes from a smoky stove fed by yak dung and now we sleep in comfortable beds but still here are some elements which don’t quite deliver on the promise of all the western style bliss.
Toilets and phones don’t work and the heating clunks on and lasts for 4 minutes before going icy again…but then I tell my gang we didn’t come here for a comfy hand-held tour, but to climb the highest mountain on earth and let’s just make the most of the comforts we do have as soon things will be a lot more primitive still. And just look out the window!
Visit his page for more excellent pictures and a vivid write up.
Training for Climbing
While most people coming to Everest know how to climb in their crampons, scale a near vertical snow wall and rappel, they probably have little experience crossing a ladder wearing crampons. So the next team leaders will put their charges through a bit of an obstacle course. This serves two purposes: 1) review basic skills and brush up on techniques and 2) get the mind focused on what’s ahead.
Adventure Consultants described their day:
This morning we set up a fixed ropes course in the ice pinnacles near camp, to practice ascending, rappelling and ladder crossing. These are skills we will be using soon when we climb the Khumbu Icefall, and it’s not the place to try and remember how to connect your ascender or rig a rappell. All the climbers got stuck in and refreshed their ropework skills, tried out new pieces of equipment, and also did the same skills wearing big gloves and mittens.
Thus far, #Everest 2019 is going well, right on schedule on both sides. The actual climbing will pick up this week, especially towards the weekend assuming the weather continues to be good.
Memories are Everything