May 6 – 10.Getting ready for the final push from the base camp
May 6 – 8. Not much has changed during the last three days. We are still in Base Camp waiting for better weather and the robes getting fixed. There is not much to do down here beside relaxing, eating and sleeping. The end of the Rongbuk glacier is not exactly an exciting place to be. It is the end moraine of the huge glacier so all there is are huge piles of rocks, some up to 300m/990ft. During the last few days Ron, a Canadian who is climbing independently, and I hiked up to some of these moraine hills, just to get some exercise. We also walked down to “China Post”, a tent “town, about 4km/2.5miles north of the Base Camp. There was not much to see there beside some tourist items (Tibetan knives, stone collars, etc). Believed or not, there are actually some tourist buses that drive all the way up here to look at Mount Everest for 30 minutes or so. There are also some interesting tent hotels there at China Post. It seems to be, at times, the favored “hang out place” for the Sherpas. It is also a shopping place for vegetables and mead.
On May 9, starting in late afternoon, the Seven Summit Expedition Company, a Russian climbing company, organized a party for all climbers in Base Camp. It was a nice change from the usual rather boring days in the camp. It was also nice to meet some other climbers and talk to them about their plans and especially about the weather forecast. Most large expedition have their own weather forecast, however, rarely are they predicting the same weather. So it’s a good and never ending discussion for most climbers, especially when it comes to the long term forecast.
May 10, was preparation day. Lhakpa has decided that we will move up to ABC tomorrow, on May 11. I have also seen the Tibetan rope fixing team, about 16 people, moving up the hill. This are all good news and we will need to get ready now in higher altitude for our summit attempt. The current target dates for the summit attempt are between May 16 – 20. However, all these will depend on the weather, this time we will look at the short term forecast. It will, of course, also depend on my physical and mental conditions during the climb. So far, I am feeling very good, but this time we are planning to go much higher, and I will certainly reach my limits. However, I am looking forward to the climb and I am sure that with Lhakpa and his team and a good weather window, this will be an exciting climb. My personal goal is to come down healthy. If the summit works out fine, if not, it has been an extraordinary journey for me. Being so close to Chomolungma, the “Mother Goddess of the Universe”, is definitely a unique experience. I will follow my motto: It’s the journey, not the destination, and so far it has been an extraordinary journey!
We will have no e-mail or mobile/cell phone reception at ABC or higher. Though, we do have a satellite phone for emergency calls. My next update will be in about 10 – 12 days from now. By then I should know how the whole climb went.
A rare warm day at Base Camp.
Another night in the warm sleeping bag – How many more?.
Mount Everst Tourist items – Not much about the mountain.
“Hotel California” in a tent…
China Post – Miles away from the next town.
Ron, my Base Camp hiking partner from Canada
Mount Everest from one of the Rongbuk Glacier side moraines.
The end of the Rongbuk Glacier – Not my favored spot to be…
A rare guest near our tents – Not much to eat here…
The Russians know how to organize a party in the middle of nowhere…
A lot of talk about the summit day – Everybody has the same goal…
Chomolungma during sun set – A rather rare view in the last few weeks.