Update: Sunday 17th April,
8pm. Base Camp and Bangkok
Harold climbs to 20,000 feet!
Diary by Harold Mah and Terry Kell
Base Camp (Harold Mah)
I spent last night at Camp One and then set out to achieve my personal goal –
to climb to 20,000 feet. I achieved it! It was super tough but super
fulfilling. I am now back at Base Camp and recovering from my day’s work. I
feel emotionally spent. It’s so hot in the day time that you get dehydrated
very quickly, and then at night I get so cold that my feet never warm up. The
sun has also given me a great face tan.
Sean came back to Base Camp yesterday and has spent the day in R&R. He is on a
macrobiotics food diet, heavy in proteins and looked very fit and relaxed when
I came back to meet him.
We are going to rest for a few days before Sean starts the process again –
climbing further up the mountain and returning, once more.
We have learned that there is a team from South Korea that has a heated floor
in their tent and we are all very envious! The sherpas are having great fun
with our technology and are using the Brown University laptops to watch
Nepalese music videos.
Our head cook is Baburam Bhattrai, 37. He’s from the Koshi zone in the Morong
district which is about a 14 hour bus ride from Kathmandu. He is actually the
head cook for two expeditions, has a staff of 7, and cooks breakfast, lunch
and dinner for anything from 11 to 26 people, depending on who’s at Base Camp.
He started out as a porter and then became a trekking cook which he did for 18
years until he decided to take the one month course to become an expedition
cook. So, he’s cooked his way up through the system. His day starts at 2.30am
and finishes at 8pm and he produces all types of food including the most
amazing pizza at Base Camp, which is as good as any I’ve ever tasted. When
he’s not cooking on an expedition, he farms and lives with his wife and two
young children. He wants everyone in the world to come to Nepal to see Everest
and enjoy the great views.
Bangkok (Terry Kell)
Five of us spent a night in
Bangkok (Gerry, Norm, Elia, Peter and I). Bangkok is a wonderful city but it
is very hot and very congested and tomorrow morning we are going to drive to
Pattawa which is about 2 hours south.
The contrast between a top hotel in Everest and Bangkok is almost surreal. At
Gorak Shep, just a few days ago, we slept three to a room the size of a garden
shed, freezing, in air permeated with the smell of a yak dung fire. Now, in
Bangkok, we are staying in a great hotel, warm, enjoying an endless supply of
hot water and surrounded by the noise and bustle of a major international
city. We don’t take the simple things for granted any more. We are just
enjoying being here and feel really relaxed. We feel like we have been away
from home for a year. Perhaps as a final sign of the contrast, my Blackberry
This trip has changed us all in many ways and we are only now starting to make
sense of it as we talk about our individual experiences. The team worked so
smoothly it’s hard to believe that we came from so many different backgrounds
and cities across Canada. Sometimes you anticipate friction and difficulties
but we had none.
Chris, Wayne and Dave are safely back in Kathmandu with Gavin. Lisa and Yvan
are in Lukla and will return to Kathmandu tomorrow. Keith and Katie are at the
hospital where they were doing some research. Howard and Nicole are flying
Harold & Terry
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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