Everest Base Camp

May 5, 2009


Bud and I returned to Base Camp yesterday after a 3-day, 4-night stay at Pheriche.   Bud fully recovered from his Khumbu cough and stomach ailment and was feeling really good when we started our move back to EBC.  I felt great from the get-go, but the rest at Pheriche made me feel even stronger.  We returned to EBC in 8-hours, but that included at least 1-1/2 hours of rest stops to drink and eat, and I made an internet stop at Gorap Shep.  So we made super time.  I felt really strong on the move up, almost like I could run up the trail to EBC.

These moves down the mountain are a time-honored tradition on Everest climbs because the thick air, the good food and the sound sleep allow your body to recover and get stronger for later moves up the mountain.  The day after Bud and I came down, Will Cross also came down, only he moved all the way down to the village of Pangboche.  Will is also now back at EBC.  The day before Bud and I moved back to EBC, Mogens came down to Pheriche for a 3 or 4 day rest.  So all of the “Everest Veterans”moved down for rest and acclimatization.  The “kids” stayed at EBC, and most of them are now at Camp 3.

While we were at Pheriche, there was a huge avalanche in the Khumbu Icefall.  Some climbers were caught in the avalanche, but no one was injured.  Rumor has it that 4 teams have left EBC–just folded their tents and went home.  It is speculated that the avalanche was a factor, but we don’t know.

While we were having lunch today, the two-way radio crackled on, and we heard the voice of Russell Brice (an expedition leader for another team) congratulating his team of Sherpas for reaching the summit with the fixed lines.  So, now, the mountain is ready to be climbed.

We are watching the weather reports closely to determine our next moves.  The forecast is for high winds for the next couple of days with a possible weather window to summit on May 12-14.  Most of the Eco-Everest team will soon be making their final move up the mountain, after just two, and in some cases only one, acclimatization rotation up the mountain.  Not me.  I want to make sure I am fully acclimatized, so here is my tentative schedule:

May 7-move to Camp 1 and sleep at Camp 1

May 8-move to Camp 2 and sleep at Camp 2

May 9-move to Camp 3 and then back to Camp 2 and sleep at Camp 2

May 10- move to EBC

May 10-13-rest at EBC

May 11-summit attempt

This program gives me 4 rotations up the mountain before my summit attempt, which is the program I followed in 2007.  That program served me pretty well.  The great thing this year is that we have plenty of time to move up the mountain since it is early May.

The situation in Kathmandu is in a bit of turmoil.  The Prime Minister (a Maowist) replaced the Chief of the Army, which resulted in strong protests and demonstrations from the people.  The President reversed this decision and reinstated the Chief.  The Prime Minister then resigned, leaving Nepal with no functioning government.  The good news is that all parties have promised to foreswear violence and to negotiate a peaceful resolution of the crisis.  We’ll have to see what happens.

Great news on the food front.  Half of my bottles of hot sauce have been consumed.  The cooks have offered up their own concoctions, which are pretty tasty and hot, but, in my opinion, don’t compete with my private collection.  More importantly, my son’s Mother-in-Law, a GREAT Italian cook, made a fruitcake for me, which I transported to EBC.  We shared it tonight, and it was a huge hit.  So, thanks Jeri, you’re the best!