4/22/2007

Everest Base Camp
April 22, 2007

Namaste

The rock piles are white! Yesterday afternoon, we had an unexpected snowstorm and EBC is covered with snow. Nice change.

In order to keep our bodies in shape and give us something to do, Mark, Bruce and I hiked back down to Gorak Shep and had a nice lunch in a restaurant (I had spaghetti and red sauce). We then hiked back up to EBC, just missing the snowstorm. The three of us then visited the Base Camp Bakery (a new addition to EBC this year) and had coffee and a roll. Don’t picture the bakery down the street–nothing that comfy.

Here is the plan for the next few days: Early tomorrow morning (around 4 am) we will move back up through the Icefall to Camp I and spend the night. The next morning, we will move to Camp II, which has now been installed, and spend 2 nights at Camp II. Recall that Camp II is Advanced Base Camp where we have a kitchen tent and cook as well as sleeping tents. Assuming fixed lines have been installed on the steep and icy Lhotse Face, we will then move to Camp III on the Lhotse Face. Camp III is established at approximately 24,000 feet. Our tents have not been installed at Camp III yet. Once we arrive at Camp III, we will move back down to Camp II and spend the night. The next morning, we will return to EBC for several days of rest and acclimatization.

In case you are interested in the culinary aspects of the trip, here is a typical EBC menu. Breakfast: cereal, porridge, toast (jam but no butter), pancakes (no butter or syrup) and a boiled, scrambled or fried egg or omelette. Lunch: coleslaw, flat bread, cinnamon role, beans and canned tuna or salmon. Sandwiches can also be made. Dinner: soup, meat (that is too tough to cut or chew), potatoes, cauliflower, green vegetables, mushrooms, rice and (i) a spring roll filled with samosa, (ii) pasta, (iii) a slice of pizza or (iv) macaroni & cheese. We usually get a desert consisting of canned fruit. No complaints here. I try to clean my plate every meal to build up the energy reserves needed when we move up. As we move up the mountain, the food becomes much more limited and basic—nothing like the above. The EBC cook is Tembu, from Nepal. Everyone likes him and thinks he is doing a great job.

I will take my satellite telephone up the mountain and deliver a further report, probably from Camp II, assuming I can get a decent satellite connection.

At night, I watch movies and shows on my DVD player. I am so glad to have this comfort of home.

Everyone seems to be feeling pretty good. Most of the assorted ailments have passed. I feel 100% right now.

Bill Burke