Local time: 18 April, 17:30
Location: Base Camp
Weather: Snowing for most of the day. -6C overnight.
Hi Everyone, It’s Paul at lightly snow covered Everest base camp. Today was a rest day for me, so I decided to have my first shower at base camp, plus I wanted to setup the radios.
Taking a Shower
After breakfast it was reasonably warm (I would guess 15C in the sun), so I decided to have my first shower since Lobuche. We have a shower tent setup, which is basically a small tent about 2 meters square, and just tall enough for me to stand inside. The cook staff delivered me a bucket of hot water and a small cup, which you use to scoop the water over you. It sounds pretty primitive, but it works well. I was able to wash my hair, have a shave and get rid of a weeks worth of dirt. I can tell you it feels great to be clean now.
Configuring the Radios
After lunch I configured my radios. I am using two different sets this year – a VHF set which is used by almost all other expeditions and a GMRS set, which is only used by Asian Trekking. Last year we used VHF radios and whilst they are powerful, we couldn’t easily communicate with base camp from the South Col or when below the South Summit. Sometimes our radios worked from the South Col, but sometimes we had to walk to the edge of the Lhotse face to get a signal. When I ran out of oxygen just below the South Summit, I initially could not talk directly to base camp, which was a big concern for me, on top of my other worries :). When I spoke with other climbers from AT from last year, they reported no difficulties, so I decided to buy my own GMRS set, with the highest reported range. The reported range is done in ideal line of sight conditions, which we don’t have on Everest, so as a backup I am also taking one of the more tried and true VHF systems. This is also important as it enables communication with the other teams on the mountain and especially the HRA medical service. Today I programmed all the different frequencies into the VHF handset, so that I can easily dial up any team. I am interested to know which works better, VHF or GMRS and having both will allow me to test firsthand and let you know.
Tomorrow is the puja and I look forward to bringing you some of the sights and sounds of this.
My health is holding up really well. I am so impressed with my psolar mask. There is no doubt that it helps my sore throat more than any medication. Yesterday I had bit of a sore throat after going up Pumori, but wearing my mask in the afternoon and evening improved it out of sight. I have been sleeping in the mask at night too. I have also have a psolar balaclava, but it’s a bit uncomfortable on your ears to sleep in, but the mask is perfect.
Hi Chris, Glad to hear the market is still going up.
Hi Cathy, I would imagine that the Mallory and Irvine film would have been about the North side, and I am on the South, but same mountain 🙂
Hi MC, Yes it was an amazing cake that Birbal made. Tasted like a tea cake and really moist. I didn’t write about it because I guessed that Damien and Tim would.