Saturday, 30 April 2011

Back to Everest Base Camp

Photo: Greg Healey Collection

The whole team are now back at base camp having successfully completed the first stage of our acclimatisation. All but one of the team reached around 7000m on the fixed lines to the North Col. The trek from ABC to BC which took two long days in ascent only took four hours on the way down. However that evening involved a quick jaunt back up to just below Intermediate camp to check on the progress of two of the Lhakpa Ri team.

Base camp feels very luxurious after the demands of the last few days. A chance to recuperate, eat well, wash clothes, shower and generally get ready for the next stage. The Royal wedding was celebratated / avoided with yak sizzlers, onion bhajis and more milky tea. Everest always surprises and this time it was a 20' Swiss alpine horn being played at BC.

This morning we completed our oxygen training with the Top Out masks which we'll be wearing to the summit. There was plenty of practice in fitting the cylinders, keeping the mask working at 8000m and problem solving. The final challenge was a night walk up the frozen river with the whole system of mask, goggles and headtorch.

Everest itself is looking very snowy and we're forecast a couple of days of bad weather, but we're still planning to head back up in the next few days, aiming to spend a couple of nights on the North Col reaching 7500m.