Greetings from 5300 mts basecamp & for those who want to google earth my exact location it’s
So early rise this morning 7am Chinese time pancakes & boiled eggs & hot black tea for breakfast and off we set for Everest base camp . The journey in to base camp was spectacular in so many ways with the greatest snow covered peaks on the horizon and below in the glacier valley of the rongbu valley was the Tibetan farmers working with there cattle & yaks in unbelievable conditions with really cold temps below freezing and in an altitude so high that we were struggling to breath.
Give you an example these people were farming as they see its in normal conditions in altitudes that are higher than most if not all mountains in Europe.
I met and got some great photos of these guys with skin as tough as leather and there faces wind beaten and hardened to the most extreme weather conditions , some sleeping in man made tents from yak “cow” Hyde . There clothing & dress wear whilst primitive developed down through generations & generations, with no sign of the modern down jackets we in the high altitudes use ,No it’s tweeds and wools layered apron layers .. Fascinating.
The yak “high altitude cow ” that they were working with we’re carrying goods to there small villages & on to base camp ferrying supplies as this was there only mode of transport, and a life line in there survival. Nima was explaining that the yak exists and can only exist at high altitude due to there biological mechanic, and also there are so worshiped by the Tibetan as they believe that the yak is a reincarnation of family member now passed on “dead”.
So we climbed higher and higher through this valley which was sparsely made up of glacier covered stones & vegetation enough to cater for grazing, Little running water due to the low
Temps. All the time we could see we were climbing closer & closer to the mighty sight of MtEverest, but before that we came across one if not the oldest monestrys in Tibet the Rongbu monestry where It was ritual to stop and and have prayers said with the priest that live there ,and it was peaceful spiritual &
Nima introduced us to the priests and asked for there blessing for a save passage on the mountains & travels ahead. The ritual involved a passing of money as a token of respect & we recieved holy water which we sipped and whipped on our eyes and here I thought well ill put some on my ear “hey ill take anything if it cures me” … Lol
Saying our goodbyes we headed for our final destination Everest base camp , and there it was this very flat wide opened space ,stripped to the core of just stone ,cold yet really spiritual & most impressive it’s back drop was the north ridge of Mt Everest ,now we were up close and personal this magical mountain as its huge profile was right in our face so close I could make out the the steps ” three difficult technical sections to climb on summit day” the winds were so high on the summit I could see the snow & ice been whipped around in a fierce storm.
I have to say I now have a lump in my throat looking forward to the expedition ascent spanning the next 4weeks or so.
Base camp life is simple for us with simple tenting & cooking facilities unlike some of the large teams here from china Russia Sweden they have the kitchen sink with then ,there set ups look so advanced & home from home ,large dome relaxation tents & solar this and solar that with to many home comforts for me to justify a proper basecamp expedition set up but then that’s just me.
I’m glad to report there are just 9 or 10 team attempting the north ridge this year ensuring low levels of traffic on my route which is good news as climbers move at different paces due to ability & fitness so when it comes to a technical section delays of up to 1 hour can happen ,can you imagine standing still in -40 deg on Everest waiting to pass a section “frost bite leading to death usually are the two out comes” so lets avoid that.
Dinner tonight was nice with noodles & daal bat “Nepal curry style food”& loads & loads of tea ..
Tonight I’m feeling the effects of altitude with a sore head “typical effect” and shortness in breath.
My spo2 “oxygen in blood” tonight’s not so good avg at 74% – I’m drinking loads it’s just the effects of altitude. I’m using a product from the Irish altitude Center it’s called alti vit and its got all the goodness in there to handle the changes so hoping that delivers over the next day or so as we’re staying here at basecamp for two days. Allowing the body time to adapt to the thin air.
Tomorrow punga day where we pray & ask the mountain god that resides in or on mt Everest for permission to enter or climb it , again it’s the ritual ad been that way for years “so we gotta follow suit” again anything for a safe passage ,even though I’ve my own god helping me safely I hope & pray.
Well I’m off now as I’m typing this chillingly in my sleeping bag in my one man tent sitting peacefully at basecamp 5300mts staring up at the silhouette of the most wonderful mountain in my world.
It’s now 12.15 am so I’m off to sleep…
Good nite all