Monday, April 24, 2017

Base Camp Reunion

I made in back to Everest Base Camp today and Anders and the rest of the team (not up in the Ice Fall) welcomed me back.  It was great to see everybody, especially Anders!  We swapped stories about our respective adventures (Anders' is cooler!) and he showed me some of his pictures and videos from the Ice Fall.  I'm going to see if we can't get some of the pics up on the blog in the near term.  Pretty awesome stuff!

I'll give a short recap of my trek in from Dingboche to EBC.  I awoke at 5 am, packed up (I'm pretty fast at it now) and had coffee and an egg at 5:30.  Tsewang joined me about 5:50 (he had slept at his home in Dingboche).  We rolled at 5:57 and immediately climbed the 500 or so foot hill above the village.  It was a beautiful morning, about 25 degrees, no wind and mostly clear skies--great trekking weather.

We made very, very good time.  I elected to use my iPod and an EDM mix Kara had made for me (thanks Kara!) and it was really enjoyable to cruise to toons, enjoying the beautiful scenery!  Tsewang had predicted it would take us 9-10 hours but we reached Lobuche in just over 3 hours, so it was clear we would beat that.  This was a challenging hike overall, as we were trying to do in one day what we did in three days, a couple of weeks ago.  Of course, I have the benefit of acclimatization at this point so it was a reasonable objective.  The hike featured pretty good linear distance, vertical ascending and high altitude--a good test.

I found that I began to tire a bit (as did Tsweang) between Lobuche and Gorak Shep--no doubt the early quick pace and the cumulative toll of the six day walkabout were impacting us.  The weather deteriorated a bit as well as the wind picked up and it snowed lightly.  We just ground it out and arrived around 1:30, in time for a late lunch, and the aforementioned reunion.

Stats for today were 10.8 linear miles over the course of 7 hours and 32 minutes.  We ascended 3,385 vertical feet and descended 597 feet.  We are now at about 17,350 feet.

I'm settling back in and looking forward to kicking back and hanging with Anders.  Tomorrow is a complete rest day for both of us and I hope to provide you some details on Anders amazing first rotation up through the Ice Fall.  It great to be back at Madison Mountaineering Base Camp and the good food and company that can be found here!

Looking back, I really enjoyed my six-day walk-about.  52 very interesting miles and it was fun to spend that time with Tsewang and get to know him and a little more about Sherpa culture as well.

Finally---Happy Birthday Alex!  I look forward to celebrating with you in person in the near future!

Onward and Upward!

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