Ok Folks got a little coverage today so I will update whats happening from the 22rd of April in separate postings.
SERIOUS TEST PHYSICALLY TODAY ON THE BODY FROM BC TO INTERIM CAMP AT 5700mts.—-22rd of April
Last night was so cold in base-camp it was bordering unbearable & I couldn’t get a wink of sleep, well maybe an hour in total nodding in and out, finally at 4am I give up and but on my wee nano apple music headphones in and hit random & on came the tune “I’m living in a box living in a cardboard box” and I roared laughing as I looked round ,how true the words were to my situation. So continued with some more sleeping bag shuffling tunes till
Finally I moved to some Donegal home talent I had stored “In their thousands” blasting away at 5am, so Declan, Aidan, Liam & Ruairí you can’t say you haven’t played at base-camp Mt. Everest & loud as hell, well in my ears anyway.
Surfaced at 7am opened my tent to snow, Pulled all my kit together and we headed for interim camp 5700mts on route to advance base camp 6400mts at 9am.
Jesus did I take a good beating today my lungs were screaming and we were only tipping along, the route was 10kms long on the tough, tough rombuk glacier with a steep gradient that just wouldn’t give up ,corner after corner it just kept going up & up it was relentless. The temp were chilly with the light snow & winds coming down the glacier.
It took us 5 hours solid and we didn’t push it at all as to reach interim camp at 5700mts in fear of altitude sickness or headaches . Ill try and explain what climbing steep routes here at this altitude is like, imagine running the 10k in Letterkenny all up hill similar gradient to oatfields hill to the hospital non stop flat out with a straw in your mouth only allowing that amount of oxygen into your lungs. No joking that’s exactly how it feels.
We finally fell into interim camp after lunch & set up camp and I haven’t got out of my tent of sleeping bag since and it’s now 7pm. we ate in the tent due to two factors exhaustion & very cold conditions tonight. Didn’t have a big appetite but munched down as much as I could as tomorrow’s a proper long hard day to advance base camp and we leave at 8am. Hoping for a good nights sleep tonight to make up for last night as I probability payed today for the poor nights sleep.
It’s hard to explain but when the cold gets into your body & deep into your core it’s very hard to heat back up again and needs careful constant managing, it’s not like home where you can turn around and put your hand on a radiator or heat the body up with a warm fire, no if you don’t manage your layering of clothing carefully it could be your expedition over.
On expedition you always layer up starting with a base layer usually made up from merino wool it’s specialised with great warmth & wicking of moisture properties “my base layers top & long bottoms have been on me solid since leaving Kathmandu” sounds terrible but it’s standard practice “merino wool thankfully dos’nt body smell” ok now we move to the mid layering I have a polartec mid weight fleece on next on top & then a second hooded fleece with loads of pockets for my phone, iPod nano (music), camera & batteries all close to my chest to keep them warm as the freezing temp the loose there power nearly instantly if exposed to the elements.
Heavy smart wool expedition socks & at this altitude I’m still in my trekking leather boots.
Trousers I’m wearing my favorite bomb proof hard wearing expedition trekking trousers over my base layer. Jacket wise I’m in either a down filled expedition jacket or my shell water proof jacket.
Gloves – essential neck buff & good wind stopper hat or beanie.
Cat 4 expedition sun glasses with side eye guards as the sun hitting the snow radiates up into you face with no mercy, cat 4 is a lens rating and without these you prob would have snow blindness in 20mins. Heavy duty sun & lip cream . Loaded back pack, water food – medical – you name it its in it. so that a typical low altitude layering set up but I can change on a day to day basis.
It’s becomes completely different after advance base camp which ill explain later.
So one night here tonight to recover and away again at 8am think its 8 hours straight tomo so be pritty tired tomorrow also I feel as we climb to 6400mts . Good thing is we rest up and acclimatise the body for the next stage up onto the notorious north ridge.
I hope reception stays good for as long as possible as I’ve been getting away well with this communication so far.
It’s hard to believe after tomorrow I’m sitting 2/3rds of the way up Everest at 6400mts with 2448mts to go but they will be shear hell & will take me nearly 3weeks if not 4weeks to climb that section alone.
Anyway each day as it comes is my mind set.
Mind & body are in a good place tonight ,hears hoping to keeping it all together . Thanks again for all the well wishes & support on the blog it means so much in the dark hours. I’m going to leave you now with a quote from a good friend & Everest summiteer,
“through endurance we shall conquer”
thank you Geoff chambers.
To my great family & friends keep the fires burning & love to you all.
Guys if you want to know my exact location tonight google earth I’m at..
Talk to you all Tomo from ABC ..