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  Canadian Mt. Everest 2005: Gorak Shep & Everest Base Camp


©EverestNews.com

Update: Wednesday 13th April, 6pm. Gorak Shep & Everest Base Camp (EST is 9 hours 45mins behind Nepal)

We climb Kalapather and enjoy a shower

Diary by Terry Kell and Harold Mah

Gorak Shep (Terry Kell)

We spent a comfortable night in the tea house at Gorak Shep. The environment here is many times nicer than the brutal harshness of Base Camp but the air is thick with smoke from the yak dung fire so I have come outside to find my breath.

Today we climbed Kalapather, which shadows Gorak Shep and towers up to 18,550 feet. We are obviously getting acclimatized to the elevation as we managed it without too much difficulty. It was a little steep in areas and we had to scramble and climb over a rock face for the last little bit to get to the top. We were rewarded with a spectacular and unbelievable view of Mount Everest. There was not a cloud in the sky; it was clear and bright, bright blue. Standing on the summit of Kalapather, we were actually above Base Camp and about as high as Camp 1 on Everest. To one side was an almost sheer 2,000 foot drop that made me hang back, while other souls peered over the edge. I went up with Gerry, Keith, Katie, Harold, Lisa and Yvan and we all made it back.

On the way down we saw someone, in the far distance, try to parasail off the mountain before they were dragged over the rocks. Some people are just a little crazy!

When we got back we had our first showers and clean clothes in 6 days. If I’d fallen off the rock face and gone to heaven it wouldn’t get any better than this. Everyone is relaxed and spent time sitting outside in the warm sun.

Keith, Katie, Yvan and Lisa shared lunch with us and then left. They are trekking on to Kunde Hospital to continue their research and we will meet up with them again in Kathmandu. The rest of the expedition party joined us at 4pm on their way down from Base Camp. Almost immediately, Norm and Wayne set off to climb Kalapather and are only now returning to Gorak Shep.

The Ryerson University research has gone particularly well and they were helped out by a team from the National University of Singapore who took the survey up to Camp 2 and completed it there.

We had a good meal tonight which was freshly cooked and prepared, despite our appetites still being low.

Eight of us get a helicopter ride off the mountain tomorrow and fly all the way back to Kathmandu. Apart from the four that have already started their hike, Dave, Wayne and Chris also decided to trek back down the trail, so we won’t all meet up again until they reach Kathmandu by the weekend. Behind us, we leave Sean and Harold to brave the mountain. 

Everest Base Camp (Harold Mah)

Everyone has left. It’s quiet and strange and the pattern of our days is changing. We feel left behind and miss our friends and families.

Sean and I kept ourselves busy by climbing up the Khumbu Ice Fall, half way to Camp 1 today (18,000 feet) and now we have to stay at Base Camp for the next two days to acclimatise some more.

We have spent time rearranging and shrinking our site, as we need less room. The days are getting warmer and some of the other expedition’s tents have flooded as the glacial ice melts. Some of the rocks have been rolling around camp, freed by the melting ice, so everyone has been shifting a little

I gave first aid to some of the sherpas today to help them with their blistered feet. I was also a TV producer, helping them with the use of the camera for Rogers. Tonight we invited the sherpas to join us for a traditional meal of lentils, rice and a curry dish. Tomorrow morning we have been invited to a South Korean meal and celebration which should be a lot of fun.

We’re a little cleaner today - Sean had a shower and I had a “passport” shower – face and hair.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Fusmita Maskey, a 24 year old Kathmandu girl who is a keen mountaineer. She’s already climbed three peaks over 5,000m (including Walai) and has set her sights on K2 once she gets up Everest. She’s a remarkable person. She’s well educated, with a Masters in English, and now teaches English and does medical transcribing. She’s a dancer, a singer and wants to show Nepalese women that you don’t have to be a sherpa to climb mountains.

More later.

Terry & Harold

Terry Kell is returning to Kathmandu, with most of the expedition party and they will return to Canada within the next 7-10 days.

Harold Mah is staying at Base Camp to support Sean Egan when he makes his summit attempt in May.

Dispatches

 

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