Local time: 13 April 20:45
Location: Base Camp
Weather: Sunny in the morning becoming overcast with light snow in the afternoon.
It’s Damien here coming to you from Base Camp!! We have arrived safe and well having walked about 2hrs from Gorak Shep this morning. Other than some mild headaches after we first arrived, we are not experiencing any problems with the altitude.
The Walk to Base Camp
The path to Base Camp is etched into the side of massive piles of loose rock that look like they are the end result of a mining operation. In fact they are naturally occurring having been formed over the years by glacial movement collecting, pushing and finally depositing the rocks down the Khumbu Valley.
About half way to Base Camp we were surprised with a tea and biscuit break. The Sherpas from Asian Trekking who have been here for some time setting up the camp in preparation for us had organized the surprise break and waited for us along the path. We felt very privileged as we rested on the side of the path enjoying our refreshments while other trekking groups walked on by.
Immediately after arriving at Base Camp we were assigned tents and then enjoyed a delicious lunch of steamed, yes steamed sandwiches, chips, coleslaw and fruit. Everyone then busied themselves transforming their empty tents to the homes they will be living in for the next couple of months. For Tim and I this was a much less complicated process as we will only be here for three days before trekking out again. Notwithstanding this we felt the need to renovate our tent by extending the front entrance and adding a rock balcony. This enabled better storage of our bags. Paul has spent much of the afternoon organizing his tent and climbing equipment. All his bags had arrived before us so the porter strike fortunately did not cause any problems.
What is Base Camp like?
Base Camp is much larger and more spectacular than I had imagined. It is at the foot of the Khumbu Icefall and the views directly up the huge icefall are both amazing and intimidating. Base Camp itself sits on top of the Khumbu glacier which makes for an uneven surface of rock and ice. There are many climbing companies from different countries here each with a similar set up to ours – a dining tent, a cooking tent, numerous two man accommodation tents for climbers and trekkers, and a toilet tent. The uneven natural glacier surface means that before each tent could be set up a level platform of rock needs to be built. Fortunately all this work is done prior to our arrival 🙂
The scenery now also starkly contrasts with the green and vibrant views of the lower altitudes. At this altitude no plants, including grass, grow . In every direction we are surrounded by enormous bare rocky snow and ice capped mountains and occasionally we can hear rocks and snow come crashing down.
Tomorrow we will explore Base Camp and we will take a closer look at the icefall. We will also spend time just relaxing, reading books and playing cards as we acclimatize to the higher altitude.
Thanks for your message. We are glad you are enjoying the website. If you have any questions about Everest please just message us and we will answer them if we can.
The pizzas are sensational and have become a staple. Fortunately they are made locally at most lodges as would hate to see what the delivery charge would be from Kathmandu!!!
Thanks for the explanation about running water not freezing. It has generated much discussion and solved the puzzle for us. Now that we are at base camp the bottles will be stored upside down.
The shower, hot water and opportunity for a shave was sensational!!! We store the water bottles upside down because water will freeze first where it has contact with air. By turning the bottle upside down it will freeze at the base of the bottle and therefore when we want to use it we can turn it right-side-up and the water at the top will not be frozen. Hope this answers your question.
Great to hear from you. We are all travelling well. Paul’s sore throat is nearly back to 100%. Tim now has a soar throat though however we are treating it and hopefully it won’t get worse. Wish Marg all the best for her training. We often talk about the fact that in a few weeks a new batch of Harrington / Adlers and Co will be walking the same paths and enjoying the same things we have been. Sorry we are not sure caused the shadows on Google – maybe clouds or shadows from another mountain? Perhaps you are looking at the interface between the old sat photos and the new higher resolution pictures the cover Everest.
Thanks for your message. Not long to go now!! We have been having a fantastic time here and it is great that you will get to experience it all for yourself soon.