Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Everest Base Camp Trek & Island Peak Climb Memoirs Part VIII

Thursday 30th October Gorak Shep (5,180m) to Everest Base Camp (5,380m) to Dingboche (4,420m)

An early start with Ian and we put on a good pace as we race up to EBC. The sun is shining and the sky is blue, what a surprise, this autumn weather is truly the best time to visit the Himalayas for clarity of view. As we approach, views of huge towering Seracs on the Khumbu Glacier, as we dodge around holes in the glacier, creaking ice and generally pretty rough morraine terrain. It’s great having a look around, only one expedition here with a small grouping of tents. I stumble across a 1960’s Oxygen Canister amongst the tents of the Korean expedition. This is certainly not the optimum time for climbing Everest as the excellent weather window, high on the mountain occurs in May. As we’re gazing up the Khumbu icefall small ice falls and avalanches pour down giving an air of seriousness. It’s great to be here a the place it all happens, at the heart of some many adventure stories I’ve read and a good feeling of achievement washes over me! We head down crisscrossing the undulating moraine for lunch at Gorak Shep. We part company as Ian is heading down to Pheriche and I will meet the expedition team in Dingboche. I head off reaching Lobouche 2.45pm and onto Thukla 4pm branching across to Dingboche arriving 5.15pm just before dark. I jump in the excellent outdoor shower and then officially meet up and join the expedition team – Team Sweden plus the Kiwi! It’s great to have some good yarns with Ola, father of Freddy (19 years old) and Per who is now my roommate. Ola had climbed Island Peak a couple of years ago and wanted to share the experience with Freddy, so brought him back to have a crack at it, which was just great!

Friday 31st October Dingboche (4,420m) to Chukkung (4,720m)

I woke after a great sleep to our Sirdar Nima bringing me morning tea and a bowl of warm water to wash with, just great. I head up the road and quickly log-in on email (20 rupees per minute would you believe compared to 20 rupees per hour back in Kathmandu!) but hey it’s over 4000m in the Himalayas! I write a quick email to Ma & Pa and Kitty (my girlfriend at the time) and am delighted to also receive some news from my last recruitment company that a candidate I was working closely with has secured a role that I had previously arranged an interview for, isn’t technology amazing! We start Trekking leisurely up to Chukkung, the beautiful valley unfolds and there’s a feeling of excitement to be part of a team that will share the experience of the Island Peak mission. I did some final washing of clothes and chat with Ola, Freddy, Per and Christina as we all look forward to heading up to Island Peak Base Camp tomorrow. I have a little siesta; listening to my Ipod and some reading getting some good chill time in before the hard work starts again! A nice cosy warm hut and a great feed of Dahl Bhat with the team geeling and excited – Island Peak Base Camp tomorrow – bring it on!


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