Monday, 13 April 2009

Home sweet home

I am now at Everest Base Camp 5,300m. We arrived on Thursday and are now having a number of rest days. Yesterday I spent most of the day lifting my tent up and re-doing the floor to try and make it a little flatter and more comfortable as it will be home for nearly 2 months. Today a number of us walked into the traditional Base Camp a little further up the valley. It really is a dump. One team almost on top of another, Mess tents next to toilet tents, trekkers walking right through the middle of the camps and a general smell of dirt and grim not to mention the Yak poo! Our camp by contrast is set up away from the rest and is so clean and nice. Russ certainly knows how to set up a good camp!

We have the Puja ceremony tomorrow. This is very important for all the Sherpas where they ask for a blessing from the gods before going high on the mountain. It starts very serious with lots of chanting, then continues with chanting and rice and flour throwing and then ends up with drinking and dancing. All the Sherpas have the day off.

Monday we will be off to a small peak of around 5,500m and from which there are supposed to be great views.

1: Lobuche Base Camp 4,910m - This is the first time we will be in tents. We will walk back to this camp from time to time from Everest Base Camp to climb on Lobuche for our aclimatisation. The idea is to try and avoid going up through the Ice Fall as much as possible as this is one of the most danderous sections of the whole climb. Tents can be seen at the bottom of the picture as tiny yellow and red dots.
2: On our way to Lobuche we passed an area with lots and lots of memorials to those that have died on Everest. Both Westeners and Sherpas.

3: Memorial to Scott Fisher who some of you who have read 'Into Thin Air' will remember died in 1996 along with Rob Hall and a number of others who were caught high up on Everest in a storm. These memorials were a poignant reminder of what we are trying to do and to make sure we minimise the risks at all times.

4 and 5: Pictures of Russ's Everest Base Camp. Notice the large white pod as it is known. We have a TV, and Bar in it! Unbelieveable, I was sitting there last night with my first beer since Kathmandu watching a film!

6: View from the back of my tent of the massive ice fall which we will have to climb up through to get to camp 1 and higher. I have to say it looks even more terrifying than I ever thought it would. I am glad that Russ's plan should mean we only have to go up and back through it twice.

7: This is a picture of the base that I laid the first day I was in BC. I lifted my tent and removed all the rocks and then re-layed them to make a flat surface on top of the glacier upon which we are situated. I thought that as we will be here for nearly 2 months it was worth sorting it out straight away. Some of the others have done the same today!

8: Picture for Harvey and Safia of Daddy in his tent with Edward and the 'DAD' sign above him that they gave me for my BC tent.

Thank you to MarkO who kindly gave me 2 i-pods to keep me company. Now that I am at BC I have started to listern to both of them.


Linh said...

Well done getting sorted at BC. Really want to Fedex an air mattress to you. What's your address...Tent 1, Everest?? Glad you're with the Four Seasons camp rather than the Motel 6 lot.

Hope MarkO put a few tunes from our time on the Masquerade...Aahh, lobster-shaped, fresh-baked bread, rose, rose, and more rose. I remember you and John trying to outdo each other, revving and punching the jet skis while the rest of us are trying to read and nap on deck. Barabara said 'For God Sake!' :o)

I'm Buddhist so I have done the chants for you here at the house. We have flour and rice but I'm not throwing them as I don't want to have to clean up afterwards.

Take care mon ami. Cheering and chanting for you all the way!

Sophie said...

to Daddy,

I forgot to give you an Easter card.
I really miss you.

Love fron Safia