Yeah, we've arrived at Camp 1!
Fiona, near the top of the icefall. Didn't take too many pictures as it was too dangerous. Photo: Paul Adler
Location: Camp 1
Local Time: 5pm, Mon 24th April
Weather: Fine at first then snowing, now 0C
Hi everyone, Fiona here.
I'm very pleased to report that we've finally left base camp and are now coming to you from Camp 1.
The trip through the Icefall
We left base camp at around 6am this morning after an early breakfast - not that we could eat much of it. Needless to say, all of us were fairly nervous heading off and led by our Sherpas, we all stopped at the Puja Altar and asked for a safe journey by throwing rice and burning juniper.
We took it pretty slowly to try to avoid aggrevating Paul's throat and lungs any more than necessary. The day started out fine with the sun hitting us at around 9am - perfect climbing weather. A bit later the snow came in - quite heavy so we hope it's not going to continue for too long.
The icefall was as beautiful as ever. Past the parts we'd been to previously, we also went through a section known as the "Popcorn" region - where the ice formations resemble big rounded shapes with jagged bits coming off them. One structure looked more like a giant golf ball to me - complete with dimples that the sun had melted. Then there is a relatively large flattish section known as the football field. Apparently this is not nearly as big as it has been at other times but still open enough to have a safe break. Following this, we climbed through the section some have been calling the "Cocktail" area - due to the fact that the ice formations look like they'd make a good daquery. This is the section where the towers recently fell and crushed three Sherpas. We passed through this section as quick as we could.
Finally we reached the top of the ice fall - but still had about an hour and a half to go before reaching camp. This section meandered around and over several deep crevasses and by the time we eventually reached camp, we were thoroughly exhausted.
As I'm writing this, we're now sitting safe and snug in our tent at C1. Our camp here currently has 6 three person sleeping tents and a dome tent for cooking and eating. Our team members who have been here previously have done a fantastic job of digging out the dome tent so that there is a snow bench around the perimeter with room to put your feet. At the moment, there are quite a few of us here (Walter, Karl & Marcus came up yesterday, while Brenda, Jack, Dennis, Jim, Tashi, Phinjo and the 4 of us all climbed up today), so we need to take shifts to use the cooking tent.
Until not long ago, we couldn't see anything because of low cloud and continuing snow. It has just now stopped snowing and we can just see the great peaks of Lhotse and Nupse (still no views of Everest from here though).
Here is where we start having to cook for ourselves without the luxuries of base camp. We have some freeze dried meals for tonight so will see how they go.
Plans for tomorrow
Since arriving here, Paul's throat has become very sore again so we'll probably stay here at least another night for that to settle down. Ideally, we'd like to spend 2 nights here and then move up to camp 2 for 2 nights before heading back to base camp - but everything depends on our health and the weather. We'll see.
Thanks so much for all you messages of sympathy for the 3 Sherpas lost recently. It's very heartening to hear how this has affected people so far away. Fingers crossed for no more incidents this season.
Doug and Jen - we've passed on your message to Jim. He's doing well and at the moment, he's playing king of melting snow for everyone here.
QE Students - We lost track of how many ladders there were in total, but I would guess about 15. The longest span is two ladders. There might be some big ones between here and C2.
Tam - Dennis, Brenda and Jack have just finished making a seat in the snow - looks good, can sit about 5 people. He made sure it's the regulation 18 inches off the floor and the steps leading up to it are no more than 7 1/4 inches high. (For everyone who doesn't know Dennis, he is a builder.)
Well, that's all for now. Hope everyone out there is well.
Posted by: Andrew and Liz on April 24, 2006 10:51 PM AEST
Good to hear you finally made it out of BC to C1. Fiona, seems like you you might have to dump Paul and just go for it yourself! (only kidding Paul) Hope your throat is better tomorrow and you can continue on to C2. In case time has gotten away from you say a prayer for the ANZACS tomorrow on your up to C2.
Have a good day!!
Posted by: Sara on April 24, 2006 11:02 PM AEST
You know me - animal lover. Who looks after the beautfiul dog I have seen on IMG's website and is present at the icefall? PS As someone who is terrified of heights I continue to marvel at your determination and your spirit. My thoughts are with you always. Stay safe and look after each other.
Posted by: Liz on April 24, 2006 11:06 PM AEST
I am loving your daily dispatches, thank you!! Good work All !! Here is hoping your climb continues to go well. Take it easy and rest well. You are all in our thoughts and prayers for a safe climb and return.
