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Author Topic: 19th april: Harry's account of acclimatizing in basecamp  (Read 4845 times)

Romke

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16th april

The 16th our 7summits.com team went for a little acclimatisation walk along the track toward ABC. The weather has been incredible ever since we arrived, little wind, blue skies, all very pleasant to walk in. Altitude made us go slow and it took us a few hours to get to about 5400m, where we stopped to take some pictures of beautiful Pumori and some with our 7summits.com T-shirts. On our way back we encountered many climbers going up, some of them heavily loaded, and many Yak trains with all the food and gear needed for higher up the mountain.

Everybody felt reasonably well, though some serious headaches kicked in later and I went to bed early for a change.


17th April: The Fat Basterds Club.

The 17th is one of the famous acclimatisation days. This mainly means waiting until the next meal is being served. There have been some serious complaints about the food we supply on our expedition: it is simply too good and too much; and as we are not acclimatized enough to do long walks or other calorie-burning activities our team is gaining considerable weight: Noel is worried his down pants will not fit him anymore, I have trouble getting out of bed myself tripping over my belly, Nate has not seen his private parts in over a week and Lorenzo fears he might get stuck in the chimney at the second step on summit day.

Named after our hero from the Austin Powers movies, we actually created a new team to fit this phenomenon: The Fat Bastards Club. The FBC has one female member, Lynne, who contrary to rumours about her huge weight gain, is not yet pregnant.

Russian culture is being brought into this expedition: many cross-national chess games, which are quite hard at altitude, and Dimitry is playing the Russian bard songs, creating melancholic faces around the dinnertable. But the language barriers are still huge for most of us and usually the large dining and recreational room is divided into a Russian and Western section. Nate has brought a world map which is now stuck at the far back wall of the game room, all members have marked the position of their homes which gives a nice overview of the international character of our team.




18th april: Frozen rivers, Living heroes and smoked fish.
 
We have decided to go to Interim camp (5800m) the 20th, and to ABC (6400m) the day after, so today we go for one more acclimatisation hike to prepare for the jump in altitude. We follow the small river entering BC from the east. It is frozen solid and the few times we have to cross it we can just walk slowly and carefully across the blue ice without crampons. We follow the river up to about 5650m and arrive at a hidden valley with peaks up to nearly 7000m and huge glaciers flowing from them. Weather is still perfect and after resting a bit we race down to BC in less than 1.5 hours.

Even though we officially missed lunch, plenty of hot food is waiting for us to compensate for any loss of weight the FBC might have suffered :-) It is very nice to see Alex again. Our expedition leader who's taxi got blown up by Maoist bombs (see previous reports for details) is back in business in BC!

A short while later 2 well known guests arrive in our lounge area for a chat: Sibusio Vilane and sir Ranulph ('Ran') Fiennes. Sibusio is wellknown for being the first black person to climb Mt Everest in 2003, from Nepal. He will now try to become the 2nd black climber to summit Everest as well, this time from 'our' northern side. He is a very nice guy and hopes to raise money for several charities in South Africa where he works as a park ranger. His companion Ran Fiennes, a friend of Noel and Lynne, is decribed in the Guiness book of records as 'one of the greatest living explorers'. Though if you ask him what he does, he will tell you he's a cattle farmer in Exmoor. But in reality he is known for his circumnavigation of the earth, unsupported treks to the poles and his many books about adventure and adventurers, including the book about Scott and his fateful trip to Antarctica.

Ran (about 60years) was asked by Sibu (34 years) to accompany him on this climb and they make a nice pair, from different worlds, colors and generations, but with a common goal: to enjoy life, have a great time in a great place and raise funding for charities. We chatted for a long time until it was time to feed the FBC again...

To celebrate the return of Alex we added some more Russian culture into the game and relax room: besides the regular Red wine and whiskey and 4 course dinner we finished off with typical Russian dish: Salted fish and Beer! Very strong tasting and very salted fish (2) accompanied by Budweiser, which was actually also being used at the Puja ceremony. We finished off with some lively discussions about American (US) vs Europe and world (THEM ;-) culture and head to the chilly tents while a half moon and numerous stars light the BC and tent area.




19th April: Yak trains, electronics and fresh chicken

Today 7 members (6 Russians and 'our' Wilde James) leave for interim camp, they will continue to ABC tomorrow, we will follow them one day behind.

