Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5:30pm 19 April
Weather: Snowing, warmer in the afternoon
Hi It’s Paul here, coming to you from a very snowy base camp.
Last night it continued to snow, and there have been scattered showers today. Whilst this amount of snow is normal in the post monsoon climbing season (Oct-Nov), it’s most unusual in the pre-monsoon climbing season that we are in now.
People in camp 1
We have nine people stuck up at camp 1, but they are doing fine. This morning they reported over the radio that Jim Gagne is the snow walking, as he has been building lots of snow walls to fill in the time. Although they have been up there for a few days now, they still have plenty of food and cooking gas, and are happy to sit it out and wait for the route through the icefall to be re-established, either by the icefall doctors or a Sherpa team. With over 1m of snow, all the fixed lines are completely buried in the icefall. We heard that another team in camp one tried to come down this morning, but after half an hour, they couldn’t find the route and had to turn back.
As I write this, its getting more and more bright outside, so hopefully the weather is going to break soon. That’s what the forecast says too.
What do we do while waiting in base camp?
Fiona and I have been doing a lot of reading, eating, listening to music, playing cards and talking to other climbers. Believe it or not, it can get extremely hot in your tent during the day – much too hot to stay inside. We put our sleeping bags on the outside of our tent to try and provide some shade, but still we usually retreat to the dining tent. The dining tent is a great meeting place and at any one time there will be at least four people there, sitting on the chairs, snacking on the endless array of biscuits, tea, chips, cheese and nuts. Topics of conversation from today were the weather, when everyone is going to go up the mountain, gear, people’s families, jobs and businesses back home, different tax systems in everyone’s countries & the social security system in the US. Broad topics!
We hope that with fine weather tomorrow, the route will be re-established through the icefall. Then we should be able to go up the day after. Both Fiona and I are slowly getting better and should be fine to go by then.
Thanks for your messages.
Rex and Caroline – we found your message very funny and shared it with Tuck and the rest of the team. Anyone who has been on a trip with Mark Tucker will know what they were getting at!
Liz – We passed on your message to Luanne – we see her nearly every day. Is Tara’s middle name Luanne?
N&M H – The cold and extremely dry air irritates your throat and can cause coughing and sore throats. I have been wearing a face mask at night to warm and moisten the air and I think this is helping a bit.
Hi Liv, Great to hear from you on sunny Majorca.
Hi AA – Thanks for your advice about being patient. The snowfall couldn’t have come at a better time for us!
MC – We don’t have any mouthwash so can’t try your idea out. We have been using iodine and salt water. The doctors say that it’s likely to be viral and there is not much you can do about it other than rest.
Hi Kennette – Good to hear that you got back safe and hopefully you will get better soon. We passed your message around the team – everyone sends their best wishes for a fast recovery.
Zoe – When washing clothes we start out with warm water, but it does get cold quick. When I am shaving I have to go back and get more hot water mid way through! Sometimes the clothes don’t dry in time and they get stiff as a board after about 5pm.
Last but not least a special Happy Birthday to Lucinda.
From the dining tent in basecamp,