Location: Everest base camp
Local Time: 7:30pm, 4 April
Weather: Fine -4C and no afternoon snow!
Hi it’s Paul here, coming to you from inside our communications tent at Everest Base camp.
It’s a pretty amazing setup here and we will give you more details over the next few days. The communications tent is a large dome about 10 metres in diameter and has both AC and DC power, as well as chairs and tables for writing. There is another communications tent of the same size which contains the base station for radio communications up the mountain.
Today was our first full day at Base camp and it was spent sorting out gear, digging an entrance and pathway to our tent, and spending some time with our Sherpas.
Sorting out our gear
All our gear arrived in one piece, however some of our duffel bags have small holes where sharp objects rubbed against the fabric. Nothing seems to be damaged though, and no liquids spilt so that was great.
We have sorted our gear into several duffel bags with a bag each for our clothes and personal technical gear (crampons, torches, etc.), a separate bag for our down suits and sleeping bags, and then another bag for our food.
Yesterday we setup our camp beds that we carried as hand luggage all the way from home due to weight restrictions! These beds are fabric stretched tightly between two poles a bit like a stretcher. We were unsure if they would go inside our tents, but they just fit. Last night we used them for the first time, and I like them, but Fiona is not yet convinced. We have been supplied with a pretty good mattress, which works well just on its own.
Renovating our tent site
Much of the group enhanced their tent sites and we did the same by putting in stone steps up to our tent and also digging out the entrance. We chipped through the ice to deepen the entrance to our tent and then paved it with flat rocks so that it doesn’t get too wet during the heat of the day. Jean Francois, another climber built a stone chair. For future renovations we will flatten the rocks around our tent to make a nice area to lay out gear.
Watching the icefall doctors
During the day we could see the icefall doctors hard at work. The icefall doctors are a small group of Sherpas paid for by all the teams to setup and maintain the route through the icefall. In the morning we could see them through a telescope fixing a ladder across a crevasse about half way up the icefall, and then later in the day we saw them descending about two thirds of the way up. This is great news, because they only started work yesterday, and everyone is saying how fast they are going. Will the icefall be easier this year?
Tomorrow we plan to walk back down the valley to Gorak Shep and meet up with our friends Chris and Bridget. We hope to climb Kala Patar if the weather is good, otherwise we will just play cards in their lodge! I have a sore throat which is getting worse. It would be nothing to worry about at sea level, but up here it’s a little concerning.
Bye for now,