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Prioirities in camp 1:

The HAEX tents in camp one are situated on a wide bench between crevasses and the team rested for a full day there to make the most of this rotation up the hill. Their spirits are strong as they find ways to occupy the hours in the tents including 'down-feather volley ball.' TA Loeffler provides an apt description of the team priorities while in camp 1: “We sleep, we eat, we drink, we pee…”  If the weather holds, they will move up the Western Cwm to Camp 2 at 21,000 feet tomorrow.

Basecamp management

Hugo will remain in basecamp for the remainder of the climb.  While descending through the icefall on Friday, he tore his calf muscle. From now on he’ll be directing the climb from basecamp and facing his new challenge of keeping himself occupied for the many hours between radio calls.

Camp 1

Saturday morning meant another early start for the team with a seven hour climb ahead of them. After negotiating the seracs and crevasses of the Khumbu Icefall, they arrived at Camp 1 safely situated above 20,000 feet. They will spend the night here to rest and rehydrate. Tomorrow, depending on their recuperation, they may move on to the relative comfort of Camp 2 or spend another night at Camp 1.

 

Daily avalanches

Avalanches are a regular occurrence around Everest basecamp. The team hears them constantly but few of them ever affect the route. They do have an affect on the team's spirit. The creaks and groans of the ice fall and avalanches keep the team focused on getting the job done quickly.

Camp 1 delayed for a day

The team’s first trip up the Khumbu glacier was cut short when an avalanche damaged the upper part of the route through the icefall. No injuries were reported by any teams, but there will be no upward progress today so the team returned to basecamp and the warmth of their sleeping bags. The Ice Doctors should have the route repaired today so the team will have another 2:30 departure on Saturday morning. Hugo suffered a calf injury on the way back to basecamp so he will monitor the team’s progress from basecamp.

The Ice Fall and the Ice Doctors who tend it

The Khumbu glacier twists and winds it way down Everest's southern flank. As this massive river of ice reaches a set of cliffs above base camp, it spills over the edge where towering pillars and massive blocks of ice are frozen in their slow-motion fall. Climbers on the South Col route use a series of ladders and ropes to ascend through this hazard. The shifting glacier needs daily attention and this is where the Khumbu Ice Doctors work to modify the route as the pillars shift and collapse on a daily basis.

Asking Sagarmatha for permission

Sagarmatha is the Nepalize name for  Mt. Everest. This region is sacred to the people living in her shadow. It is traditional for expeditions to hold a Puja seeking permission from Sagarmatha for safe travel on the mountain’s rock and ice walls before ascending. This is an important measure of reverence and tradition that expeditions perform before climbing above basecamp.

 

Everest Base Camp

Just one step away from the throng at basecamp, High Adventure Expeditions has established a well organzied base camp featuring private tents for the climbers and a comfortable communal dining tent. Monday was set aside for organzing camp and settling in while Tuesday's goal was the Advanced Base camp on neighboring Pumori. The team took full advantage of the thin air at over 18,000 feet preparing our bodies for the thin air on the summit of Everest.

Base camp at last

Everest Base Camp brings a small measure of luxury to 17,500 feet. The advance crew has been hard at work making a welcoming home for the climbers. High Adventures Expedition's base camp provides small touches of home like carpet and showers to make the next five weeks more comfortable.

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