Another Rest Day at Base Camp
Mark Tucker chips onto the elevated green in the Khumbu Golf Classic. Photo Paul Adler
Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5:00, Wed 3rd April
Weather: Fine and windy, 5C
Hi everyone, it's Fiona here,
We're having a pretty low-key day here at base camp today. Lots of reading, talking and planning.
We've heard that 8 Sherpas climbing on the North (Tibetan) side made it to the summit a couple of days ago. They were fixing line up high and with good weather decided to continue on to the summit.
On this side most teams are currently focusing on getting their Camp 3 established. Serveral teams (including IMG) are also working on fixing line up to the South Col (Camp 4).
Some of our Sherpas were hoping to get several tents set up at Camp 3 today and several climbers (Justin, John, JF, and Sophia) are climbing up to spend one night at Camp 3 tonight (providing it's not too windy today). Camp 3 is apparently a very exposed campsite - built right on the Lhotse face. It is so steep that the tents are all roped together and you can't go outside your tent without wearing crampons. This, combined with the high altitude (7000m) makes it a pretty uncomfortable place to be. Most climbers will attempt to spend one night here (without using oxygen) in the last of their acclimatisation rotations before their summit bid. When they come up to Camp 3 on their summit bid, almost everyone will use oxygen to sleep here.
Our European contingent moved up to Camp 2 today, Jim moved up to Camp 1, and Dave and Dan are resting at Camp 2. This leaves only a small group of us here at Base Camp at the moment - Brenda, Dennis, Jack, Paul and I.
We're still planning to move up on Friday for our next acclimatisation rotation - most likely our last before the summit bid (unless we need to wait so long that another rotation becomes necessary).
Other Base Camp Activities
Still doing lots of reading, and spending a bit of time chilling out with the Ipod. However, believe it or not, there are others at base camp who have set up a golf course! Mark Tucker is a big fan of this game where only one golf club is used (yes he brought the one in) and the aim is to get the golf ball to hit a particular rock on the "green". There are nine holes on the course with more on the way.
Wildlife on the Mountain
There are very few animals that live at this altitude, however as spring moves in we are starting to see a few more birds and insects around on the warmer days. Apparently it's quite common to see birds up to the South Col (C4) - we certainly saw a few sparrow-type birds at C2 when we were there.
I believe there are some other rare animals like snow cats and other small mammals that also live in the region. However, aside from seeing a set of tracks in the icefall one morning, we haven't seen any evidence of animals here.
On a more domestic front, the dog named Mallory that has been hanging around base camp is now reported to be at Camp 2. Not sure how it managed to cross all those ladders. Although this is a little amusing, it's also a bit of a worry as some of the ladders are vertical and would therefore seem to be easier for a dog to climb up than for it to descend. I'm hoping that it manages to get down ok. If something happens to it, it could present the climbers nearby with a pretty difficult dilemma.
Mary's Trek In
Mary is having a rest day in Dingboche today. She is staying at the home of her guide Phu Tashi and his wife Nimi. Unfortunately I think Mary is going to arrive when we are in the middle of our next rotation up high. Not that this will matter too much - it just would have been nice to be able to meet her here ourselves.
Mary - given this timing, you might want to take an extra rest day or so along the way somewhere. Sounds like everything is going very well for you. Hopefully your experience at the Tengboche bakery was better than ours. Keep drinking lots of fluids. We're looking forward to seeing you soon.
Dee - Great to hear from you. Thanks for your lovely message. Hope you're enjoying being a new grandmother again.
Jean-Pierre - We've both been thrilled to hear from you - thanks so much for your messages. We keep saying how we need to find a way to get over to France to meet you all.
Jim's Fan Club - We passed on all the messages to Jim last night. We heard that he climbed safely to Camp 1 today so we won't be seeing him for a few days.
Leanne - Say hi to the gang back home for us. Hope you guys are still out cycling despite the cold.
Dena - It's great to hear from you (Dena trekked into basecamp with the IMG group). Glad to hear you're safely home now but still with us in spirit (or cyber anyhow!).
Ellie, Alita, Rose, Elizabeth, Jenny, Glenda and Colin - Big hi to you all (from us and Mary). Thanks for all your messages.
A Special Thanks
Just wanted to take this opportunity to recognise the immense effort that Nick Grainger is putting in behind the scenes to help us maintain this website. This is a job that Nick does on a daily basis - and all for the love of it! Thanks so much Nick for helping us keep in touch with everyone and share our experiences with you out there.
