Update: Wednesday 13th April,
6pm. Gorak Shep & Everest Base Camp (EST is 9 hours 45mins behind Nepal)
We climb Kalapather and enjoy
Diary by Terry Kell and
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
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.
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.
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