Fiona, Mingma and Paul standing in the thick snow at base camp. Photo Jack
Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5:30pm 19 April
Weather: Snowing, warmer in the afternoon
Hi It's Paul here, coming to
you from a very snowy base camp. Last night it continued to snow, and there
have been scattered showers today. Whilst this amount of snow is normal in the
post monsoon climbing season (Oct-Nov), it's most unusual in the pre-monsoon
climbing season that we are in now.
People in camp 1
We have nine people stuck up at camp 1, but they are doing fine. This morning
they reported over the radio that Jim Gagne is the snow wall king, as he has
been building lots of snow walls to fill in the time. Although they have been
up there for a few days now, they still have plenty of food and cooking gas,
and are happy to sit it out and wait for the route through the icefall to be
re-established, either by the icefall doctors or a Sherpa team. With over 1m
of snow, all the fixed lines are completely buried in the icefall. We heard
that another team in camp one tried to come down this morning, but after half
an hour, they couldn't find the route and had to turn back.
As I write this, its getting
more and more bright outside, so hopefully the weather is going to break soon.
That's what the forecast says too.
What do we do while waiting
in base camp?
Fiona and I have been doing a lot of reading, eating, listening to music,
playing cards and talking to other climbers. Believe it or not, it can get
extremely hot in your tent during the day - much too hot to stay inside. We
put our sleeping bags on the outside of our tent to try and provide some
shade, but still we usually retreat to the dining tent. The dining tent is a
great meeting place and at any one time there will be at least four people
there, sitting on the chairs, snacking on the endless array of biscuits, tea,
chips, cheese and nuts. Topics of conversation from today were the weather,
when everyone is going to go up the mountain, gear, people's families, jobs
and businesses back home, different tax systems in everyone's countries & the
social security system in the US. Broad topics!
We hope that with fine weather tomorrow, the route will be re-established
through the icefall. Then we should be able to go up the day after. Both Fiona
and I are slowly getting better and should be fine to go by then.
From the dining tent in base