Wake up call and breakfast by 8am. My first night at Base Camp hadn’t been the greatest. It was extremely freezing cold and the rumbling sounds of avalanches kept me up all night. Joining breakfast for the first time and opportunity to learn the name of my teammates. 7 kind and sweet gentlemen –Mark and Don from the US, Paul from the UK, Gavin and Roy from Australia and Danny and Brian from New Zealand. Roy had gifted me a sweet baby Koala stuffed animal. My equivalent to Paola’s Teddy Bear, I’d now have an evening companion to cuddle.
Our guiding team, Mike, the lead, Ang Dorjee, one of the most esteemed Everest leads to date, Lydia Bradey, an accomplished mountaineer and the first woman to ascend Everest without Oxygen; and Anthea our fearless camp manager.
The plan for the day was for the team to head up to Camp 1 of Mt. Pumori. Ang Dorjee directly instructed me to take a rest day, which I happily complied. I’m quite worn down, if anything feeling a lingering headache and after speaking to our camp Dr. he just gave me Iboprufen. It apparently takes about a week to accommodate with the new altitude and weather at Base Camp.
More rumblings. I came to understand that the number of daily avalanches are the norm. You used have to be on the lookout that if you hear one, you should look behind you as it might trigger another spot.
By noonish, we had a special guest at Camp, Ed Viesturs. He is a famed mountaineer and the only American to have summit the tallest 8,000 meter mountains in the world without oxygen. He was one of the main characters depicted on the Imax film “Everest”back from 2006. A very sweet father and son, who had just trekked to say hello to the guides in our expedition.
As the team that trekked up to Camp 1 of Mt. Pumori returned, we had the plan for the next several days. Tomorrow April 16th, we’d be training on crossing ladders and belaying down. If weather holds up great, we’d be attempting our first rotation into Camp 1 and Camp 2 starting on the 20th.
Finally a signal from the girls; they were currently at Pheriche having lunch and on their way to Debuche. Everyone a little tired but in great spirits. Tomorrow, they’ll be trekking up Namche and the following day into Lukla and await for their flight the day after. Bad connectivity and hopefully we could reconnect while at Debuche. I miss everyone terribly. And yet so curious to see how their return was faring for them. Letting go is so tough to do and trusting the unknown a must for me. Just wishing they are able to have a very healthy return into Lukla.
Before I knew it, the day had gone quite fast and it was time for dinner. More animated conversations with Ed, and sweet to hear his advise about some of us newbies attempting to climb Everest: One step a time; Be extremely patient and kind with yourself; Enjoy the Mountain and enjoy learning about you!
Wise words and a great way to wrap a very lazy day. I felt extremely exhausted so it was great to hit my sleeping bag by 10pm.
Treat of the day: My new stuffed baby Koala