Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 17:30, May 2
Weather: Fine in the morning, overcast in the afternoon. min -5C, max 12C
Hi it’s Paul here,
Today was spent seeing off the injured Italian climber and learning how to use the oxygen gear.
Italian climber leaves base camp
This morning was clear and there was almost no wind, so the helicopter was able to come, land and pick up the injured Italian climber. Overnight the climber’s condition improved, so he was able to walk from the medical clinic to the helicopter pad. Fiona and I had our radios on early in the morning and the HRA was going to call if they needed assistance carrying the stretcher. Fortunately the call came through at about 6am, that everything was OK and we weren’t needed. We went and watched the helicopter land, and this was a pretty impressive sight; seeing such a large machine maneuver onto the pad, pickup the climber and quickly take off again.
Trying out the oxygen system
After breakfast we all went to the communications tent and were issued with our own oxygen masks. These masks are the new TopOut masks that IMG purchased earlier in the year. We have also been given an LSE mask, which is a tried and true mask that we will carry as a backup. The TopOut masks fit our faces very well, in fact there is no discernable leaking at all. This is very important, as leaking oxygen is not only wasteful, but it causes your goggles to fog up. These masks have a bottle hanging down in which the oxygen fills when you are exhaling. This oxygen is available all at once at the start of your inhalation cycle and goes deep into your lungs. We also learnt the correct procedure for changing over a bottle and practised this several times. There were several bottles that we were able to connect up to and feel the effect of different flow rates.
Sitting here at base camp acclimatised as we are, and not working at all, it wasn’t possible to feel the effect of the oxygen. I am sure that up higher this won’t be the case. IMG uses their own oxygen bottles, which are much bigger and heavier than the Poisk system used by almost everyone else. However, our bottles hold 1800 litres of oxygen (more than the other systems) and we will need only two on the summit day. With Poisk you would need 5, which means more changes. Our bottles weigh 7kg, compared with about half that for Poisk, so this is the disadvantage. But I think that 7kg isn’t too much to have to carry.
Mary reported in to us this afternoon that she is safe and sound in Dingboche, after walking in from Tengboche. Dingboche is about 4400m, and a bit of a jump in altitude from Tengboche (3800m). I would imagine that she will rest there a day before heading up to either Dugla or Lobuje.
Brad, loved the photo of Paige.
All messages have been passed onto Jim. Jim is heading up to camp 1 tomorrow; if he feels good he will go up to camp 2 in the afternoon. Then he will have a rest day, and then head up to camp 3 for a night.
Hi Juerg, Glad you are back safely from your Island Peak climb and good to hear from you. The Uno crowd was also pleased to hear from you.
Hi Valerie and Rummy, I think we are no different to most people when it comes to a fear of heights. The deeper the crevasse the more scary it is. The trick is to concentrate on the rungs of the ladders, and not the bottom of the crevasse.
Hi Tam, When Dennis or us see Vern we will ask him about “Bag Suck”. Dennis is planning to go up for his camp 3 rotation on Thursday. He is going straight to camp 2.
Bonaire guys – Dennis was very surprised but pleased to hear from you.
Hi Maddi and DP, Avoiding potatoes, tuna and eggs. Last night’s dinner was spaghetti with chicken, followed by apple pie for dessert. Nice!
Jan, Wish Rachael’s husband best of luck with the Kokoda Trail.
Hi Jill, Yes we did get both your messages, but sorry we didn’t respond. Marg said she had a great time with you in Sydney.
Hi Jac, Great to hear all your news.
Hi Ian and Phyllis, Say Hi to Liz and Bill for us. Did you guys climb Kili?
That’s all for now,