7summits forum!

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: 15th April: Harry's account of arrival at Basecamp  (Read 4580 times)

Romke

  • The Wireless Biker
  • Administrator
  • Scrambler
  • *******
  • Altitude: 1
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 74
  • Werr's me armchair?
    • All things Romke

After sending the pictures and last update from the electrically challenged Xegar, we drove through the dark but starry night to our hotel. Fortunately there was no other traffic to stop our drunk driver from getting us back in one piece.

The next morning, thursday 14th April, we finally left the hotel after some missing towels were recovered after all. 2 checkpoint later we started up the 100km road to basecamp, starting with an endless series of switchbacks to the 5100m high pass. Just before we passed the lines of prayer flags marking the highest point of the road the car was filled with screams of joy when we all noticed the most amazing view rising in front of us. Spread out on the horizon were Makalu, Lhotse, Everest and the giant Cho Oyu massif. 4 of the 14 highest mountains on earth, perfectly aligned against a cloudless blue sky.



The road drops steeply down to 4100m before slowly ascending the last 30km towards our goal for today: Everest BC, North side. The famous Rongbuk monastery is besides the road, opposite a huge ugly chinese hotel. This is not only the best view of Everest, but also the point where all trekkers and other non-expedition climbers have to leave their vehicle and either walk the last 8km to BC or take one of the horse carts.

BC is a crazy place; located at 5200m above sealevel, it's just a huge open field where the road ends. The last hundred meters of the road is flanked by numerous large tents, teahouses, where you can get a beer or a coke, crash on the matresses or buy souvenirs. There is even a postoffice though nobody knows when it will be open and if the cards will ever arrive. Unless you have a climbing permit you are not allowed past the end of the road, any violation of this rule earns a $200 fine.

There are several large expeditions but the area is a few square kilometers wide so even with hundreds of tents it still looks empty. Nickolai and Mingma have set up camp as far away from the BC street as possible, right below the snout of the Rongbuk glacier. This means we cannot go for a beer quickly, but saves a lot of walking over the open field and also might discourage possible thieves scouting from BC..

We all have private tents, and have a huge tunnel shaped shared tent where we eat, play chess, watch DVD's on the laptops, or just hang out writing long boring tripreports no-one reads :-) Outside is a wooden toilet building with 2 separate toilets and we have a showertent with a gas powered water heater. No real shower, but huge pots where you can scoop water and simply pour it over yourself.



 
All climbers who have not been to Everest or have never joined our expeditions are amazed at the luxury and the elaborate meals with rich soups, meat, vegetables, salads and much more. It is hard to believe that other companies charge up to 4 times as much while offering basically the same and people still sign up. Everybody crashed into their tents after our welcome lunch as the altitude is kicking in hard. It's a big step from 4300m to 5200 and many people suffer from headaches. At dinner suddenly a few cartons of red wine are put on the table and coupled with the excellent food we feel more like being at a UN banquet than at the foot of the highest peak of the world. 

The night was reasonably cold, most water in the tents was frozen. Sun only hits BC at 10.00, so before that it is really chilly walking outside, even while drinking the tea the Sherpa's deliver to our tents. Today we had our Puja ceremony, a lama blessed our expedition and members in a 2 hour ceremony that involved long chants, throwing rice and tsampa, pouring beer, burning juniper branches and loads of incense and receiving a red good fortune string. Long strings of prayerflags were raised during all of this, very impressive overall.

The rest of the day is mainly spent  acclimatising and recovering from the jump in altitude. Some people go for a light hike, others just relax, read, do their laundry or visit other expeditions' camps. It is great to see Jake Meyer again, who was with me on the summit of Denali 2 years ago. If he climbs Everest before Danielle Fischer, he will be the youngest 7 summiteer so far. Somebody had taken our cynical comment yesterday about not even having applepie for dessert serious and a huge 20 -person pie appeared at the end of yet another excellent dinner. Tomorrow we will have to push ourselves and gain some more altitude in preparation for the hard hiking days towards ABC, so I better get some sleep now :-)
« Last Edit: Apr 22 2005, 03:38 by Romke »
Logged

MournesMan

  • Scrambler
  • ***
  • Altitude: 0
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 68
  • Live life and follow your dreams
Re: 15th April: Harry's account of arrival at Basecamp
« Reply #1 on: Apr 22 2005, 06:07 »

Harry

Boring trip reports!!!??  NEVER!!! And what's with all those luxuries at BC - it's an expedition to the top of Everest for goodness sake - the highest point on Earth!!  Where is all the hardship, the freezing cold, the starvation, the Kendal Mint cake!!! Sounds like a holiday you would book with Kuoni or something :o)

Anyway, I'm seriously jealous now you guys and gal are at bascamp - in fact, as I've missed a few days getting online to the site I actually know you are at ABC after having just listened to Lorenzo's excellent audio blog of today (21st). So I wish I was there - when are you next going to Everest Harry?  Can I come too??

Hope everyone is doing OK - listened to Lorenzo and it would seem that some folks are having a few problems acclimatising.  I hope they are OK!

Great pictures Harry - the view of the 4 highest mountains all together must have been stunning in that amazing blue sky.

Take care folks and I'll probably post on the more recent topics which I'm about to read.

Colin
Logged

mc

  • Guest
Re: 15th April: Harry's account of arrival at Basecamp
« Reply #2 on: Apr 22 2005, 10:07 »

Harry

Once again, thank you for taking the time to keep us all informed.

Please let John Christiana (my brother) know that I am wishing him success on his climb of Everest.

I hope that the headaches will subside for all those who are affected by the high altitude.

Best wishes,

mc
Logged

Romke

  • The Wireless Biker
  • Administrator
  • Scrambler
  • *******
  • Altitude: 1
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 74
  • Werr's me armchair?
    • All things Romke
Re: 15th April: Harry's account of arrival at Basecamp
« Reply #3 on: Apr 22 2005, 11:43 »

Thanks Colin, MC and all others for writing. I'll keep forwarding your messages to the team. I'm sure they can use some support now that the days of abundance are left behind and the diet kicks in. And of course I keep pressing Harry to send more pictures and recent stories!
Logged

Chris Valentine

  • Scrambler
  • ***
  • Altitude: 19
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 81
  • Webmaster for Lorenzo's Everest Audio Blog
    • Lorenzo's Everest Audio Blog
Re: 15th April: Harry's account of arrival at Basecamp
« Reply #4 on: Apr 22 2005, 14:25 »

Hope everyone is doing OK - listened to Lorenzo and it would seem that some folks are having a few problems acclimatising.  I hope they are OK!
Well, according to a brief text message, even Lorenzo is feeling rough today.

Chris.
Logged
Webmaster for Lorenzo's Everest Audio Blog
KMi, The Open University
http://everest.open.ac.uk

ap

  • Guest
Re: 15th April: Harry's account of arrival at Basecamp
« Reply #5 on: Apr 22 2005, 21:22 »

Hey Harry, and the rest of the team.

Here in The Hague a lot of people follow the trip and in our bar a lot of drinks were toasted on a good succes of your adventure.

take care, have good fun climbing the highest rock, and please share all your adventures by internet.

greetings,
Ap & the rest.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Page created in 0.052 seconds with 23 queries.