Date: 5:20pm 20th May 2007
Location: Everest Base Camp
Altitude: 5300 metres
Weather: Cloudy most of the day with a little snow
Hi everyone, Fiona here,
Just a quick update from my perspective of Paul’s climb. As you know he’s sitting tight at camp 2 right now and based on the latest weather forecasts, he and Attila are still aiming for a summit on Wednesday 23rd May. Ironically, this is the same day that I summitted last year (hopefully that’s a good omen).
Weather and Plans
At this stage, the weather still looks great for the 23rd – although it quite possibly could also have been fine for the 21st or 22nd. There are slightly stronger winds forecast for these dates but still well within climbing limits. This is probably going to be a bit frustrating for Paul and others that decided to wait, as soon they’ll be crossing paths with climbers that successfully sumitted on dates that they could have targeted.
I spoke with Paul on the radio this morning and he sounds in good spirits. Having a few problems communicating at the moment though so our conversations are very brief – hopefully this will be resolved as he moves up to camp 3 tomorrow and there is more of a direct line of sight between us.
All going well, he will head up to Camp 3 tomorrow morning (21st), Camp 4 the following morning (22nd) and then leave that same night for the summit. It seems like there will be less people on this date too – which is a good thing.
Passing the Time
While Paul’s been up high, and especially while he’s resting, there’s not a lot I can do from down here. Reny (Attila’s partner) and I have taken to doing a few walks to stop from going completely crazy. A couple of days ago we did quite a big walk where we climbed Kala Pattar, had lunch in Gorak Shep and then returned here. I’ve also been up to Pumori basecamp and today the two of us walked about halfway back too Gorak Shep and then wandered back off the trail in the lower sections of the glacier. Here we scavenged around and found bits and pieces from past climbing expeditions which had been swallowed up by the glacier and were reappearing down-stream. Among other things, we found old tent pegs, rope, zippers from tents, an old boot, a few empty food tins, and lots of bones (which seem, and we hope, to be mainly from yaks).
A Massage at Basecamp?
Would you believe there’s actually a professional massage therapist here? The girlfriend of a British climber decided to bring her business along with her and has set up a massage tent complete with a proper massage bed. As you can imagine, she’s pretty busy but I managed to have a massage yesterday – so it’s not all hard work!
Pretty much everything you do here has to be done in the morning as during the afternoon, it clouds over, gets very cold, and usually starts snowing. So whether its going for a walk, taking a shower, doing some washing, or even having a massage, it all has to be crammed into the morning otherwise it’s too cold.
In the afternoons, most of us retreat to our tents to nap, read, listen to music, or whatever from the warmth of our sleeping bags. It’s difficult to do much else as it’s not that comfortable to sit up in our tents so lying down is the only option. A good time to reflect and ponder life.
Special hello and good luck to Carlinea and Josh – if you’re reading this I guess you’re still playing the waiting game too. We’re thinking of you.
Gabe and Baz – thanks so much for looking after Zac and Zoe. Hope they behaved themselves!
Hi Steve (Baile) – great to hear from you. Hope the transition of settling back into some sort fo home life hasn’t been too rough on you.
Hi Jane & Michael – thanks for your messages. Sounds like Melbourne is getting some of the rain it needs but a Northerly from Mornington is no fun! Look forward to having a ride with you (on a fine day) when I get back.
Hi Mum, Beck, Liz, Denise, Julia and Cas – hope the end of your trek went well and it was not too frustrating getting flights out of Lukla. By now I’m guessing you’re all home and enjoying all those foods we talked about, as well as a good hot shower and a comfy bed (can you sense I’m a little bit jealous???). Not really. Hope the transition back to work and normal stuff is not too harsh on you.
Thanks to everyone else for their messages – I know Paul loves getting these (as I do too!).
Bye for now,