On Tuesday, Russell and the guides decided that we will not yet go up to Camp 1 through the icefall but go back to Lobuje Peak for another acclimatisation trip. The plan is to go straight from Lobuje to the summit, sleep one night at the top at 6,119m and go straight back to Everest Base Camp the next day. I think some of our members were a little bit disappointed as they were looking forward to finally setting foot on the “Big E”, however, the fact that the icefall keeps on collapsing and that some of our members just need more practice makes this option probably the best one.
We have been divided into three groups again and I will be leaving for my second visit to Lobuje Peak on Thursday, 23rd April. I am feeling quite strong, however, I have been reprimanded by Russell and some of the guides that I need to slow down and preserve my energies for higher up on the mountain. Well, what’s new? I guess my high energy level is something that has been with me all my life and the fact that I am here at Everest Base Camp has not stopped me from being energetic. I guess what Russell and the guides are a bit worried about is that I might run out of steam higher up on the mountain but they don’t know that I don’t only have a high energy level but also a lot of stamina. However, I will listen to their advice and just sit in camp when we are not moving and eat and rest, which of course is very difficult for me but if it is good for the summit, I will do it!
Other than that there is not much news in our camp. It is yet another beautiful day and some of our Sherpas went through the icefall this morning and ascended to Camp 2. The icefall was active again last night and I heard a few avalanches come down but thankfully nobody was hurt. The temperatures are still high and I am currently gazing at a cloudless sky. Sometimes it is hard to believe that we are actually about to climb the highest mountain in the world, and every once in a while I have to pinch myself to remind me that I am not on a beach holiday!
Our Sherpas and kitchen staff are working away every day and it does not seize to amaze me with which enthusiasm and joy they go about their work. Whilst the clients are busy sitting around acclimatising, the kitchen staff is busy preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner and they seem to be constantly washing up as there are a lot of dishes for 60 people! And sometimes there are more diners as we occasionally have guests from other camps, which is nice and brings a bit of fresh air to our camp.
Slowly but surely it is also becoming clear who is strong and accomplished, and who is not. Over the past few days Russell has had chats with most of our climbers talking about their skills and abilities and I got the feeling that some of our team members were a bit disappointed with their “review”. Most of us have been here for about two weeks now and even though we have a very comfortable life at base camp, everyday life at the foot of Mount Everest is not always easy. People are starting to miss their families, get frustrated as they have not yet been high on the mountain and are suffering from minor colds and coughs. However, I have been trying to keep the morale up and remind people of the surrounding beauty we are camped in as it is easy to forget the stunning scenery around us.
Last but not least I would like to thank all my friends in Kathmandu for their lovely messages they put into my little “box of inspiration”. Every morning I read a few and I am very touched at how thoughtful and inspiring these messages are. Thank you so much for this – these messages mean a lot to me.
Anyway, this is probably the last update for a few days as I will be on Lobuje Peak until Saturday, but I will keep you posted on our progress once we actually get to touch the mountain.