Posted by: Dad and Mary on April 24, 2006 11:06 PM AEST
Great News, congratulations on reaching Camp 1. Fiona, you radio interview was broadcast this afternoon and sounded great, although you can hear the difficulty in your breathing. Mary is doing her final packing for her depature tomorrow, 3 piles of clothes: must take,like to take,and could live without, (but not much in that pile!) We now are flying the Nepalese flag on the flagpole, and will leave it there until you are all back safely. Take care, love Dad and Mary
Posted by: Brad on April 24, 2006 11:16 PM AEST
Well done on making it to Camp 1. It must have seemed like Mission Impossible when you were hanging around at Base Camp for so long. Paul, I hope your throat doesn't continue to worsen now that you are higher up. Keep the photos coming, I can't believe Jim hung around long enough to get that many photos of the avalanche. Didn't know about the radio interview today so I missed it, hopefully someone recorded it. Paige is 4 weeks old tomorrow (Anzac Day).
Brad, Tracy, Madi & Paige
Posted by: margaret harrington on April 24, 2006 11:40 PM AEST
Congratulations on reaching camp 1 - we're very proud of you. Paul I hope that you get better very quickly and will feel up to more climbs.I didn't hear your interview Fiona as I'm in Sydney but Dad has taped it on an audio tape for me to listen to when I return home. I have heard that it was great and that maybe there will be another at a later stage. Jill sends her love too.Tomorrow we're going to Robyn's house and then into the city with Michael & Ruth. Today we drove over a new bridge around the sea cliffs to Woolongong and watched hang-gliders ( I was interested in having a go but they were booked out!!) love you heaps Mum xx
Posted by: meals and danny on April 25, 2006 12:01 AM AEST
congratulations on getting to camp 1 - must be great to have that under your belt. the interview was great fiona - had both my bosses and the receptionist standing around my computer listening to it at work today! They said to tell you how impressed they are.
take care, love meals
Posted by: Dennis' Aunt June on April 25, 2006 12:24 AM AEST
Hi to all of the Team~~~
So happy to hear you have reached Camp 1 again. It must have been an emotional trek for all of you.My thoughts and prayers have been with all of you and the familys of the Sherpas. The seat you built sounds great, Dennis. I know you all will make good use of it. Rest well and good luck on your way to Camp 2. Love, Aunt June
Posted by: Chris and Bridget on April 25, 2006 01:45 AM AEST
Woohoo, ace work guys - congrats on this stage. Needless to say, we missed your radio interview too Fiona...am sure it was brilliant. Hope changing to traditional camping food from your BC buffet is not too much of a shock!
Chris and Bridget
Posted by: Tamara Brown (a/k/a Tam) on April 25, 2006 02:22 AM AEST
Glad to hear you are now residents of C1....Everest Fever continues! Den, regulation seating and stairs are great, but what would OSHA say about the Icefall ladders?!!
Climb strong, climb safe......our thoughts and encouragement are with all of you. Papia to "my man".
Posted by: Paul Campbell on April 25, 2006 03:35 AM AEST
Great job, Be safe on the next leg, Say Hi to Jim,
Best of Luck,
Michael & Paul
Posted by: MC on April 25, 2006 03:50 AM AEST
CONGRATULATIONS!!! Great news that you are safe and sound in C-1.
Fiona, I am assuming that you no longer have a sore throat. I am hoping that Paul will get rid of his throat and chest problem so you will both be completely ready for this next phase. My sincerest good wishes for you and the entire team. MC
Posted by: Glenda Mickleburgh on April 25, 2006 09:23 AM AEST
Congratulations to you both on yet another achievement! Paul,hope your throat starts to improve very soon.Great radio interview, Fiona! You sounded very composed.Still finding your daily reports enthralling reading-I'm becoming quite an armchair expert on all aspects of the climb so far!!
Thinking of you.Stay safe.
Posted by: Jules on April 25, 2006 09:52 AM AEST
Congratulations guys! The journey and challenges continue. Keep on keeping on. Love, Jules
Posted by: Ron Munro on April 25, 2006 11:04 AM AEST
Fiona, Your broadcast came through load and clear very professional. I meant to tell you I was pleased to meet your parents again last week end.They looked very fit and capable of climbing Everest.Hope that throat clears up Paul I would have thought that the cold would kill all the germs. Warm regards, Ron
Posted by: Anne Marshall on April 25, 2006 11:12 AM AEST
It was great hearing you on 774 yesterday Fi and good to read this morning that you're at Camp 1. Well done all round!
