Life at Everest Base Camp (EBC), where spam is considered gourmet cuisine and we’re living on an active/moving glacier at 17,500′, is a little harder for all of life’s activities, but it is great to be here. The team arrived several days ago and is doing well and feeling strong. Unfortunately, connectivity has proven to be a major issue, so my updates may be infrequent (if at all). I’m borrowing bandwidth from a fellow team member (thanks Mike!) who has a satellite uplink to get this update out, so we’ll see how things go over the coming weeks/months. His blog, which will be updated more reliably is www.climb7.com and the IMG blog, provided in previous posts below, may be the best source of information for now.
So, over the past week, we moved to Lobuche base camp (15,800′) from Pheriche, where we had incredible views of Cholatse and other peaks. We spent several days acclimatizing there with some side trips to Lobuche high camp (17,000′) and a town at the base of Cholatse. We moved up to EBC on 4/11 on a cloudy, windy day, but it was still amazing to finally make it here. We have incredible views of Everest’s west shoulder and Nuptse’s west ridge to our east, Pumori to our west, Lobuche to the south and others to the north. It is an incredible cirque and more amazing than I imagined. We have a terrific set-up here in base camp with “on demand” showers, big dining tents, and individual sleeping tents, which allows us to spread out, stay healthy and strong. We’re settling in nicely thus far.
We rested upon our arrival in EBC and focused on acclimatizing. On 4/12, we met our personal climbing Sherpas, who are our life lines and vice versa for the next 5-6 weeks. My Sherpa is Pasang Rinja (picture of us above before our puja ceremony). He is highly competent and achieved with 6 Everest summits to his credit already and hopefully number 7 coming in about five weeks! The puja ceremony was terrific, where we asked Chomolongma, Mother Goddess of the Earth (aka Everest), for permission to climb on her flanks and for safe passage to/from the summit as well. After the puja, we did some training in the Khumbu icefall where we practiced ascending, descending and rappelling on the fixed lines as well as some ladder crossings in preparation for what is to follow soon for us.
This morning, 4/14, we said goodbye to the trekking members of our team. It was a great group who added a lot of levity to the first portion of our trip. They will be missed. Tomorrow, 4/15, we (the climbing team) head back down to Lobuche base camp (15,800′). The following day, 4/16, we will move to Lobuche high camp (17,000′) and then leave about 4am on 4/17 for the summit of Lobuche (20,161′). On 4/18, we will return to EBC and rest for a few days before we finally get to head into the Khumbu icefall and do our first rotation on the mountain (Camps I & II). Hopefully, connectivity will improve and I can keep everyone informed, but until then please check the other blogs provided above. As of now, I’m feeling healthy and strong and eager to climb Lobuche and then head up the Khumbu icefall, the Western Cwm and get a view of the Lhotse face, South Col and the summit. Soon…