Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5:30pm, Sun 30th April
Weather: Fine but very windy -17C in our tent at night.
Hi everyone - Fiona here,
very pleased to be reporting to you safe and well at base camp.
The Trip Down
We left just after 6am this morning so that we could get through the icefall
before the heat of the day. It was very cold when we left, around -18C, and
not long afterwards, the wind started blowing pretty hard as well. We were
well rugged up when we left, wearing down jackets, warm hats, neck warmers,
big gloves, and gortex overpants. We also used chemical heat warmers in our
gloves and socks to keep our hands and feet warm.
We got down to camp 1 pretty
quickly and then started tackling the icefall, just as the sun came up. The
last part of the icefall seemed to take forever as we grew more weary. All up
we probably crossed around 25 ladder crossings, heaps of snow bridges and
hundreds of places where the terrain was so steep or dangerous that we clipped
into fixed lines.
We got back to base camp at
around 11am with the only casualties being some blisters on my toes and a
black toenail. I'll live.
Luxuries of Base Camp
Upon our arrival here we were greeted with a bottle of Sprite each - a treat
reserved only for times like this! After a bit of a rest we had lunch (chips,
baked beans, a small salad, tuna and chapati bread). Then finally, we both had
a shower. Even though the pressure is pretty woeful compared to anything back
home, after 6 days up high, it was wonderful.
We're now sitting around,
clean, tired and anticipating a nice dinner. We plan to take it easy for at
least 4 days before we head up again for our next acclimatisation rotation.
We heard from Mary today that she is now in Tengboche after her rest day in
Namche. The altitude of Tengboche is 3800m, so she is getting up there. At
Tengboche there is a lovely monastery and hopefully she will be able to visit.
I am using the "pee like a bloke" device, yes, I have a couple of different
devices. The She-Wee (which Sam kindly gave me to try out) and the Freshette.
I'm only using them at night so that I can avoid going outside (requiring
copious amounts of clothes) and pee into a bottle (like all the guys do). It's
the first trip that I've tried out these devices and so far, I'm a convert
(although I'm not yet using them for normal outdoor peeing like I know some
women do - I'll still take the squat position!). Michelle - I hope you're
proud of me.
It made me laugh to hear
about some of your other toilet horror stories. Chris and Bridge - years ago
we had the same thing happen with a rat in the toilet in our rented house in
Carlton - so I guess it can happen anywhere.
Bye for now, Fiona