Location: Base Camp
Local Time: April 15, 2007. 17:30
Weather: Fine for most of the day, -9C overnight.
It is Paul here, my first update to you from Base Camp.
It was a clear night last night, so the temperature dropped down to -9C inside my tent. (In case anyone is wondering how we get the temperatures, I have a thermometer in my watch.)
Checking out Base camp
This morning we went for a walk around base camp and up to the crampon point in the icefall. The crampon point is the name given to the place where we put on our crampons when we climb up the icefall.
I am not sure if I am imagining things, but base camp looks slightly bigger this year than last year. Along the way we saw two teams having their Puja ceremony, with the scent of juniper and sounds of chanting drifting our way. I’ll write more about the Puja ceremony when we have ours, which is scheduled for April 19. Members are not allowed to go up the icefall until after the Puja ceremony. Although this is a lot later than last year, I am not in any hurry to go up, as there is plenty of time, and I don’t want to be amongst the first summit attempts.
Tim and Dame marveled at the the way the sun, water & pressure sculpts the ice, making icicles, huge blocks over 5 meters high and a myriad of small pinnacles. All this beauty can be seen close up from base camp, without needing to go up the icefall.
Tim & Dame off tomorrow
Tonight is Tim and Dame’s last night before they head off to Lukla. The plan for them is to do this in 3 days. It’s been fantastic having them come along for the trek into base camp, and although they were a bit worried about their fitness levels leading up to the trek, they both handled the altitude and walking really well.
Hi Alan, I think we’ll be heading up to C1 sometime around April 20. I will try to spend just one night at C1 and then move onto C2 the next morning if I feel well. C1 feels very unsafe to me, with high risk of avalanches.
Hi MC, Yes it’s been great seeing them experience Nepal and the Khumbu. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Hi Brad, I have a really great tent this year. It’s much bigger than last and the ventilation works really well, so there is no buildup of ice crystals from your breath in the morning. So I think I have the spa suite!
Hi Dad & Mary, Tim’s throat is about the same – it will get better as he goes down.
Hi Mira, Thanks for the message and for passing on TA’s message as well. Its ironic that we can’t actually communicate directly yet we can both communicate with everyone on the web.
Dear Susan, It’s Steph. Thanks for your note – great that you are following our adventure. Just recovering from a bit of a stomach bug, but feeling much better now.
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. All my best to you, Hans and the kids, Love Steph.
Hi Trudy, Going down is the best thing for TA. I did it last year, but didn’t stay down long enough. Up here you feel some pressure to be moving up, but this shouldn’t be the case. There is heaps of time.
Hi Marg, Our Hungarian contingent are the masters of making a comfortable camping area, so hopefully your tent will be near there’s and you can enjoy their patio and chairs that they have built.
Hi Liz, You’ll have no problem with the walking, and the program that Fiona has devised is very gradual, so you have the best chance possible of not having any altitude issues. Tim and Dame will be able to provide you with an updated report on the state of the Rhododendron blooms. I reckon you guys will time it about right.
All the best,