Position Date: 2010-10-03 11:50:03
Position Latitude: 28.0056
Position Longitude: -86
One thing I didn’t do today was wake up early. Instead, I waiting until the sun had melted all the frost out of my Sierra Designs tent vestibule, and only then, did I think about stirring. In Base Camp, I also have a Thermarest Sleeping pad which provides a comfort level that I can only classify as ‘out of this world’. Getting into my sleeping bag each night is like climbing into (what I imagine) a bed at the Four Seasons.
While I feel well rested, I am still a little lethargic. I am surprised at the fact my legs and body are still a bit sore. Of course, I need to remind myself, we are still above 17,000 feet and recovery takes longer here.
We are in Base Camp for a while now, recovering as well as preparing and planning for the next stage of the climb. Everest style mountaineering is broken up into stages – mostly for acclimatizing. The team also works in steps to set the route, break trail and rig fixed ropes. Our in initial forays were simply up to the top of the Ice Fall. After each step, there is a period of rest and recovery - as the altitude of each step increases, so does the rest and recovery time. Therefore, our next major push (weather permitting) will not happen until October 5th.
I spent the day not really doing to much – my usual base camp routine. Waking up (not early, I hate mornings), eating a casual breakfast, then working on editing photos and videos. I spent some time watching several other expedition videos, etc before flying to Kathmandu and was amazed and that staff and crew helping. One particular expedition employed a Sherpa simply to run SD cards down the mountain where they could be edited by someone else. I am definitely a one man band in that department and spend an inordinate time working on my computer. Still, Web expeditions, Scream Agency and more help daily with making sure my information gets out in as many venues as possible.
It’s not all work, of course. I spent an hour in the late afternoon staring at the seams in my tent ceiling – a favorite expedition past time of mine.
One piece of sad news. After struggling at Camp 3 and then on his way to the South Col (without fixed ropes), the Japanese climber has decided to cancel his expedition. Planning on climbing without Oxygen and outside assistance (to some extent), he decided that there wouldn’t be enough time and good weather for him to summit. Therefore, the team called back the helicopter to relay film crews, photographers and who knows what else farther down the valley for a quicker trip home. Watching the helicopter carefully touch down in the thin air made me again realize the disparity in our resources.
At Dinner Tshering and I talked about Everest, climbing and life. We went over our tentative plan for the next few days and then conversation spiraled into all sorts of topics. He asked if I thought I might take shower soon. Not having bathed since I left Kathmandu I said I would consider it especially since I caught Chhering lighting incense at Camp 2 in our tent vestibule.
‘For ceremony,’ he said.
I sat for a long time, like I do most nights, listening (and not understanding) to flowing Nepali conversations, wild gestures and laughs.
Near the end of the evening, I realized how Tshering saw the people in this world. Commenting about someone somewhere else, Tshering said, ‘He has a good heart.’
STP Everest - Day 26: Ice Fall Ladders
October 3rd, 2010