We are back at Everest Base camp after our first ascent up part of the mountain, which was amazing. We got up hours before dawn last Thursday and headed out of base camp. Going through the Khumbu ice fall – in the dark – was very spooky. I felt extremely good on the climb and arrived at Camp 2 among the first few people. While we were climbing, it was very crazy to see the avalanches that were occurring, and one that happened near Camp 1 where some of our group had stopped as they were moving along a bit slower than they would have liked. (If you make it to Camp 1 too late in the day, you need to stop there for the night, as the glacier makes the climb between camp 1 and camp 2 a sauna with the sun bouncing off the snow and ice.) Thankfully, the team members that were there ended up being safe, although probably quite scared!
We were supposed to spend a few nights acclimatizing at Camp 2 before moving up to Camp 3 for a night, but the conditions of the headwall to get up to Camp 3 did not allow us to do that. Between VERY high winds and some dangerous rockfall, we were not able to make that move. We did take a few hikes to get our bodies moving at that altitude, but weren’t allowed to get any further up the mountain. Again, though, Russel’s decision proved to be perfect, as another Sherpa was hurt in some rockfall at that area, so we are glad we didn’t move up and through it. He really is “the man” here.
I was happy with how I felt at Camp 2 these past few days…my breathing has been very good. The cold air has been giving me a little issue regarding breathing – but it’s just causing a little soreness in the back of my throat, which I’ve been able to deal with. Other than that, I’m feeling strong and ready for the rest of this expedition.
Yesterday we hiked back down to base camp, and I was able to call Annette to give her an update just before breakfast. Going back through Khumbu in the daylight was breathtaking. I got some amazing pictures…
We will wait here at least two days to rest, then wait for a good weather window to get back to business and hopefully move all the way up this mountain. I will give Annette an update as soon as we have a good indication of when we will go.
Thanks again for all the support!