Well that's all for now.
Posted by: Tennessee Fan on May 3, 2006 11:08 PM AEST
I could not hold out any longer to thank you for your efforts and hard work. Your website is absolutely the best for reporting on Everest. Being a non-climber, but fell in the awe of Everest many years ago, you two have really brought some of Everest to us.
Take care and bless you two and all those on the mountain.
Posted by: James Gardiner on May 3, 2006 11:32 PM AEST
Paul & Fiona (and Mary) - congratulations on a job beautifully done so far. Your adventure has captivated me and the website facilitated an almost 'virtual' Everest climb. I'm yet to miss an update and here's hoping you don't either! Best wishes for your final rotation . Take care. - James
Posted by: BJ on May 3, 2006 11:45 PM AEST
What color was the golf ball that Mark used? Dennis,,,,keep warm and striving and good luck.
Posted by: Bev LaFoley on May 3, 2006 11:54 PM AEST
Wow, wow, wow...You all are giving soo much to soo many of us "wanna-be" adventurers. Thank you. I am holding you deeply in my prayers with positive energy. Big, Big HUGS to you Jim...your spirit is humble and beautiful...you're on top in my mind already! Bev
Posted by: Don McComb on May 4, 2006 02:18 AM AEST
Hi there Paul & Fiona:
Greetings from sunny Miami,Florida! I've been following along since you started this website, it's been great "tagging" along in your quest for the summit. Question, after spending time at camps 1 and 2, is the lower elevation of base camp really noticeable? Anyway good luck with the rest of the climb, wont be long now.
Posted by: Sue Kingman on May 4, 2006 02:43 AM AEST
for Jim...Sending my love and thoughts to you...after our first summit of Mt. Washington in winter (so many years agao), I had no doubt that someday you would stand on top of the world...you're amazing...Sue
Posted by: Cyndie Saffell on May 4, 2006 03:42 AM AEST
May all of your dreams come true! Keep eating! You look more manly when you have some meat on your bones!
Sean and Erik say "go big or go home!"
You are in our thoughts and prayers everyday!
Posted by: MC on May 4, 2006 03:52 AM AEST
Wow...the Khumbu Golf Classic is just too cool. Love the elevated green. This looks like a great way to spend some "down" time in BC.
I truly hope that Mallory will get back down the mountain safely. It is amazing that he made it to C-2! Did anyone bring a frisbee to entertain him? (Though it might be a bit difficult for Mallory to run at the high altitude of C-2.) The best of luck to you on this next rotation. MC
Posted by: Kennette on May 4, 2006 05:28 AM AEST
I'm still diligently following your news everyday and always wishing everyone the very best! Sounds like everyone's strategies on rotations must be working as you all continue to work your way back up and down the mountain, gaining on it each and every time! I am so impressed!! Not only to mention the climb itself but your website is incredible!! Just imagining what it must take just to cope up there, but you create and distribute this impeccable story of life above 7000K (with photos). It is so professional and you have gathered quite an audience of readers. From the time I began following until now it reminds me of when Forrest Gump decided to start running and before long he was famous all over America and he had thousands of followers. With the personality of the two of you it wouldn't surprise me that when you return to the Outback you don't have your own reality TV show!! YOU COULD!!!! Keep up the fantastic work, tell everyone hello and I have been following team member sites as well, they are all great!! Tucker should write Guiness Book of World Record and claim the record for the highest altitude Golf and Country Club and Dave Hahn could claim the highest altitude Scrabble Champion!(or is it Justin Now?)
STAY SAFE and Keep warm!
Posted by: Mark R on May 4, 2006 06:05 AM AEST
Hi Fi and Paul
Each day I look forward to the email alert of your latest posting (usually just past 8 am for me each day) and read it with great interest.
Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers for safety and success on the mountain.
A question for you: in the Icefall, I have seen a few photos from past years of incredibly tall vertical heights spanned by perhaps 8 or 10 ladders lashed together -- this year, what is the tallest vertical ladder climb you have to manage in the Icefall? And can you shoot us a pic or two your next time up? Thanks!
Posted by: Dad A. (Melbourne, Australia) on May 4, 2006 07:57 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fiona. A suggestion to add even more interest to all the posts you are recieving: If the writers included where they live, either the country and / or state not only would it be of interest to other readers, but you will end up with the most amazing World map. Lots of love to you all.
