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  Everest 2006: Fi and Paul: Gorak Shep, last stop before Everest base camp


Location: Gorak Shep
Altitude: 5140m
Local Time: 8:30pm
Weather: Fine in the morning, snowing in the afternoon, -3C now

Hi All, Its Paul coming to you from Gorak Shep, the last stop before Everest base camp. Last night it snowed heavily and we thought we might have to stay in Lobuche another day, but in the morning it was fine again and there was about 1 foot of fresh snow. We donned our gaters and after about 2 hours of easy walking on the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier we arrived at Gorak Shep. After lunch it started to snow again, so we beat a hasty retreat to our tents.

Climbing Kala Patar
By 5pm the snow had stopped and although it was still cloudy, we decided to climb Kala Patar to see if we could see Everest. We climbed up and fortunately the clouds did clear a bit, but only enough for a small fleeting glimpse of the summit. I am sure there will be plenty of time to go back and get some good shots.

Off to Base Camp tomorrow
Its snowing again now, but we are tucked into our warm sleeping bags inside our tent, having just had dinner. Tomorrow we are due to head into base camp and we are both really looking forward to see the place we will call home for the best part of the next two months.

Bye for now,
Paul.

Rest day in Lobuche

Location: Lobuche
Altitude: 4930m
Local Time: 5pm Saturday 1st April
Weather: Cloudy -4C

Hi, it's Chris here. Last night we slept 14 hours from 7pm to 9am! We are glad of our good sleeping bags, because it was -2C in our room when we woke up. I am pleased to report that all four of us are feeling great at this new altitude. After breakfast Bridge and I went to Fiona and Paul's campsite where Paul was already off on a small adventure to the top of the ridge to see the Khumbu glacier. I convinced Fiona that we should do the same, so we set off on a 50m climb up a slope that was 80% snow, 20% rock. I'm sure it was easy for Fiona, but it was my most advanced bit of mountaineering in my life and I was a bit worried that we would go sliding down the slope to the rocks below. We made it to the top no problems, and the view of the glacier leading up to Base Camp was great. It looked like the ocean in a storm, with big ice waves that were covered in rocks.

Acclimatising
After the small adventure we dedicated the rest of the day to acclimatising, which is really just an excuse to do nothing, so we played a lot of 500 (card game), which by the way Bridget and I are winning 4 games to 2.

More acclimitising activities
Bridget here. As I write, it has just started snowing!! While we have walked through some snow the last day or so, this is the first time we have seen the white stuff fall from the sky - quite exciting, at least for Chris and I who don't have to walk back to a tent soon!

However, back to other things we do on our rest days. We all love watching yaks. There is quite a few of them "parked" outside at the moment. They are really placid animals. They all wear bells around their necks, and we've become used to the background jangling of the bells. It's a nice sound on rest days and a critical warning on walking days to get out of the way of an oncoming "yak attack". Lots of the yaks also have coloured earrings and other decorations. Our lodges are also heated by yak dung fires. All the lodges have big piles of dried yak dung, which is then fed into a pot belly style fire. So far we haven't noticed any bad smell from this!

Next few days
Chris and I have accommodation at Base Camp with Paul and Fiona's expedition from April 6th. So we've got a couple more rest days coming up. Paul and Fiona are off to Gorak Shep tomorrow and then Base Camp the following day. We will hopefully meet them at Gorak Shep on the 4th to climb Kala Pattar - a small mountain with awesome views of Everest. From the 6th we'll have a few more days together of chocolate, cards and books! This trekking business certainly has lots of down time!

Chris and Bridget

Updates

Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 






 

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