Local time: 17 April, 17:50
Location: Base Camp
Weather: Sunny in the morning becoming overcast with light snow in the afternoon. -4C in my tent overnight.
Hi Everyone, Its Paul at Everest base camp.
This morning the weather looked great and I felt well, so I decided to climb up to Camp 1 on Pumori. This would serve to get a little height to help with acclimatization, as well as some exercise. Pumori is a nearby mountain situated between Gorak Shep and base camp – it’s nearly perfect conical shape makes it very beautiful. I turned on the GPS logger so Google Earth will hopefully be updated with my climb, and you can see exactly where I went today.
After breakfast of porridge, pancakes, and an egg omelet, I headed off with Rudi. We started on the main trail back towards Gorak Shep and then turned off to climb up to Pumori base camp. We reached the base camp in about another 20 minutes, rested and then headed up to camp 1, which took 45 minutes.
Incredible views of Everest
As we got higher, amazing views of Everest opened up. When we reached camp 1, the view was truly spectacular, for I could see Everest as I have never seen her before. From the left you can see the North Col and the route up to the ridge and then onto the summit, including the three steps – steep rocky sections that climbers on the North side have to cross on their summit bid. On the South side you can see the South Col, the entire Lhotse face, including the Geneva Spur and the Yellow Band. I would highly recommend any strong trekkers ask their guide to take them here instead or as well as going up Kalar Patar. It’s not much higher, but the views are worth it.
It’s rest day for me tomorrow.
Hi Lou, Yes we are in a different spot this time. I am probably about the same distance away from the icefall though. We are a much smaller team this time (7 instead of 16), so we can fit into a smaller area. We have a smaller dining tent, but it’s warmer and none of us are sick with anything serious. Smaller seems to be better so far.
Hi Alice, I was a frequent visitor to the HRA clinic (Himalayan Rescue Association) last year, so I know it well. They are great people who voluntarily staff it, with a wealth of altitude medical experience. Westerners pay about $50 per visit or for slightly more can receive unlimited visits. Locals are treated for a very small fee.
TA would have been talking about her oxygen saturation. There is a huge variation between people, so what is normal at base camp is all relative. Mine is usually in the low 90’s at BC, and if you were in the low 80’s it would be on the low side of average. However in my opinion it’s not a good indicator of how you will perform at altitude. The Sherpas I have seen tested have lower sat levels than most clients, but we all know how strong a Sherpa is at altitude. A lot of teams pass a pulse ox meter around when everyone is seated at dinner time and unless you remember to reapply your antiseptic gel after use, this is a great way to spread germs.
Hi QECVI kids, I have just finished reading another book – Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, so then I’ll read your 3 books. They are in my other tent now, so I’ll have to go and dig them out tonight. I have had a quick look at the books before I left and they look great.
I have checked most of my gear and it’s all arrived intact. Today was a bit of work for me, so I’ll rest tomorrow and maybe go for a short walk around base camp before the Puja ceremony the nest day. Is there a Puja ceremony in your books?
Re supplies and equipment, I have bought most of the food I will eat in C1, C3 & C4. This is mainly lightweight camping meals, plus 2 kg of cheese, 2kg of nuts and 2kg of dried fruit.
Talk to you soon, Paul.