Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5:00, Wed 3rd April
Weather: Fine and windy, 5C
Hi everyone, it’s Fiona here,
We’re having a pretty low-key day here at base camp today. Lots of reading, talking and planning.
We’ve heard that 8 Sherpas climbing on the North (Tibetan) side made it to the summit a couple of days ago. They were fixing line up high and with good weather decided to continue on to the summit.
On this side most teams are currently focusing on getting their Camp 3 established. Several teams (including IMG) are also working on fixing line up to the South Col (Camp 4).
Some of our Sherpas were hoping to get several tents set up at Camp 3 today and several climbers (Justin, John, JF, and Sophia) are climbing up to spend one night at Camp 3 tonight (providing it’s not too windy today).
Camp 3 is apparently a very exposed campsite – built right on the Lhotse face. It is so steep that the tents are all roped together and you can’t go outside your tent without wearing crampons. This, combined with the high altitude (7000m) makes it a pretty uncomfortable place to be. Most climbers will attempt to spend one night here (without using oxygen) in the last of their acclimatisation rotations before their summit bid. When they come up to Camp 3 on their summit bid, almost everyone will use oxygen to sleep here.
Our European contingent moved up to Camp 2 today, Jim moved up to Camp 1, and Dave and Dan are resting at Camp 2. This leaves only a small group of us here at Base Camp at the moment – Brenda, Dennis, Jack, Paul and I.
We’re still planning to move up on Friday for our next acclimatisation rotation – most likely our last before the summit bid (unless we need to wait so long that another rotation becomes necessary).
Other Base Camp Activities
Still doing lots of reading, and spending a bit of time chilling out with the Ipod. However, believe it or not, there are others at base camp who have set up a golf course! Mark Tucker is a big fan of this game where only one golf club is used (yes he brought the one in) and the aim is to get the golf ball to hit a particular rock on the “green”. There are nine holes on the course with more on the way.
Wildlife on the Mountain
There are very few animals that live at this altitude, however as spring moves in we are starting to see a few more birds and insects around on the warmer days. Apparently it’s quite common to see birds up to the South Col (C4) – we certainly saw a few sparrow-type birds at C2 when we were there.
I believe there are some other rare animals like snow cats and other small mammals that also live in the region. However, aside from seeing a set of tracks in the icefall one morning, we haven’t seen any evidence of animals here.
On a more domestic front, the dog named Mallory that has been hanging around base camp is now reported to be at Camp 2. Not sure how it managed to cross all those ladders. Although this is a little amusing, it’s also a bit of a worry as some of the ladders are vertical and would therefore seem to be easier for a dog to climb up than for it to descend. I’m hoping that it manages to get down ok. If something happens to it, it could present the climbers nearby with a pretty difficult dilemma.
Mary’s Trek In
Mary is having a rest day in Dingboche today. She is staying at the home of her guide Phu Tashi and his wife Nimi. Unfortunately I think Mary is going to arrive when we are in the middle of our next rotation up high. Not that this will matter too much – it just would have been nice to be able to meet her here ourselves.
Mary – given this timing, you might want to take an extra rest day or so along the way somewhere. Sounds like everything is going very well for you. Hopefully your experience at the Tengboche bakery was better than ours. Keep drinking lots of fluids. We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.
Dee – Great to hear from you. Thanks for your lovely message. Hope you’re enjoying being a new grandmother again.
Jean-Pierre – We’ve both been thrilled to hear from you – thanks so much for your messages. We keep saying how we need to find a way to get over to France to meet you all.
Jim’s Fan Club – We passed on all the messages to Jim last night. We heard that he climbed safely to Camp 1 today so we won’t be seeing him for a few days.
Leanne – Say hi to the gang back home for us. Hope you guys are still out cycling despite the cold.
Dena – It’s great to hear from you (Dena trekked into basecamp with the IMG group). Glad to hear you’re safely home now but still with us in spirit (or cyber anyhow!).
Ellie, Alita, Rose, Elizabeth, Jenny, Glenda and Colin – Big hi to you all (from us and Mary). Thanks for all your messages.
A Special Thanks
Just wanted to take this opportunity to recognise the immense effort that Nick Grainger is putting in behind the scenes to help us maintain this website. This is a job that Nick does on a daily basis – and all for the love of it! Thanks so much Nick for helping us keep in touch with everyone and share our experiences with you out there.
Well that’s all for now.