Everest Day 11, 25-Apr-2018: Camp 2 to Basecamp to Dingboche
This morning Jon and I woke up at Camp 2 just before 06:00, had a quick breakfast of Masala tea and boiled eggs then set off for Basecamp. We made great progress down the Western Cwm to Camp 1, but upon arriving at Camp 1 we heard there had been a collapse in the Icefall and it was impassable. We decided to wait at Camp 1, along with a few other teams, until the Icefall Doctors had re-established a route. I don’t know how long we waited but it was well over an hour. We eventually heard word via radio that a temporary route was in place so we pressed on.
The collapse was midway through the Icefall. When we got there the impact of the collapse was clearly evident. A mass of fresh loose rubble everywhere. It looked like the Icefall Doctors were working on a permanent route around the mess, but at the time we were there we just had to pick our way along a temporary route through the middle of it. We got through safely and made it back to Basecamp just before 11:00. Sadly, a couple of Sherpas were injured in the collapse. We wish them a speedy recovery.
At Basecamp Tom, a good mate from school days, paid me a surprise visit which was amazing. After a shower and lunch I walked with him and his girlfriend, Nicole, back to Dingboche. At Dingboche I met up with a group of family and friends who are doing a Basecamp / Kala Pattar trek. It is incredible and humbling to have so much support from family and friends on this journey.
So tonight I’m sleeping down in relatively thicker air, on a bed and with a western toilet…. what more could you ask for!
Everest Day 12, 26-Apr-2018: Day in Dingboche
Had a wonderful day today with the Project 7in4 trekking group. Went for an acclimatisation walk up a local hill out of Dingboche. It is great to have a few rest days and to be able to spend time with family and friends.
Everest Day 15, 29-Apr-2018: Back in Everest Basecamp
Apologies for not posting any updates the past couple of days. On the 27th I walked with the Project 7in4 trekking group from Dingboche to Lobuche. Yesterday (28th) we trekked from Lobuche to Everest Basecamp. At EBC I said farewells the trekking group, they returned to Gorek Shep while I returned to my camp.
While passing through Gorek Shep we arranged for my Dad and Juris (Uncle) to heli up from Namche and meet us there. A bit of a rock star entrance for them. They weren’t acclimatised to the altitude at Gorek Shep so couldn’t spend long on the ground but it was wonderful to see them briefly and all be together for a short period of time.
It has been incredible to be able to spend a few days with the Project 7in4 trekking group. I’ve been truly humbled by all the support. In arranging the trek we weren’t sure how timings would work with my climbing schedule to be able to meet the team but it couldn’t have work out better. Thank you to everyone who joined the trek and for your help with fundraising for SpinalCure and Surf Life Saving WA. Legends! Enjoying the trek out and have a safe journey home.
Today, with a spare day in EBC, I ducked down to Gorek Shep and up Kala Pattar. Always good to stretch the legs. I managed 34min 38 sec up Kala Pattar today. Better than my 39min when I first arrived at EBC a couple of weeks ago, shows my acclimatisation is improving, but still not as good as my best times last year. Maybe I just need some more time acclimatising or maybe it’s just a sign of cumulative fatigue from 4+ months on the road. Either way there’s not much I can do about it now.
For Jon and I it’s now time to switch our focus back to the hill. Rope fixing is progressing well on Everest and weather is currently reasonably stable. Tomorrow we’ll head back up to Camp 2 and see what’s happening there.
“Go with the decision that will make for a great story”.