Our BC area resembles a zoo with loads of Yaks being loaded with our many loads. The beautiful animals can carry about 60kilos each and come in many different colors and decorations. Of course we need to have the mandatory discussions with the liaison officer about extra weight and extra yaks. Somehow this can never be avoided and is quite a pain. But we work it out and enjoy the rest of the resting day fixing speakers, headphones and are tying to set up the Internet connection. If you can read this, we probably succeeded :-)

Alex has been shopping for fresh meat and very likely we will have fresh chicken in our Irish stew tonight, served in the Salle d'Hors d'Oeuvre. Now I am off to the bathing area for a last clean up before we will be heading out to the uncomfortable heights of IC & ABC tomorrow. It might be a few days before we get a chance to write up a new report,
but as you know: no news is good news!

Keep checking as we will post some interesting info and offers for our 7summits Everest 2006 expedition soon...

Signing off from a lightly windy but cheerful BC,

Harry,
Director, www.7summits.com
« Last Edit: Apr 22 2005, 03:40 by Romke »
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MournesMan

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Re: 19th april: Harry's account of acclimatizing in basecamp
« Reply #1 on: Apr 22 2005, 06:37 »

mmm FBC - what sort of expedition are you running here, Harry.  You should be losing weight not putting it on.   ;D

I can't believe Lynne is a member of the FBC - I think she is in a picture you have posted earlier, on the trek to BC.  If it is her she looks pretty slim and fit to me.  Hopefully she's not pregnant (yet!!) otherwise she'll be "climbing for two" as well as "eating for two".  ;D

Anyway, all those fat reserves will come in handy at the loftier altitudes - extra warmth!! ;)

You are also turning into name droppers I see - Sir Ranulf!  Wow!! Noel and Lynne have high-powered adventure friends in "high" places (at least where you are at the moment!)

Best wishes to all!  Hope the altitude at ABC is not giving too many headaches to folks.  Hang in there!!

Colin
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Mary Clare Reinhardt

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Re: 19th april: Harry's account of acclimatizing in basecamp
« Reply #2 on: Apr 22 2005, 09:47 »

A quick note to Harry. 

Your postings are so well written.  It is easy to imagine the excitement, the beauty, the difficulty and the awesomeness of this "adventure".  Continued success!!!

Mary Clare Reinhardt  (mc)   
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annhall

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Re: 19th april: Harry's account of acclimatizing in basecamp
« Reply #3 on: Apr 23 2005, 02:13 »

hi to harry from northern ireland .sounds as if the craic is good there,I am sure Lynne's weight gain is for the big push at the end of this trip..hope you are all wellyour description of basecamp brings it all closer for us reading and listening back home. the landscape is awesome and your accounts of the activities etc sound like a film script.Love especially to Lynne{my sis} and Noel.  Ann.
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Nancy Anne

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Re: 19th april: Harry's account of acclimatizing in basecamp
« Reply #4 on: Apr 23 2005, 07:05 »

I was reading this post at work and was giggling.  Your description of the FBC is hilarious!  And I'm totally envious of your feasts!!   

Thank you for posting your experiences to this forum so that we all can follow this expedition.  I am very glad to hear all are doing well (or as well as can be expected).  Looking forward to reading more posts soon and hearing more of Lorenzo's blogs.

I too would like to send all my best wishes to John Christiana and everyone involved.  Keep up the hard work! 

From his friends in San Francisco and me,
Nancy Anne

 
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Grainne & Jimmy

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Re: 19th april: Harry's account of acclimatizing in basecamp
« Reply #5 on: Apr 24 2005, 23:39 »

Hi Harry

Pass on our love and best wishes to Lynne (Beastie) & Noel.  Jimmy misses the workouts Lynne but hopes all the weight training (particularly those "chins") will help to pull your new 'bulk' (according to Harry) up the mountain! Take Care all.

Love Grainne (mini beast) and Jimy
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Eric Schrock

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Re: 19th april: Harry's account of acclimatizing in basecamp
« Reply #6 on: Apr 25 2005, 05:26 »

HEY NATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  WAY TO GO!  YOU ONLY CAME THERE TO DO TWO THINGS, KICK SOME ASS AND DRINK SOME BEER. AND IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR OUT OF BEER!
          CLIMB HARD, THINK CLEAR, WEAR CLEAN UNDERPANTS.
                           YOUR FRIEND,
                                  ERIC

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