Posted by: Valerie & Rummy on May 4, 2006 08:04 AM AEST
Hi Fiona & Paul. I hope you two are continuing to feel better in your throats and chests. I would love to play your golf course way up there. Instead, I'm heading off to the Apollo Bay Golf Course, Great Ocean Road, Victoria today to do battle. Do you have ready access to reading materials? Did you bring your own books? I would imagine there would be quite an "exchange library" on the mountain. Again, thanks so sincerely for your wonderful updates. Stay Safe---Valerie
Posted by: Ron Munro on May 4, 2006 11:03 AM AEST
Dear Paul and Fiona, Please do not put me down for membership of your golf club I think I am better off at Bendigo. We once took Kelly our blue heeler up to the top of the Grampions he climbed up the ladder easily but could not get down and had to be carried.Q. Is all of the rubbish from the various camps eventually taken out? Good luck and best wishes for success. Ron
Posted by: Rosemary & Dave Abbott (Gippsland Lakes, Australia) on May 4, 2006 11:40 AM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul - I was wondering about wildlife and ages ago my question about cockroaches in BC was serious because I was thinking surely some critters end up travelling in with climbers. I'd love to know what kind of birds head up that way in summer, I guess insect-eaters because what else is there for them to eat? I was also wondering about wearing glasses, I do and whenever I go hiking they keep fogging up or get spattered with rain, a pain in the you know what - how do glasses and Everest go? Mary was wondering about taking her nail polish, wonder if she did, she was worried it would freeze in BC - would it? About Mallory and ladders, I had an emu living with me for awhile and 'Ian' would happily climb up steps, but nothing would induce him to descend - he was pretty big to carry down steps, but that's what had to be done in the end.
Further congratulations and pats on the back from us and good luck with the next phase - soon it will be all over but I'll never ever forget those fantastic blue skies - your photos really place use 'viewers' in the picture, but we don't have to puff and pant!
Posted by: Barbara Pertzel on May 4, 2006 01:52 PM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul
Reading your website as Melbourne begins its autumn cool down and our temperatures 'plummet' to what some call a 'chilling' 17C, I try to empathise with the cold that you are dealing with and am unable to imagine how you can do laundry in such temperatures!! It never fails to astound me how the mundane tasks(like laundry) insist on being done even in the midst of great adventures and challenges such as you are pursuing!! I too, of course, face great challenges daily - last Thursday, for example, I spent a good twenty minutes unsuccessfully trying to attach new click-together fittings on my garden hose at base camp 105 Royal Parade. No matter what I did they just wouldn't click! Life in inner Melbourne is fraught with adventure such as this, as I'm sure you know.
Nonense aside, I just wanted to let you know that we are all thinking of you both, constantly, as you prepare for the astonishing challenge of reaching the summit. Keep the prize in sight, keep each other warm, and know that many spirits back here in gentle and oh so lovely autumn-warm Melbourne are right behind you, lifting you up above the clouds so that you may touch your dreams.
Love and best wishes from Barb Pertzel. I'm now off to jostle trolleys at the supermarket - what an adventure!
Posted by: Philip Ling on May 4, 2006 02:20 PM AEST
Dear Paul and Fiona,
I am really enjoying reading your dispatches. I was planning to be there myself climbing Lhotse with Summitclimb and my friends Arnold Coster (Holland) and Tunc Findik (Turkey). Can you please wish them both well from me? (I am Philip from Australia who climbed Pumori with Tunc in 2005 and again in 2006).
Also I am fascinated about the dog that climbed up to Camp 2. Can you please give us more details about how it may have got there? Surely it didnt cross the ladders in the icefall by itself? Someone must have carried it across.If so, I hope that person will carry it back down too. Otherwise it is very cruel.Hope to hear from you soon!
Posted by: Paul & Michael on May 4, 2006 05:39 PM AEST
Jim, Red Sox Update--they are still in first by 1 game they beat the Yankees on Mon-and rain out on Tues,--Be well & stay safe.we will see Michelle ont Sat, Rachal's 3 year party
Michael & Dad
Posted by: Lino Magnano on May 7, 2006 05:08 PM AEST
we came looking for you last week at EBC thinking you wer ethere but got told youhad moved to camp 1. I am now back in Melbourne and miss the mountains so much. I am definitely setting the summit as my goal for the next 30 months. You are such a great inspiration. Hang in there the whole country is with you.
Car'n the Adlers
Lino and the Everets 13 Trekking Team