Location: Everest Base Camp
Local Time: 5:00, Wed 3rd April
Weather: Fine and windy, 5C
Hi everyone, it's Fiona here,
We're having a pretty low-key
day here at base camp today. Lots of reading, talking and planning.
We've heard that 8 Sherpas climbing on the North (Tibetan) side made it to the
summit a couple of days ago. They were fixing line up high and with good
weather decided to continue on to the summit.
On this side most teams are
currently focusing on getting their Camp 3 established. Several teams
(including IMG) are also working on fixing line up to the South Col (Camp 4).
Some of our Sherpas were
hoping to get several tents set up at Camp 3 today and several climbers
(Justin, John, JF, and Sophia) are climbing up to spend one night at Camp 3
tonight (providing it's not too windy today). Camp 3 is apparently a very
exposed campsite - built right on the Lhotse face. It is so steep that the
tents are all roped together and you can't go outside your tent without
wearing crampons. This, combined with the high altitude (7000m) makes it a
pretty uncomfortable place to be. Most climbers will attempt to spend one
night here (without using oxygen) in the last of their acclimatisation
rotations before their summit bid. When they come up to Camp 3 on their summit
bid, almost everyone will use oxygen to sleep here.
Our European contingent moved
up to Camp 2 today, Jim moved up to Camp 1, and Dave and Dan are resting at
Camp 2. This leaves only a small group of us here at Base Camp at the moment -
Brenda, Dennis, Jack, Paul and I.
We're still planning to move
up on Friday for our next acclimatisation rotation - most likely our last
before the summit bid (unless we need to wait so long that another rotation
Other Base Camp Activities
Still doing lots of reading, and spending a bit of time chilling out with the
Ipod. However, believe it or not, there are others at base camp who have set
up a golf course! Mark Tucker is a big fan of this game where only one golf
club is used (yes he brought the one in) and the aim is to get the golf ball
to hit a particular rock on the "green". There are nine holes on the course
with more on the way.
Wildlife on the Mountain
There are very few animals that live at this altitude, however as spring moves
in we are starting to see a few more birds and insects around on the warmer
days. Apparently it's quite common to see birds up to the South Col (C4) - we
certainly saw a few sparrow-type birds at C2 when we were there.
I believe there are some
other rare animals like snow cats and other small mammals that also live in
the region. However, aside from seeing a set of tracks in the icefall one
morning, we haven't seen any evidence of animals here.
On a more domestic front, the
dog named Mallory that has been hanging around base camp is now reported to be
at Camp 2. Not sure how it managed to cross all those ladders. Although this
is a little amusing, it's also a bit of a worry as some of the ladders are
vertical and would therefore seem to be easier for a dog to climb up than for
it to descend. I'm hoping that it manages to get down ok. If something happens
to it, it could present the climbers nearby with a pretty difficult dilemma.
Well that's all for now.