Location: Camp 2
Local Time: 5:30pm, 28th April
Weather: Fine, 5C during day, -15C at night
Hi everyone, it's Fiona here,
Well today is a day of rest
for us and not much is happening, so I thought I'd give you my list of the
best and worst things about life on the mountain.
10 Worst Things About Life on
1) The toilets. OK, I never
expected them to be good, but today's effort of hauling up a rope just to get
to the toilet, and then balancing awkwardly over a plastic bag strung between
a rock and a lump of ice wasn't my idea of fun.
2) Waking up in the morning
to find it's raining ice inside your tent. The condensation that most tents
get overnight freezes up here and when the tent starts warming up in the
morning, this starts to rain down on you.
3) Cold feet at dinner time.
Sitting around our dining tent is generally very pleasant with good
conversation and the heat of bodies warming the room (although we're all still
in down jackets). But the glacier ice that our feet rest on means that we all
get cold feet and have to retire to the comfort of our sleeping bags to warm
4) Not having showered for
about a week. Eww my hair is ickky but that will change once we get back down
to base camp.
5) Worse still, sharing a
tent with someone who also hasn't showered for a week!
6) Feeling out of breath just
walking to the toilet or between tents. Makes you wonder just how we'll go up
higher but here's hoping our acclimatisation program works well.
7) Dry skin and lips. The low
humidity means that our skin is in far less than ideal condition.
8) Potatoes, eggs and canned
fish. I don't really mean to complain about the food because I think the cooks
do an amazing job with the resources they have, but I am having trouble
stomaching any more foods from these categories.
9) The sound of avalanches
nearby. Although we seem to be relatively safe from avalanches here at camp 2,
it is still unnerving to hear them all around.
10) Seeing how far we still
have to go. Now that we can see the Lhotse face, as well as most of Everest
itself, we do seem a lot closer, but gee that face looks steep and the days
ahead of us look extremely hard. And not only that, we have to go down, then
come back up to Camp 3, then go back down again before beginning to climb for
the summit! It seems a very daunting prospect from this vantage point.
10 Best Things About Life on the Mountain
1) The stunning landscape we
are surrounded by. The ice formations continue to amaze and the colour of the
sky is a blue so deep, you'd think it was the ocean. Often I'm pinching myself
in disbelief that we're actually here.
2) When you wake up in the
morning you're already dressed for the day (as you wear so many clothes to
bed, you only need to put on boots and a jacket when you get up)
3) Being able to eat as much
as you want - especially junk food. But of course the problem is that we don't
feel like eating that much.
4) Having plenty of time for
reading and relaxing during the day (well during our rest / acclimatisation
5) Getting around 12 hours
sleep a night (well at least being in bed for that long - often when we get to
a new altitude we don't sleep that well).
6) Snuggling up in my super
warm sleeping bag with a water bottle filled with hot water at my feet.
7) The comraderie of our
team. It's great being part of the dynamics of a disparate group of people
coming together to work on a mutual goal. When Paul and I pulled into both
Camps 1 and 2, we were welcomed by different team members congratulating us
and shaking our hands - a great feeling.
8) Having lots of time to sit
around talking (usually drinking tea). Spending so much time together means
we've gotten to know each other quite well and the conversations are always
interesting and enlightening.
9) Constant radio
communications with base camp. It is reassuring to know that Mark and the rest
of the team at base camp are tracking our every move and are always there to
offer advice. As a standard, we radio in 3 times a day, and more often when
we're actually climbing.
10) And of course, getting
messages from all of you guys. Reading your news from back home, advice, and
words of encouragement continues to be a highlight we look forward to every
High Altitude Testing
Aside from reading, eating and toileting, the only other action for today was
to complete the verbal and cognitive thinking tests we are involved in for
NASA. We had already completed these tests at base camp but needed to repeat
them over the radio to ascertain whether there is a difference at this
altitude. We don't know the results but we both felt like we completed them at
about the same level as at base camp. We'll hopefully find out once we're back
Tomorrow we intend to climb
up to the base of the Lhotse face during the day but then return to C2 for the
night. Weather permitting of course.
Well that's all for today.
Best wishes, Fi.