Freddie Wilkinson and I just came back from Lobuche Peak, where we spent the past few days. Last year we got acclimated on Lobuche Peak. I had this idea from Rucel Brice, who goes with his Everest candidates on Lobuche Peak to get used to the altitude. This idea has spread, since this year it was fairly busy up there. This is probably the end of the lonely summit adventures.
The Khumbu Valley is probably the most well-connected valley in all of Nepal. This brings advantages and disadvantages. Personally I must say, that I can go along well with this situation. I like it very much here in the Khumbu. If you want to be alone, there are many ways to withdraw yourself. After several days at that altitude, we are back in our comfortable Mountain Guide’s Lodge in Pheriche. The oven warms us with the burning yak dung. We have Wi-Fi and the phone works if you position yourself in the right edge of the building. For a real good cup of coffee we have to go to our neighbor's place. They only have Nescafé here...
More than 10 years have passed since I first came to Nepal and the Khumbu Valley. Everything was new for me then. A lot has changed since that time. Today I feel like coming home. It’s a familiar surrounding and I know a lot of people. Many things are natural to me. For many years Dendi Sherpa has organized the expeditions for me. He became my friend. Dendi is here in the Khumbu Valley, too. He will climb Mount Everest with his daughter. This time we are both alpinists.
Here in Pheriche at 4200 meters above sea level we have installed our base camp. It is the ideal place to start for Cholatse, Tawoche and Ama Dablam. We are staying with Dendi's cousin. Our room is stuffed with equipment. I have brought along a lot of material for the technical faces, which we would like to climb, as well as equipment for Mount Everest.
But at the moment we do not really know what we can do. The weather is very unstable. It snows a lot. The faces of Cholatse, Amadablam and Tawoche are covered with snow. The view from Lobuche Peak was incredible and unique. We could see how several huge avalanches swept over the north face of Cholatse. Every day we get between 5 and 10 centimeters of fresh snow. In the north face this can be pretty uncomfortable, but not necessarily dangerous. For us this means the conditions have to change before we can start. As soon as Meteotest gives us a good weather forecast, we can begin. But it doesn't look like the weather is going to improve this week. So we will do something else. And there is always plenty to do: you just have to adapt yourself to the weather. Today the equipment from the highcamp should arrive. This means we have to dry our tents and sort our material. Depending on the weather we will go to the Everest base camp and have a look at the Khumbu icefall in order to prepare myself for the second part of the expedition: Mount Everest.
See you soon,