Saturday, 23 April 2011

Everest Base Camp Acclimatisation Complete

Photo: Greg Healey Collection

We've now completed our program of acclimatisation from base camp with all but two of the team having reached 6000m on the bouldery ridge behind our camp. The preceding day we reached 5800m following the frozen river which is the water supply for our cook team. This gave a unique experience with stunning ice formations and a good challenge without crampons.

The afternoon snow showers of the past few days have been replaced by unrelenting strong winds which are battering the camp, driving dust into every corner. Wind rage is a common phenomenon in these conditions, but everyone is bearing up well and the banter is still good natured.

Today we finalised our systems for the fixed lines, Chris rigged the world's best / worst ropes on some steep moraine. The group had to deal with knots, multiple ropes, dodgy anchors, slow climbers, traffic jams, wind, dust and two demanding guides!

Over the last couple of days 140+ yaks have been loaded up with all our equipment for higher on the mountain. Tomorrow we begin our two day journey up the East Rongbuk Glacier to our Advanced Base Camp situated at 6400m just below the North Col. We'll complete the 22km trek up the moraine three times before our summit bid but for our first attempt we'll break it down into two days with an intermediate camp at 5700m.