21 April 2013
Today we woke up to a beautifully snow
encrusted basecamp with gorgeous dawn sunrays sparkling across the entire
camp. We enjoyed hot tea in our individual tents brought by loyal and
hardworking kitchen staff. After wiping the sleep from our eyes we rolled out
of our sleeping bags and stumbled down hill to our spacious dining tent where
we all joined together around the table to compare notes on how we slept. The
breakfast began with tea and coffee, then progressed into porridge, and on
into pancakes, omlettes, fried sausage, and ended with further tea and coffee.
After such a delicious repast, we lolled back in our comfortable chairs and
unhitched our belts just a notch.
Looking out the open front wall of our dining tent we could see giant ice
peaks of Lhotse, Nuptse and a bit of Everest. The intimidating Khumbu Icefall
was layed out in front of us like some mighty carpet. Low and behold, the sun
was still out, so all of us in the group decided that today could be ideal for
a walk to higher elevations in a quest for acclimatization. So we pulled on
our boots, filled our water bottles and the cooks gave us a lovely packed
lunch of tibetan bread, apples, cheese and eggs. We heisted our day packs and
proceeded to cross the mighty Khumbu glacier and then walk up the west valley
wall high above the glacier, clambering on snow leopard trails through grey
spikey rocks, across frozen brown Himalayan tundra, and eventually up to
towering boulder ledges with incredible views across the entire region. Clouds
lowered, the wind picked up, and snow flew. Our high altitude adventuring legs
had, in just four hours of hiking uphill from basecamp, brought us to 5650
metres / 18,500 feet. A very tall spot to be indeed. We sat on rocks, ate our
lunches, sipped water and hot tea from thermoses, and enjoyed looking down at
soaring birds far below us. It was an exhilirating and somehow calming place
to be, so high above basecamp, which looked like a vast rockfield punctuated
with a few colorful dotlike tents spread out across the undulating glacier.
Finally it was time to go, so we headed back down the slope to our comfortable
warm basecamp home, anticipating another tasty dinner of fresh ingredients,
feeling like we had touched the sky today...for a little while anyway...
Thank you very much for following our expedition. All of the best to you and
yours. - Dan Mazur
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