April 29 was a rest day and I was very glad. Somehow I did pick up a very bad cough during the last few days. The cough was at times so bad that I got dizzy while hiking or climbing. Not a good thing to have up here! The next day we moved towards the North Col and the plan was to spend one night at 7,000m/23,100ft. I felt so bad that day that I had to turn back to ABC and Charlie suggested a move all the way down to BC, something that was also in my mind. One thing was clear, this cough had to go away and it was only possible at the lowest possible altitude, and this was at Base Camp at 5,200m/17,160ft. I hiked the 22km/13,75miles down to BC in two half days with a stop in Intermediate Camp.
Believed or not, while hiking down along the beautiful ice pinnacles, the ice broke while I was traversing a small ice filed and I got wet all the way up to my hips. Not a good feeling to be soaking wet up to the hips while having already a very bad cough! What to do next? Well, decision making was easy: Walking as fast as possible with wet pants, socks and hiking boots to the Intermediate Camp. Once there, we tried to try the pants, socks and boots as much as possible near a gas stove in the kitchen and the next morning I walked with almost try equipment down to Base Camp. During this long hike I had a Tibetan kitchen boy walking with me and helping me with my bag. What a great help he was!!!