Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5:30pm, Sun 30th April
Weather: Fine but very windy -17C in our tent at night.
Hi everyone – Fiona here, very pleased to be reporting to you safe and well at base camp.
The Trip Down
We left just after 6am this morning so that we could get through the icefall before the heat of the day. It was very cold when we left, around -18C, and not long afterwards, the wind started blowing pretty hard as well. We were well rugged up when we left, wearing down jackets, warm hats, neck warmers, big gloves, and gortex overpants. We also used chemical heat warmers in our gloves and socks to keep our hands and feet warm.
We got down to camp 1 pretty quickly and then started tackling the icefall, just as the sun came up. The last part of the icefall seemed to take forever as we grew more weary. All up we probably crossed around 25 ladder crossings, heaps of snow bridges and hundreds of places where the terrain was so steep or dangerous that we clipped into fixed lines.
We got back to base camp at around 11am with the only casualties being some blisters on my toes and a black toenail. I’ll live.
Luxuries of Base Camp
Upon our arrival here we were greeted with a bottle of Sprite each – a treat reserved only for times like this! After a bit of a rest we had lunch (chips, baked beans, a small salad, tuna and chapati bread). Then finally, we both had a shower. Even though the pressure is pretty woeful compared to anything back home, after 6 days up high, it was wonderful.
We’re now sitting around, clean, tired and anticipating a nice dinner. We plan to take it easy for at least 4 days before we head up again for our next acclimatisation rotation.
We heard from Mary today that she is now in Tengboche after her rest day in Namche. The altitude of Tengboche is 3800m, so she is getting up there. At Tengboche there is a lovely monastery and hopefully she will be able to visit.
In answer to Rosemary & Dave’s question the other day about whether I am using the “pee like a bloke” device, yes, I have a couple of different devices. The She-Wee (which Sam kindly gave me to try out) and the Freshette. I’m only using them at night so that I can avoid going outside (requiring copious amounts of clothes) and pee into a bottle (like all the guys do). It’s the first trip that I’ve tried out these devices and so far, I’m a convert (although I’m not yet using them for normal outdoor peeing like I know some women do – I’ll still take the squat position!). Michelle – I hope you’re proud of me.
It made me laugh to hear about some of your other toilet horror stories. Chris and Bridge – years ago we had the same thing happen with a rat in the toilet in our rented house in Carlton – so I guess it can happen anywhere.
Karlyne – sounds like you and J are having fun toilet training the kids. I haven’t received any of your emails. Hope all the plans are going well and you can send again to let me know.
MC – Thanks for your message. Camp 2 is the highest we will do the NASA tests. Would probably be better to do them at higher camps but we’ll all have too much else to worry about up there.
Carlinea & Josh – Great to hear from you guys. Say hi to the MBS gang for me.
Brad, Trace, Maddi & Paige – We’d love to see a photo of Paige (just make it as small as you can). Are you guys about ready to move house now?
Michelle – In case it wasn’t clear from our last post, Jim is fine. We’re back at base camp resting with him now.
As usual, it’s lovely to hear from everyone else – sorry we can’t reply personally.
Bye for now,