Saturday, April 28, 2007

Base Camp

We are back at base camp! We came down from camp two yesterday, and arrived just in time for lunch. We were delayed a bit in the morning because we were radioed from base camp that there was a break in the icefall, and we didn’t want to leave until we knew that the “ice doctors” had fixed up the route. As we came down, we found that the break was in a flat area known as the “football field” that we had previously designated as a “safe” area to take a little rest. And the whole shelf just collapsed!

Now that we have spent a night at camp three, we are done with the acclimatization process. We are going to take a few days for rest and recovery, and then we just wait for good weather to make a summit bid. We plan to go back down to Pengboche tomorrow so we can really get a good rest at lower altitude before our summit attempt.

Here is what we have been up to these past few days:

Yesterday we all made it up to camp one for the night. We were joined by Tori from the London Business School team, because she wasn’t feeling 100% when her team went up the day before. Tori and I were tent-mates at camp one, after I managed to convince Victor that we did in fact know how to use a stove. As we are both the only girl on our teams, I thought it was quite nice to have a “girly night”, as Victor called it.
Today we all came up to camp two. It was very hot coming up the Cwm this time, and we all had heavy packs because we had to bring up what we had left at camp one the last time we stayed there. It certainly made it a lot harder work!

Despite the fact that I caused us to get a later start than planned this morning (I had a particularly hard time getting out of my warm sleeping bag into the cold air) we accomplished our goal for the day. We went up the very first pitch of the Lhotse Face, and are now back at camp two for the evening.

Yesterday we went about halfway up the Lhotse face to camp three to spend the night. This was a new record for my dad and me, as our highest night ever! Camp three is at about 23,500 feet, and our previous highest night was at camp two on Cho Oyu, at 23,000 feet. We arrived at camp three around noon, and then had a lot of time to kill in our tents, as it wasn’t really safe to go more than five feet outside the tent without putting on crampons and clipping into the fixed ropes. Thankfully, I had not yet reached a hypoxic level where I couldn’t enjoy my book.
Coming up the Lhotse Face was a bit windy, and some parts were pretty icy. It gets fairly steep, so I was glad to have my ascender, which slides up the rope, but not back down, so you can use it as a handhold to pull yourself up.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Cycle Two

Today we have one more rest day before we head up again for our second acclimatazation cycle. The plan is that we will be gone for about a week. Tomorrow we will spend the night at camp one, then the plan is to go up to camp two and spend three nights there. We will meet up witht the London Business School team at camp two, and we will all share a mess tent, so it will be kind of like a second base camp. During our days at camp two, we will probably do acclimatazation hikes up to the bottom of the Lhotse Face. After three nights at camp two, we plan to go up to camp three to spend the night. Camp three is on the Lhotse Face. Then we will come back down to camp two for a night, and the next day come all the way back down to base camp.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


The day before yesterday we all made it up to camp one to spend the night. This time we were able to get through the Khumbu Icefall an hour quicker than the last. We had a pretty good night at camp one; my dad and I both had a bit of a headache at first, but we were both able to eat and sleep well.
Camp one is at the start of the Western Cwm. Yesterday, from camp one we continued up the Cwm to camp two. The cwm is infamous for being very uncomfortably hot, but yesterday it was actually really nice. It was very beautiful, and we could see the summit of Everest, which we haven’t been able to see since before we got to base camp. After we tagged camp two we came all the way back down to base camp. It was a long day, and we all returned pretty tired. However, it was nice to be back in base camp, and after dinner we watched Mission Impossible III on Ben’s laptop (from the London Business School team). Unfortunately the power ran out about half way through, but I have been asked to charge up my laptop so we can finish tonight.
Today was the Puja, which is a ceremony that the Sherpas organize. A Lama comes up and performs many chants to ask the mountain gods for permission to climb the mountain, and to ask for protection. I had my ice ax and my crampons blessed in the ceremony. As part of the ceremony, they also put out long lines of prayer flags coming out from the stupa where the ceremony was preformed. Afterwards, they passed out lots of yummy treats.
While we were up at camp one, the shower tent was set up here at base camp. It’s just a little bucket of water with a hose attached to it, but definitly 15 minutes of heaven.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Rest Day

Yesterday we got an early start for our first time through the icefall. We left around 6:30 in the morning, with the idea that we would turn around 11—we did not necessarily have a destination in mind, it was more for acclimatization and to get an idea of what the icefall was like. However, at 11 we were about half an hour from the top of the icefall, so we decided to just continue to the top.

It was quite fun climbing up the icefall. The ladders that we had to cross over crevasses were especially exciting. I was pretty tired by the time we got back to base camp, but today was a rest day (our first), so I’ve had plenty of time to recover.

Tomorrow we are going up to camp one to spend the night. Camp one is about an hour further than we went yesterday. The next day we will go up to tag camp two and then come back down to base camp.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Base Camp

We made it to Base Camp yesterday afternoon. Today we are going to practise crossing the ladders over the Khumbu Ice Fall. We are well and safe.

En route here we visited Lama Gesa and he blessed our journey. It was an amazing experience!

I am going to try and connect my lap-top and charge it with my solar charger - we will see if that works.

More to follow.....

Friday, April 6, 2007


Yesterday we took an acclimatazation hike out of Namche, with a bit of bouldering thrown in as well. We are now on the way to Pengboche, where we will stay the night. We have just taken a lunch break here in Tengboche and visited a very beautiful Buddhist monastary. This is possibly the last internet access I will have till we reach base camp.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Namche Bazar

Yesterday after a very scenic flight and a heart-stopping landing on a small airstrip perched on the side of a mountain, we arrived in Lukla to begin the trek to base camp. Lukla was filled with excitment as porters organized their loads and trekkers began their journeys. From Lukla, we hiked for about 4 hours through the beautiful Nepalese countryside, passing through several villages until we reached the village of Monjo, where we stayed the night in the Monjo Guesthouse. I think my dad and I got the big sleep that we needed to catch up up on our jetlag; around 4 in the afternoon, we decided to take a "nap" that lasted until 7 the next morning!

Today we started out with a visit to the Uche Chholing monastary, and then continued on with the trek. After a bit, we came to a corner where we got our first glimpse of the summit of Everest, still more than 5000 meters above us!
We arrived in Namche after about 3 and a half hours, where we will stay tonight and tomorrow night. Namche is pretty amazing, because it is really a decent sized town, with internet cafes, bakeries, and more. But since there are no roads here for cars to drive on, everything that was needed to build this place up had to be carried in, by either a person or a yak. This is also true of all of the other villages that we have already passed or are going to pass on the way to base camp. The size of the loads that the porters can carry is really amazing!

Monday, April 2, 2007


After nearly 24 hours of travel we finally arrived in Kathmandu yesterday afternoon. We met up with Doug at LAX, as he was on our same flight. On the plane, we also saw a couple of guys who we shared base camp on Cho Oyu with last fall. They are headed to Everest this year as well.
Doug, my dad, and I met up with the rest of the team (Victor, James, and Wim) at our hotel in Kathmandu. We had a group meeting where we went over the route we are going to take to basecamp, and then we picked up some odds and ends at one of the dozens of local climbing stores.

The team is flying to Lukla to begin the trek to basecamp early tomorrow morning.