Location: Camp 1
Local Time: 5pm, 5th May
Weather: Fine at first, then snowy in afternoon
Hi everyone, it's Fiona here,
We've now moved up to Camp 1
for our second acclimatisation rotation. It's a good feeling to be above the
icefall. No matter how many times we end up going through it, I don't think
I'll ever get used to it.
The Trip Up
We left base camp this morning at around 5:30am - so that we could be through
the icefall before the heat of the day hit. It seemed to be just as hard as
last time - lots of ups and downs, making it hard to find a rhythm. However,
we were pleased to find that we are moving faster now - having reduced our
time from around 6 hours to 4.5 hours (although Paul was under the weather
last time). This is still not considered especially fast, but is at least
On the way up, my hands
started getting very cold - and because we were in a position that did not
seem a good place to stop and pull out warmer gloves (given there were big ice
structures towering above us), and also because I could see that the sun was
going to hit us soon, I foolishly left it until I had dangerously cold hands.
Fortunately we found a rest spot and Mingma and Dasona helped me warm them up.
Luckily no damage done, but it sure was a good lesson.
We arrived at C1 at around 10am - giving us plenty of time to relax and
recover from the climb up. Ironically, with the sun shining on the tents, it
gets unbelievably hot - in fact the thermometer on our watches read 45C! We
were constantly trying to adjust the tent ventilation to get a breeze blowing
through, and then piling snow into a bandana to cool ourselves down. Around
mid-afternoon, the clouds came in and the temperature plumetted - leaving us
scrambling to close up the tent and put layers of clothes on. We have left our
good sleeping bags up at C2 so will be using IMG's tonight - along with a lot
of clothes I imagine. At the moment I have 3 sets of thermals on and a down
vest and it's only 4pm. It's expect it to be around -12C here tonight - and
that's inside the tent!
After we send this off, we'll
be heading over to the cooking tent where we'll cook up one of those instant
pasta meals and possibly some 2 minute noodles for dinner. Will have to
collect some snow for melting water first so we're hoping the weather outside
eases off a little. As we're the only ones at C1 at the moment, there'll be
plenty of room for cooking.
C1 has Moved
Since we were here last time, our Sherpas have moved the location of this
camp. Last time there had recently been a lot of new snowfall and everyone
staying at C1 had witnessed several reasonably close avalanches coming off the
West shoulder. With this feedback, IMG arranged for the camp to be moved a
little further across the valley towards Nuptse. It's not really clear cut
whether it's safer or not as there could just as easily by avalanches off
Nuptse but most people (including our Sherpas) are happier about its new
We've heard from Mary that today she hiked to Dugla and is staying there
tonight. Yesterday, while on a rest day at Dingboche, she hiked over to
Pheriche and attended the daily lecture on altitude sickness put on by the
Himalayan Rescue Association. As that altitude (around 4000m) is often where
people start having trouble acclimatising, they strongly encourage trekkers to
break up their journey and stop overnight at Dugla rather than going straight
to Lobuche. This makes it a pretty short day, but there is no hurry for Mary
to get here - especially now that we are up the hill again for a few days.
We'd much rather her arrive feeling well.
Well, that's all for now.
Tomorrow, weather permitting, we plan to head up to C2.
Cheers to all, Fi.