It was a rest day at Mountain Trip Base Camp today. Spending time resting, recovering, and acclimating here at our base camp is an inevitable part of any Everest Expedition. We keep ourselves entertained in a variety of ways, and the days actually seem to go by pretty quickly here.
We’ll generally have breakfast shortly after the sun rises above our camp, which is shortly after 7 a.m. this time of year at EBC. It’s usually clear and calm in the mornings and we enjoy the peaceful time of day as the sun warms camp and lights up the Himalayan peaks surrounding us. Typically, one of the Sherpa will light some juniper at our stupa (built for the Puja ceremony) so the delicious smell of juniper greets us as we head over to the dining tent. Serki and his team of cooks here at base camp never cease to impress us with delicious meals. A typical breakfast includes potatoes and eggs with freshly-cooked chipati bread, and some fresh fruit on the side. We’ll even stream some news from home over the internet to keep up on all the happenings back home until we can’t stand the political stuff any longer. After lingering over breakfast and grinding up some coffee beans for another cup of coffee, we’ll often go for a hike. The length and ambitiousness of the hike depends on how we are feeling, but just going down to the lower end of Everest Base Camp and back can take almost an hour by the time you linger a bit to enjoy the views.
We’ve been here for almost a month now, so we are pretty comfortable at the 17,500′ altitude of EBC, but hiking through camp and coming across trekkers who are visiting for the first time is a good reminder of how we felt up here when we first arrived. Other times we’ll hike up to some nice viewpoints overlooking the Khumbu Glacier and base camp for a longer outing. Base Camp is a pretty social place, especially as many climbers are in the same position as we are: waiting and resting for the summit push. We get the occasional visit from friends including a friend of the Blasics, Robert Kay, who is here with another expedition.
The big news around camp yesterday was that a team of Sherpa climbers reached the summit of Mount Everest!! They were the first climbers to safely reach the summit of Everest after two years of tragedy over here, so it was great to see them successfully accomplish such a feat after a long absence from the top of the world. They also finished fixing ropes necessary to surmount the most dangerous and technical sections of the climb, so we’ll start to see the first climbing teams attempting the summit any day now. Congratulations to the nine Sherpa climbers who put up this essential route, and thank you for preparing it for all the other climbers who hope to follow you in the coming days and weeks. This evening we’ll probably fall into our regular routine of playing some cards prior to dinner and watching as Vanessa seems to always pull the card she needs out of the stack… After dinner we’ll generally watch a video, and huddle around the heater in the dining tent before heading back to our individual tents for the night.
We are watching the weather forecast closely now, and with some luck we will be heading back up to Camp 2 on our summit push in just a few more days! For now, we are focused on staying healthy, resting up, and being as prepared as we can be for this final push. Thank you, as always, for all the support from back home!