Our plan was to leave to the BC
on Friday, but as we said yaks will be ready on Saturday. We take the
opportunity to wash ourselves (if splashing water from a aluminum pot can be
called considered washing), we also rest and take photos for our sponsors.
There is more load than we expected so it needs to be carried on two
occasions. We take with us the majority, about 50 bags, and the rest will
arrive the next day. So we will separate the bags today.
While Pepino is running around surrounding hills and photographing anything he
can, Kumar is cooking a soup with potatoes, onion, salami and garlic. There is
a strong wind blowing during lunch and so we all trying to catch the tent. 8
people are holding it down and have their hands full to handle it. Dust and
straw are everywhere. 10 minutes later it calms down but lunch is over. During
the wind, Pepino lost the flags he prepared for the photo shoot, so we walk
around trying to find them.
The wind is blowing in
intervals. We are all shocked when in one part of the camp (close to the tent
of the Finish expedition) a tornado hit!!! 3 personal tents and 2 large
kitchen tents disappeared in about 10 seconds. We are staring with fear of
what is going on. Everything is in the air about 200-300m high twisting and
whirling. And it is not over. The tornado took about 5 more tents belonging to
another expedition and it keeps going. It missed our tents by about 20 cm. We
are still staring and wondering what will happen next. The wind calmed down
and dropped the stuff. We grab our tent Hannah. It seems it is not over. We
can see some whirling dust on the hill. We are scared and we have no idea what
else can happen. Someone was saying that it will not return back, because it
is not possible to experience this twice in one life, so how it could be twice
in one day?
Friend of our cook Pasang
works for the Finish expedition and all his members are already in advanced
ABC camp, so he is left alone to deal with this disaster. We are all going to
help him. We pack left over of ripped tents, putting together mattresses and
left over gear. Pasang also lost his passport and all his money. After
sometime, someone found all Pasang's personal items. Now where is the money?
He had it saved in one of the mattresses and we saw them fly very high, but in
about a hour Kumar found some mattress and there was Pasang's money.
We are back in our kitchen
tent, which luckily survived because the wind missed it. We do not want to
linger here any longer, and want to get out of here. Any light blow of wind
makes us terrified. Petr, Lucka, Pepino a Kasang left on borrowed motorcycles
for the Rhonbuk monastery. They will either arrange "Puja"(festival for
reconciliation with gods) or they will get prayer flags blessed, so we can
take them with us. They returned before dinner. The Lama is coming tomorrow
morning and will go with us all the way to the base camp. That is considered a
big honor here. We cannot wait for tomorrow to get out of here.
4/18: We are finally in the
base camp. Our apologies to everyone, who worried about our well being. Let us
explain. Our computer just collapsed, to be specific the battery did. In that
time we moved to the Chinese camp, and unexpectedly we spent the whole week
there. Then we finally arrived the base camp and had a problem with the second
computer as well. The computer hard disk has problems with the elevation and
so it freezes very often. We are taking the advantage of the fact that it
works at the moment and letting you all know we are here and well. We will
start to take our gear and stuff under the face of the mountain after
tomorrow. If the computer will be fine we will write more and send some
So we have managed to send a short message to let you know we are fine and now
we can start to give you details about the adventure we had. Even strong
individuals among us had some new adventures and experienced even a bit of
fear. Lets start from the beginning.
Our last log was from Tingiri. This was the last village where we could sleep
in little houses and eat in "local restaurants" instead using the expedition's
chef. By the way local restaurants are horrible. Since we can not reach our
original logs we have sent, we have to get our dates straight.
We spent 3 nights in Tingiri. Some of us got some sleep, some had to fight flu
and those who couldn't wait took pictures of the mountain. Some adventurous
members hitch hiked to the local "spa" and had a nice bath, only to walk back
12 km on dirt and dusty road.
We left Tingiri on Saturday the 9th in a jeep to the "Chinese BC" . We got up
quite early to have enough time to choose the right place for our tents. But
reality is always different. Meanwhile we were ready at the car at 8 am, the
driver was missing. He arrived at 8:30 looking for his toothbrush and
toothpaste. Then he had breakfast and after we finally could depart. The road
was dusty, but compare to our experience from other expeditions it was without
Driving through the moon like environment, we noticed old uninhabited
villages, but also live ones, where people were working in the fields. Passing
the monastery Rhongbuk, we planned to return there later. We arrived in to our
place at 2 pm.
We were greeted by wind and light snow. The first tent to build is kitchen
tent to have a headquarters and to be able to get hot tea as soon as possible.
After a bit of struggle we had the frame up (we practiced this in
Kathmandu...), then we planned to cover the frame. In that moment the wind got
strong and six people had to hold it down. After the fourth try we gave up.
Our kitchen tent is not new and it could rip easily. So we rolled up the
material and put stones to hold it down and waited for a better moment.
So we started to build another tent. It is family style tent Hannah with
capacity for 4, which we usually use in BC. Then we realize that the wind is
too strong to build this one too. So we turn to our elevation tents. On "sand
beach", at an elevation of 4970 m, we put up the tents Expedition and Vertigo,
since we cannot do anything else in this wind. Chinese base camp is an
unpleasant place with a lot of people: climbers, trekkers, Tibetens, man with
yaks, and also Chinese. Locals have big tents withstanding even strong winds.
Our kitchen aide Kasang is getting us accommodation in one of the tents. We
are allowed to use it as kitchen and dinning room. We are thankful for that,
in this weather it is important to have roof over the head.
Based on our food ration list, we are getting " Knorr noodles" and our chef
Kumar is making an excellent strong soup out of them. We have plenty hot tea
and there is nothing we really need at the moment, just maybe better weather.
The wind is blowing the whole night through, we estimated it is blowing at
about 70 km/h. In such a wind you can not do anything even sleep. So we have
sleepless night and hope there will not be many of them.
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
Expedition footwear for
mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold. NOTE US
SIZES LISTED. See more here.
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.