While I was walking up to Lobuje’s Camp I, I was thinking that I should post a comment on the old boots I was wearing – namely my 12-year–old Scarpa Vega plastic boots. Those who knew me in 1998 will understand that I had tears in my eyes when I spent the 500 precious Deutschmarks that my dad had given me for my birthday. And these were certainly not tears of joy but of pain. “What on earth am I doing.” I remember thinking when I handed the money over for these boots I found ugly, unattractive and uncomfortable. That was just before my first trip to the Nepal Himalaya with my then partner Mike, who I would like to thank for having introduced me to this wonderful world I have so come to love. And now 12 years on, I am wearing these old boots again and I have to say they feel like house slippers and I am so happy that I did not throw them out years ago when I was getting new equipment. The reason I had to dig out these old clompers is that my barrel got lost in transport from Manaslu base camp to Kathmandu last autumn, which means I have lost most of my climbing gear. I did not ponder over it for too long as there is no point in crying over spilt milk as they say (whoever ‘they’ are 😉 and I was lucky enough to have wonderful people around me who helped me out.At this point I would like to thank Niels of Valandre for swiftly sending me a downsuit ‘Combi’ and an ‘Odin’ sleeping bag as well as Rolf of Lowa and Ralf and Gerlinde for bringing a new pair of Lowa 8000 boots to Nepal. With their help I am able to keep on climbing and I am very grateful for that. I would also like to thank Mr Suhowatsky, who is the father of my very good friend Steph in Kathmandu. He sent me Thermal Bars, which are supposed to warm you up in cold conditions. Ellen and I had one each for breakfast this morning and other than being a very delicious breakfast bar, we definitely had the feeling that it warmed us up. I’ll have more over the course of the expedition and will keep you posted. If you want to check it out, have a look at wwwe.thermalbar.com. On this note I would like to log off as even though we are in our cozy tent tucked up in our sleeping bags my hands are very cold from typing (maybe I should have another bar) and I might spend the rest of the afternoon coming up with a way on how to operate a touch screen with gloves. If I don’t succeed I hope someone else will! Have a great start of May!
We have just come back down from Lobuje East and, as always, it was beautiful. Lobuje offers the most amazing views of the surrounding peaks and when we go back up on Tuesday for our two nights of acclimatisation, I shall post a picture of the panorama there. On Saturday we climbed to the Rock Camp, which is about the same altitude as Everest base camp and a mere hour’s walk from Lobuje base camp. We had the rest of the afternoon to lie in our tents, read, boil water or just stare holes into the air. I was sharing a tent with my friend and climbing partner Ellen and we were spending most of our time bumping our gums, which was rather tiring.