Update: Wednesday 27th April,
8pm. Everest Base Camp
(EST is 9 hours 45mins behind Nepal)
Diary by Harold Mah
Sean and his climbing sherpa
have made their way back to Gorak Shep where they are resting before
continuing to the Snow Lion Lodge in Dingboche. I have not managed to speak
direct to him so I don’t have an update on his health.
I got back to Base Camp after
a five hour descent down almost 4,000 feet with my sherpa. We descended
through 80 degree heat, a couple of snow storms, thick fog and weather that
varied from warm and sunny to cold and gloomy. On the way down we bumped in
Gabriel Filippi, who we had met at Base Camp, who is starting an
acclimatisation ascent and plans to spend the next six nights on the mountain.
Rather him than me!
I never thought I’d be happy
to see my little Base Camp tent again but after three nights on the mountain
it was a real pleasure to collapse back in it again. To celebrate our return
to Base camp the sherpa cook made me my favorite meal – Nepali dumplings. When
I was young my parents fed me all sorts of strange and spicy Asian food which
I grew to love and it’s paying off in Nepal. I just love the meals the Sherpas
Tomorrow I will be having a
welcome rest, washing clothes and showering! Our replacement cable has also
arrived so I will try and fix the system and pick up all my emails, once
Base Camp is very quiet now.
Most of the teams have their climbers on the mountain, at various stages of
acclimatisation, so there’s lots of space to move around. It’s a strange
thought to look up at the mountain and realize that there are so many people
perched on the side, sleeping in wind-battered tents, sub-zero temperatures
and with little oxygen. All hoping that the conditions in the next month will
give them a window to get to the top. A lot of the Sherpas accompany the
climbers too and it’s made me realize the strength of the “sherpa highway”.
There are no yaks or helicopter rides above Base Camp. Everything that is
taken up the mountain, in readiness for an assault is carried by the Sherpas.
Our food, kerosene, oxygen tanks for the higher altitudes, folding tables,
collapsible chairs and tents are all carried on the back of a sherpa. It’s
quite phenomenal. The highway also acts as a communication system as bits of
information are shared between the Sherpas as they pass each other on the
mountain and at the camps. So, they quickly know what’s going on, with each
The weather is starting to
warm up a little. Spring is coming and the nights are not quite as cold. We
can have half an inch of snow in an hour but it melts quickly and there is now
some flooding in the lower parts of the camp. As I lie in my tent I can hear
water running and gurgling somewhere deep underneath the ice. It’s great to be
More later, Harold
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