Sunday, 24 April 2011

Arrival at Everest ABC

Photo: Greg Healey Collection

The whole team has successfully arrived at advanced base camp at 6400m. The preceding intermediate camp was just a rocky staging post for one night, but it did mean we were served dinner and breakfast in bed by our hardworking Sherpa crew. The two day trek up the moraine gave some stunning views over to Baruntse, Nuptse, Lingtren, Lhakpa Ri and Everest itself, but as we arrived the snow started to fall and continued all night.

This morning we woke to a winter wonderland but progress has stalled on the mountain due to avalanche prone slopes below the North Col. After our efforts of the last two days today was an acclimatisation day, but Heather found the effort to design and construct a luxurious throne for the toilet. This involved a shaped foam seat, arms and a back rest, reading material and a toilet roll holder! Simple pleasures at high altitudes can make all the difference.

This afternoon we rigged fixed lines on the penitentes opposite the camp giving some icy steps to ascend and descend up to grade IV, and harder than anything on the way up to the North Col our ultimate aim for the next few days.