Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5pm, 15th April
Weather: Sunny, 2C now, -8C in our tent last night
Hi all – Fiona here,
As we’re still at basecamp with Paul resting his throat, we thought we’d hand over the reigns today to one of our fellow climbers on our team – Dan. Dan was one of the climbers to climb Island Peak, so he can give a perspective on this part of the climb.
By the way, since starting on antibiotics yesterday, Paul seems to be starting to improve. We’re thinking we’ll keep resting until Tuesday though.
Hope everyone has a happy Easter tomorrow.
Best Wishes, Fiona
Hello from Everest Base Camp!
My name is Dan Griffith, from Invermre BC in Canada.
Climbing Mt Everest has been a passion for a long time, and I’m here for the 3rd time……let’s hope 3rd time lucky!
Our trip with IMG has been especially good up to this point….with great facilities and organisation.
After reaching Base Camp, we spent a few days establishing ourselves and then trekked off down valley for an attempt at Island Peak. The first day involved a 5 hr walk downhill to Dingboche in a snow storm….then up we went to Island Peak basecamp. We awoke the next AM to 15cm of snow which quickly melted so our walk to high camp was accomplished in a couple of hours.
The evening became increasingly clear and when we crawled out of our sleeping bags at 2:30 AM it was a spectacular starry sky that greeted us. This was the start of a perfect summit day for our Island Peak climb. It was just like a climb in the Alps, but to 6150m.
We wandered up a vague trail through scree and ledges and as the sky lightened we crossed a narrow ridge of snow covered rock (that gave some of our group some second thoughts) to the start of the glacier. Here we roped up and with crampons for the crisp snow set off up the glacier through some gaping crevasses.
After about 1.5 hours we reached the base of the steep (55 degrees) snow and ice face leading to the summit ridge. Here we were lucky to have fixed ropes from a previous expedition which our sherpa team had checked for integrity.
We quickly ascended the face and suddenly were gasping for breath on the highest point of Island Peak. The sky was blistering blue and there wasn’t a breath of wind….the perfect summit day. All of our team including Jurg, Mona, Michelle, Greg, Jim, Walter, Karl, Marcus, Brenda, and 5 sherpas were soon together on the top.
The descent went well and we finished the day back at Basecamp with a feast provided by our fantastic support crew.
Three more days off trekking, with meetings with other friends on their way to BC, has brought us back to camp and a reunion with our other team members.
Work continues on the fixed ropes and in the next few days we’ll be on our way through the icefall and onto the upper mountain.
We’ll keep you posted on our progress!