Location: Everest Base Camp
Date: 6:30am 17th May
Weather: Clear – looks like a great day
Altitude: 5300 meters
Hi everyone, Fiona here,
Just a quick update to let you know that Paul has now left basecamp and begun his summit bid.
We woke at 4am this morning and after getting dressed in his climbing gear, had breakfast at 4:30. Two bowls of porridge so that should give him enough energy to get through the icefall. Meagan had already left but Attila and Paul heated their gloves on the gas heater and drank as much Sherpa tea as their bodies would let them.
Then they headed over to the Puja Altar where juniper had been burning since the early hours of the morning. The threw rice into the air towards the altar and placed more juniper on the fire. The Sherpas chanted their prayers for a safe passage for all, and they were on their way.
Crampon Point Goodbyes
I walked over to the crampon point with them and we were a bit surprised to find it crowded with around 50 people. It turned out that a Malaysian team of 7 climbers is heading up today as well and they have an army of supporters here with them.
Paul, Attila and Mingma (Attila’s Sherpa) attached their crampons and then it was time to say goodbye and good luck. Paul and I hugged and kissed goodbye but we had talked a lot of the night as neither of us could sleep so we didn’t have too much more to say. I think it was around 5:15 when they left.
Today they are planning to go only to camp 1 as Paul doesn’t like climbing in the Western Cwm once the sun has hit. Lakpa (Paul’s Sherpa) will meet them at camp 2 tomorrow.
As I watched them leave, there were a whole stream of people in the icefall today – probably because of the good weather forecasts.
That’s all for now – I’m going back to bed to warm up my feet!