Posted by: Rose Gropel on April 25, 2006 11:49 AM AEST
Hi Paul & Fiona
I am one of the BEPS girls and a long standing friend of Mary's. I have become so involved in your adventure that I feel like you are part of my family. Congratulations on getting to Camp 1. I am so proud to be part of your journey. Travel safely and take care of yourselves. I saw Mary the other day whilst she was having her nails done, a definite must for her trip to Base Camp! Stay safe. Rose
Posted by: phil stammers on April 25, 2006 11:49 AM AEST
Thank you for your updates. Absolutely fantastic to be included in your emails as the story of your amazing adventure unfolds. I really look forward to receiving them. I managed to hear Fiona on 774 yesterday and I really got a sense of the effort hearing each pause for breath as Fiona spoke. Well done on reaching Camp 1. I hope all goes well and Paul's health fully returns for the remander of your journey to the top of the world. Super effort.
Posted by: John W on April 25, 2006 11:50 AM AEST
Congratulations on reaching C1. I hope Paul's health continues to improve. Heard your radio interview on 774 Fiona. It was great. I was busily unloading stuff at a storeage area so I opened the car doors and soon had a small crowd marvelling at your adventures. It has become compulsive reading to check your website every morning. It blows me away to see the quality of your photographs as well as the technology that goes with it. Good luck
Posted by: Glenda Baker on April 25, 2006 01:27 PM AEST
Congratulations Fiona and Paul. What an amazing experience. I have been keeping in touch with your Nanna Betty, Fiona and I often read your E mails out to her. You can imagine that she has been very worried about you but on the other hand proud of your achievements. She will be very pleased to know that you have reached Camp 1. I am going to call her now to let her know. Of course she does not have easy access to a computer. Stay well and safe and get better Paul.
Posted by: Sue and Andrew Lloyd on April 25, 2006 01:47 PM AEST
Fiona and Paul,
Great to hear things are going OK and that you are at C1. I guess the hard yards start now. It was tragic news about the accident, it is such a delicate environment. How is the GU going. I was thinking it could be a nice change to try it in your tea as a sweetner. I look forward to hearing about your journey and continue the great work.
Sue and Andrew
Posted by: Jan G on April 25, 2006 02:31 PM AEST
Well done! I can only imagine what it must have been like - scary and awesome all mixed in together! And now the wonderful sense of achievement. All my very best wishes as you venture onwards!
Stay safe, and get well, Paul. Lots of love, Jan
Posted by: Ron and Jane on April 25, 2006 10:17 PM AEST
Paul and Fiona:
We are climbing friends of Jim and Michelle. We had a wonderful 6-hour visit from Michelle 2 days ago. She filled us in on all the adventures with you and Jim. Tell "Massa Jim" we've got the prayer flags hung in the New Hampshire winds. Our prayers are with you all there.
Ron and Jane
Posted by: Daryl on April 26, 2006 08:42 AM AEST
Good to hear from you each day guys - well done on reaching C1. Paul, try regular paracetamol (panadol) and gargling soluble aspirin if you can get some.
Posted by: Terri Allen on April 28, 2006 06:09 AM AEST
Gosh guys that desription of the nak cheese dish was so strong I could smell it over the net! Glad you are doing so well. Lots of my friends are also following your site. You are doing a great job of detailing the day to day challenges you face. Keep up the good work! Terri
Posted by: James Bilodeau on April 28, 2006 09:17 AM AEST
Could you tell Jim Gagne that I had a good day covering his shift. Everyone is out on a trash truck fire and the Medic is at central relaxing.
Hope Paul is getting better and recovers for the summit. ?? Is jim doing OK? (Hi Michelle - good to hear from you again. Jim is here in camp 2 and is considering going down tomorrow or the next day. He went for a hike to the base of the Lhotse face today with Dennis. (His health is improving.))
We wish that IMG had better updates than they do. People have been asking for updates and I have been searching the web sites for information and pics of Gag. I got the pic of gag on Easter. What a handsome devil. Hope all is well and keep safe.
James Bilodeau/Firefighters from NH.
Posted by: James Bilodeau on April 28, 2006 09:20 AM AEST
Sorry, Captain O'Brien says hi and that he is thinking of you.