After a busy season in Kathmandu during which I interviewed dozens of teams going to mountains, such as Everest, Makalu, Dhaulagiri and many more, I left the Nepalese capital about one week ago and managed to walk to base camp in three days. This is something that should not really be repeated as it defies all rules of acclimatisation as the normal time frame for a trek to base camp is about eight to nine days. However, as I have been to altitude quite often in my life and know my body quite well, I just went for it.
The walk in was beautiful as always and I really enjoyed just being on my own, without a group or even a porter. I met my good friend and so-called ‘Everest Sister’ Ellen, who climbed Lhotse with Himex last year, in Namche Bazaar and it was very good to hang out with her and catch up on life. She has also decided to be climbing Manaslu in the autumn so I am really looking forward to climbing a mountain with her again. Ellen has just had her second hip replacement and it is amazing to see how agile and fast she is whizzing across the mountains and I really admire her for it.
I have settled into the camp quite well and really enjoy being here with the team. As you can see in the photo , I have equipped my small abode with this beautiful rug my United Nations colleagues in Pakistan gave me as my leaving present.
My worries of being bored at base camp were actually completely unfounded as I have been quite busy trying to catch up with old friends, writing the Newsletter for Himex and doing some CORE exercise classes inside the White Pod. So far, my only two ‘clients’ were Monica, the expedition doctor, and Eiko, an amazing 71-year-old Japanese lady who is attempting Everest this season.
On Tuesday, I will be going down to Lobuje base camp to join the other members of the team and climb Lobuje East – something I am really looking forward to doing. I will be back at Everest base camp in about one week and I hope to be providing you with more news. However, if you are interested in more insider stories from base camp, just log on to www.himex.com.