Local time: 22 April, 18:28
Location: Base Camp
Weather: Fine in the morning, snow in the afternoon, now clear. Overnight min -7C.
Today we woke up to find base camp completely covered with snow. In fact the snow was deep enough higher up to stop all travel for our group through the icefall today. My day has been spent sorting gear for my planned carry tomorrow to camp 1 and and then hopefully onto camp 2 in the next few days.
Our base camp
Moraima asked about the arrangement of base camp, so if you look at the first photo my tent is the second orange tent from the right. All the orange tents are 3 man North face Ve25 tents and we have one each. The small tent behind the rightmost tent is the toilet tent, the next small tent to the left of it and in the middle of the picture is the shower tent. The brown colored tent, with lots of snow on it to the left again is our dining tent. The tents to the left are for cooking and storing expedition gear. There are about 12 more sleeping tents not in this picture – our camp is spread out a bit.
The second picture shows the dining tent on the left with the cook tent on the right. Propane tanks for cooking are in the foreground and Pumori is the mountain in the background. Hopefully my next photos of Pumori will be looking across at it from the Western Cwm.
Getting gear ready
There is a lot of gear to organize when going above base camp. Firstly what are you going to climb in? I am going to wear some reasonably lightweight soft-shell climbing pants, and on my top I will have a very lightweight long sleeved white synthetic breathable top, plus a down jacket. That’s it. No Thermals or Gore-Tex. When it gets hot I will take off the down jacket, leaving the long-sleeved top, which I hope will help me cope with the sun well. I expect the sun to hit us in the icefall at about 8am, by which stage I hope to be near the top. I will take three different sets of gloves, so that as it warms up I can change down to lighter pairs. I am also bringing my down suit for use at Camp 2.
I will be carrying a foam ridgerest and an inflatable thermarest for sleeping on, plus a good sleeping bag (rated to -20C). I have another sleeping bag at base camp which I will bring up to c2 next time. It’s for use above c2 and is much lighter that the other one (only rated to about -5C). This makes it easier to carry up the Lhotse face, and I should be warm enough as long as I sleep in my down suit.
I am bringing some food with me to snack on that I know that I like – specifically chocolate, cheese and salami. Asian trekking are providing the main bulk of the food at camps. Cooking pots and pans are shared amongst the group and are supplied by Asian Trekking. I am brining my own lighter as this can be a problem.
Hi MC will do a shot of the Polar masks. Please keep the photo suggestion coming – they are very helpful.
Hi Moiraima, Thanks for the pic idea. It’s really hard for me to say how fit someone needs to be to get to bc. As a guide you would want to be able to walk for 4 hours straight. If you play golf, then you can already do this! Some practice climbing hills for 1-2 hours at a time is also advisable. To climb the real thing, you want to be as fit as you can possibly get yourself. This means 5 days a week training for a min of six months, assuming you are starting off a reasonable base. The fitter you are the safer your climb will be.
Hi Gavin, Great to hear from you. It’s a bit like climbing Kalar Patar to get up to Pumori c1. The track is in good condition because it doesn’t get much traffic. Highly recommend it for the views, and you don’t need to go all the way either. No change in the weather that day, but then we have had a lot of snow yesterday and today.
Hi KW, I haven’t seen TA yet. Thanks for the update though. Where is she now? She sounds like she might be on a similar schedule to me and I might be able to catch up with her at c1 or c2.
Hi to everyone else. Sorry I couldn’t reply individually, but I ran out of time. Just time to upload this and then it’s time for dinner (6:30pm).