Local time: 21 April, 17:30
Location: Base Camp
Weather: Very warm in the icefall in the morning, snow in the afternoon. Mild night -2C.
Hi It’s Paul and today I took a short walk up the lower part of the Khumbu icefall to test out my gear.
Back in the icefall
We left base camp at 9:30; this is late. By this time the sun was beating down on us, plus reflecting off the snow and ice. It was hot and I would consider myself used to warm temperatures, having just come from an Australian Summer. All my gear worked well – I have some new climbing pants, a new carabiner for my safety line that should be easier to clip with big gloves on and a new centre bar for my crampons. We carried on up to the first ladder crossed it and then came back down. Boy it was hot. It served as a really good reminder why you want to get up early and beat the heat not just for safety reasons. The section of the icefall we went in today is pretty safe, otherwise we would have gone a lot earlier, when the ice is harder and less likely to collapse.
Is there more water?
I am not sure if it’s my mind playing tricks on me, but I don’t remember this much water running through the icefall at this time last year. There are streams of water flowing through the ice, and whilst it’s not as much as the end of May last year, it seems more than I remember earlier on. Maybe it’s just that I was going slower this time and noticing it more.
Plans and schedule
I said earlier that I would write a bit more about my plans and schedule. This afternoon I sat down and worked out a rough plan. You might wonder why I haven’t done this earlier, but the reason is that I didn’t know how my health was going to hold up, and I wasn’t sure when camp 2 would be ready. Camp 2 is a bit like an advanced base camp, with a cook and cooking tent. It’s a lot safer from avalanches than camp 1, so I will be trying to get there as quick as possible, without overdoing it. Camp 2 should be ready in a couple of days. So my schedule at the moment is to go to c1 on April 23, stay there for 2 nights and then go up to c2 and stay there for 3 nights. I’ll then come back to base camp (this takes about 4 hours from camp 2), and rest for about a week. On May 4 I’ll head back up to c1, the next day move to c2. After a rest day, I’ll climb up to C3, sleep the night and then come back to c2, and the next day go to bc. This should get me back on May 9, in time for Fiona’s group arriving on May 10.
Hi Paula, Passed on your message to Lhakpa.
Hi David, Thanks for your offer of assistance. We’ll be in touch if we have any altitude medicine questions.
Hi Ben, I am not really high yet. To get here I walked for about 10 days.
Hi Vcal group, The Puja ceremony is where we ask for blessings and safe travel. My knowledge is limited only to Pujas on Mt Everest where we are asking for safe climbing. All our climbing gear is blessed. Food is offered to the gods, and then eaten after the ceremony.
Hi Rob, Thanks for your message. The Jett Heat Vests have arrived safely and I have tested them briefly too. Worked well. Stay tuned.
Hi Cherie, Great to hear from you. Hope everything is going well for you.
Hi Liz, We are all able to climb at our own schedule. I want to be on the later end of the group, like we were last time. I think there are benefits to this in that the camps are more established.