Saturday, April 28, 2007
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
Thursday, April 19, 2007
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
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
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
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
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
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.