Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 18:00, May 11
Weather: Cloudy most of the day, max 11C
Hi it’s Paul here,
We woke up this morning early to beat the heat of the day. At 4:30 we dressed, opened up chemical handwarmers and let them warm up, packed up the things that we were leaving at camp 2 (down suits, sleeping bags), had breakfast and by 6am we were walking down to base camp.
The route down to base camp
Every time we have been through the icefall, the route seems to change. The icefall doctors monitor it every day, and if an area looks too precarious and an alternative route can be found they move the ropes, ladders, and ice-screws. This time we noticed a lot of water flowing in the icefall, which was a bit concerning.
When we got to the bottom of the icefall, Mary was waiting for us. It was really great to see her. She looked great, and had no trouble walking the 15 minutes to camp. Unfortunately Mary developed a headache later in the day, and had to rest in her tent for the afternoon. She is now starting to feel better though.
Many teams have headed down the valley to soak up the oxygen rich air. Some have even taken helicopters into Kathmandu for the ultimate break. Fiona and I think we will stay put here. Last time when we went down to Pheriche, I came back with the beginnings of my sore throat that lasted for 2 weeks. On balance we think its not worth it for us, but each to their own.
Thanks everyone for all your messages.
Hi J, No we haven’t spotted any alpine style climbers this season. I too followed Gavin Bates and was very impressed then, but am even more now.
John C, We tend to keep to our own camps, but because everyone is on different schedules it usually seems like the camps are pretty empty. Coming down today we saw about 15 people in total, over a 3 hour period. It’s not too many. So far we have found Everest to be less technical that other mountains, but the altitude makes it the hardest. Camp 3 was the highest we have ever been and sleeping there is a lot different than just touching and going. Camp 2 was the equal highest we had ever slept at before. Lots of new things! No ideas on summit time frame yet.
QECVI students, We are very cautious climbers. When we pass people we always make sure that we have at least one connection to the fixed ropes at all times. This means we might be a bit slower (clipping twice to the ropes), but it’s safer.
No we haven’t come across any dead bodies from previous expeditions. Not sure how common this is these days.
Psychological strain of climbing? Being two of us helps. It’s hard to stay motivated, and this web site really helps. We spend about 1-2 hours per day writing the updates, but what we get back is a lot of support and encouragement, which really helps maintain our focus and eye on the objective over such a long time. If you read the text on the left hand side of the home page you can see a bit more about this.
Hi MC, see above for answer to your question.
Valerie & Rummy, Not sure if there is an etiquette, but if we are coming down we usually do the unclipping, and if we are going up we just stand there (trying to breath!). You usually need the rest anyway and pretty soon the person coming down does the unclipping!
Dad A, We take lots of photos and of course pick the best ones for the website. When the sky is clear it’s always very blue, just like central Australia. Fiona wears her heart rate monitor as a watch, but not the strap, so she can’t see her heart rate. I think it would be too shocking!
Hi Daryl, Hands and feet are great.
Sandy and John, Will get back to you later on your questions.
Rosemary & Dave thanks for all the info on the birds. We are a lot more informed now. Not really sure about the size of the summit, but I think 6 or so people can be there at the one time. It probably changes from year to year depending on the snow conditions.
Donovan, Our dreams are really vivid and frequent. It’s probably because we don’t get a very deep sleep. I usually dream about whatever book I am reading.
Hi Sammie and Nick, I don’t think too much about anything else as usually my mind is preoccupied with the climbing.
That’s all for now,