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  Everest 2006: Fi and Paul: Packing up and leaving Base camp


Location: Pheriche
Altitude: 4286m
Local Time: 19:30, May 26
Weather: Fine in the morning, then overcast and raining in the afternoon, now 6C

Hi Everyone, It's Paul here. Yesterday we packed up most of our gear, gave lots of stuff to our Sherpas, and got three bags ready for porters to carry to Lukla. This morning we finished packing the stuff we would need for the trek out.

We have walked for most of the day and are now here in the White Yak lodge in Pheriche, having just eaten dinner. This lodge has a real toilet, which although I will appreciate it, I think Mary and Fiona will more!

Saying thanks to Danuru
Yesterday I sought out Danuru, the Sherpa who gave me his oxygen just below the South Summit. Quite a crowd quickly assembled, and in front of most of the Sherpa team I acknowledged how super strong I thought he was and thanked him from the bottom of my heart. I told everyone that I know first hand how difficult it is to be on oxygen one minute and then without it a minute later. His unselfish gesture resulting in him being without oxygen, resolved for me what was quickly becoming a very bad situation. I gave him a big tip, which he gratefully accepted.

Our Camp Beds
On the advice of Mike Curtain from Melbourne, we took camp beds to base camp with us. These beds are canvas stretched around a metal frame and steel legs. They even have a spring suspension system. They were extremely comfortable to sleep on, especially as the ice melts underneath your tent, making for a very uneven bed. We were the envy of several people at base camp. We gave these beds to our Sherpas and Mary gave hers to the cook, Pemba. They were extremely excited to receive these!

Heading off
This morning we packed a small amount of clothes, sleeping bags, rain gear, said our goodbyes and headed off with Mingma and Dasona. Shortly afterwards, they said that they would have to go ahead. This was a subtle way of saying that we weren’t walking fast enough as they had a lot further to go than us. We gave them a good tip, exchanged email addresses & said our final goodbyes. They then strode off at a very fast rate.

After parting with Dasona and Mingma we headed towards Lobuche. The path winds its way over the moraine from the Khumbu Glacier, so it's very uneven and difficult to walk on. You have to be careful not to sprain an ankle. We reached Gorak Shep in a little under two hours, had a short rest and then headed onto Lobuche for lunch. Lunch was at the Eco Lodge, which is a place I highly recommend to anyone who is in Lobuche. I had pizza which was fantastic. We met some of the Asian Trekking team, including Doug & Julia, who we had got to know in Camp 2.

Onto Pheriche
After Lobuche, the path is much easier to travel on, however you are still on the moraine of the Khumbu Glacier. At the foot of the glacier is the memorial chortens to climbers who have lost their lives. We noticed that there is a large new one adorned with prayer flags for Sean Egan who unfortunately lost his life last year attempting to become the oldest Canadian to summit Everest.

This point marks the end of the Khumbu Glacier. There is a steep drop as you decend down the terminal moraine to Dugla. We continued past Dugla down further to the valley floor below, some 600m. This was difficult for all of us, as it's a steep decent and Fiona and my toes are still sore from all the decending we have done in the past few days. Getting to the flat valley was a relief, and it was a gentle few kilometers to Pheriche.

Seeing Green
After Lobuche we started to see green grass, Juniper bushes, moss and small purple flowers (Mary thinks they look like Primulas??). We haven't seen any living plants for months so this was really great. I can't communicate how much I miss seeing plants, because I don't really understand why. I am not a green thumb or avid gardener. I am sure as we head down further we should see all the fields of potatoes.

Bye for now,
Paul.

Updates

Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 






 

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