Everest Update 2 of 10: Settling into Basecamp

In 7. Everest, Asia, Project 7in4by Steve

Everest Day 4, 18-Apr-2018: Rest day with walk to Kala Pattar

Today marked the 4th anniversary of the devastating 2014 icefall collapse so as a sign of respect to those who lost their lives we did not go up through the icefall today. Instead we had a rest day in basecamp.

While we have been up and down to altitude numerous times over the past few months we have not spent significant time sleeping up high. After trekking straight up to basecamp at 5340m in only three days we were interested to see how our bodies would respond. Arriving at basecamp yesterday we didn’t have any headaches and last night (our first night here) slept quite well so hopefully a good sign that we’ve been able to carry reasonable acclimatisation through.

As most of you probably know, I am not a great believer in complete static rest days so this morning I went for a walk to Gorek Shep, up to Kala Pattar and return. It was a beautiful sunny morning and apart from a couple of people I passed on the way up, I was the only one up there. The climb from Gorek Shep to Kala Pattar took 39min which I wasn’t overly happy with. Last year when I was well acclimatised I got my time down to 32min so I obviously still have some more work to do. Anyway, it’s a good benchmark to see where I’m at.

This afternoon has just been a quiet afternoon around camp. I still need to sort out a Wi-Fi connection so I can communicate properly back home but it is actually quite peaceful at the moment so I am in no rush.

Everest Day 5, 19-Apr-2018: Acclimatisation Walk to Camp 1 and Return.

This morning we set off at 05:00 and headed up through the Khumbu Icefall to Camp 1. It took about 3.5hrs to get up, had a short break, then descended back to basecamp and were back in camp by mid-morning.

The route through the Icefall is currently in great condition. It zig-zags around a bit more than last year but does pick a relatively clean route through the maze of crevasses and seracs. There are a couple of short vertical ladders and a few short horizontal ladders but overall pretty straight forward. There are however a few snow bridges which currently are fine but as the season progresses I’d expect those to open up and require more ladders to get through.

Standing up at Camp 1 with the Western Cwm sprawled out in front and Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse towering above is always a sight to behold, very special. It was incredible to be back up there this morning.

Back in basecamp I enjoyed a nice shower while the sun was out and air was relatively warm. It was my first shower in about a week so nice to freshen up a bit.

Overall I’m feeling pretty good. I ate something recently which my body hasn’t agreed with, but hopefully that will work its way through.

Everest Day 6, 20-Apr-2018: Expedition Puja and Forced Rest.

As you may have noted by the tracker, I didn’t move far today.

This morning we had our Expedition Puja (Buddhist ceremony to pray for safe passage on the mountain). It is a very important event for the local Sherpa and a wonderful experience for us to be a part of.

The rest of the day I did nothing, and I mean literally nothing. I hate being so lazy but feeling pretty crap at the moment with stomach bug and flu like symptoms so forcing myself to rest.

Everest Day 7, 21-Apr-2018: Rest Day in Base Camp, Feeling Shit

It pains me to admit it, but today I sat in basecamp and did absolutely nothing, again! I still don’t feel great, so for once in my life I’m doing the sensible thing and giving my body a chance to recover.

Anyway, it’s had a chance now so heading back up the hill tomorrow.

“Go with the decision that will make for a great story”.