4/20/2007

Everest Base Camp
April 19, 2007

Namaste

On April 16, we moved from Everest Base Camp (“EBC”) up through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp I (19,400 feet). We spent the night at Camp I and on April
17 we moved to Camp II (21,500 feet) . Camp II, also known as Advanced Base Camp, will eventually have a kitchen tent and sleeping tents. Since Camp II
has not been fully established, we returned on the same day to Camp I and spent the night. On April 18, we returned through the Icefall to EBC.

The trip through the Icefall to Camp I was long and difficult. The route is steep and is littered with huge ice seracs, some of which are as large as an
apartment building. To make matters worse, these seracs are constantly on the move as the glacier moves down the mountain. We had to move up, over and around these ice seracs, sometimes using ladders strapped together and fixed to the seracs with ice screws by the Icefall Doctors. In addition, we crossed over many huge crevasses, also using ladders strapped together by
the Icefall Doctors. Despite my initial fear (terror) related to the ladders, I eventually developed a technique and felt pretty comfortable in managing the ladders. In fact, I even looked forward to crossing and
climbing ladders as a break from the constant uphill climb.

We had some excitement on our trip to Camp I. An avalanche came crashing down the mountain into the Icefall and was headed directly toward our position. We closed our backpacks and secured ourselves to the fixed lines waiting to see what would happen. All the while, I was snapping pictures with my camera. The avalance was swallowed by the many crevasses in the Icefall and never reached us. Part of our team, including my friend Mark, was higher on the mountain and got an even closer look. Mark said that, an
enormous snow cloud passed over his group as the avalance fell into the crevasses.

From Camp I, I felt like I could touch Mt. Everest and Lhotse. The scenery is so awesome, magnificent and beautiful.

The weather changes constantly. At times, the sun makes the climbing feel like passing through the desert. Then, the clouds roll in and the
temperature plummets to 30 degrees and out come the heavy jackets, pants, gloves and beanies. It snows almost every day, usually in the late afternoon.

Other than being really tired at the end of an uphill day, I feel great. Everyone else is also doing well.

We will probably rest a few days at EBC. Then, up, up, up. Our next trip will probably be from EBC to Camp II. That will be a long day.

Bill Burke