Local time: 1 May, 17:45
Location: Base Camp
Weather: Warm & sunny, with no snow.
Hi it’s Paul at Everest base camp. My Sherpa, Lhakpa Nuru has been sick with a chest infection for several weeks and despite taking some of my antibiotics, he hasn’t got better. So the best thing to do in these circumstances is to go lower. He is going to his village of Thame. This means that I will be without a Sherpa for the climb up to Camp 3, but it should be fine. There is a possibility that someone else might accompany me. At anyrate I’ll be climbing with Meagan and Atilla. I told Lhakpa to wait until he is 100% better and not hurry back, because after this rotation, it will be a while before we go up again.
Our Liaison Officer hasn’t coped well with the altitude at base camp, so Ptemba told him to go back down to Namche, which he did without asking twice. The liaison officer is the Nepalese Government’s representative and is here to make sure we obey all laws and climb the right mountain.
Draining base camp
With the melting of the ice, some parts of our base camp were starting to get very flooded and it was difficult to walk around. So Atilla and I took it on ourselves to cut a drainage system in the ice, to direct the water away. We have found that if you start small and get a little bit of water flowing, then the action of the water gouges out the ice and pretty soon you have a good canal. By the end of the afternoon we had drained a good portion of the problem area.
Hi Dame, I feel pretty good at BC now; sleeping and eating well. I can still easily get out of breath if I move quickly. Yes, that was my first load of washing. I hate doing it and bought a lot of clothes over!
Hi Mira, The picture that I posted the other day of the Sherpas queuing while the ladder was being fixed is what Mike is describing in his post. To clarify, there was a lot of confusion going on, largely because the one person who had climbed over the ladder to the other side couldn’t place the icescrew properly. No progress with anchoring the ladder was happening until Atilla’s Sherpa, Mingma Nuru, descended and within a couple of minutes had two icescrews in place and the ladder secure. It was a site to behold. The 15 Sherpas on one side may have confused the process, but certainly the one Sherpa on our side got the process happening!
Hi Wade, We are not measuring our O2 saturation. When I have done this before the results are always all over the place and rarely correlated with how you are feeling. The one proviso is if you are really in a bad way, then the O2 sat reading will be really low and confirm this. But there are plenty of other signs that will show you or someone else that you are not well. You start to see a noticeable decrease in sat levels at Namche. When I have tested Sherpa, they almost always have a lower sat level than us, yet they are so much stronger than us at altitude. This is one of the reasons why I don’t think it’s an accurate tool to understand performance or ability to cope with altitude. What it is excellent for, is to practice your breathing technique and monitor your increased saturation levels. With good technique, but no increase in the rate of breathing, I can get my saturation up to 100% at base camp.
Hi MC, that’s ok, because not much is happening for me while I rest at base camp. Dinner is at 6:30 and I make sure that I do the update before then. My fingers are too cold to type after then; it’s -10C in my tent when I get back from dinner. Fiona won’t be operating on such a set schedule.