Settling in at Base Camp
Hi all, I’m keeping this short and then will (maybe) come back and edit more as most of my internet connections to date have been lousy with updates lost to the netherworlds. I’m not sure how fast the email report goes out for those millions who have subscribed – but consider visiting the actual web site as this post may have been edited with a few pics etc.
I’m sitting in in a small lodge in Gorak Shep connected with my NCell USB stick. There are three or four other lodges here and that is about it – it is about an hour and a half walk from base camp and site of the original Tenzeng-Hillary base camp. It is also home to a solar powered NCell tower which seems to have its own mind about when to work. News reports last fall of this tower going in and people tweeting from the top of Everest are a little ambitious. I can get a signal at base camp about 75% of the time and have had some great phone calls home (only 10 cents a minute) but my data connections (e.g. facebook, blogger, email) at email have consistently failed both on the USB connection and on my phone. Sometimes I can get email or see facebook updates but can rarely reply. Bummer. It’ll get worse as more climbing teams arrive at base camp. I have a satellite phone with a data connection but that is not currently working and another story.
Basecamp is something. A lot of camps are setup by local staff but the actual climbing teams have yet to arrive. A lot of trekkers from Gorak Shep make the journey, click their pics and turn around. Many of them also choose (usually on a different day) to climb the hill just outside the door called ‘Kala Patar’ which can offer some unparalleled 360 views. Tandra and I climbed it last fall after the class trip and there is a blog entry and pics somewhere to be found on this site (will try to find and link later).
I plan on making this hike (17,500ft trail run?) frequently as there is not much gouinf on at base camp and the exercise and scenery are sweet. Will hopefully arrive sooner in the day so I can get some hill workouts in with Kala Patar.
The ice doctors are still fixing the ice fall. Sounds like there are still permits to get (by all teams) and a big puja ceremony and I may not be heading to Camp I for another 10-12 days. Otherwise, all is well. Thanks for all the good wishes. Great to hear about how fun the Yakima 50k was!
I wish you could share this hot chocolate with me. Hope this posts!
PS – Lost my NCell signal by the time I got to the publish button was able to reconnect with my satellite phone at a whopping 9.6kps. Fingers crossed.