We are back at EBC for a four day rest before out 3rd and final rotaion. Our last rotation was on Everest herself. We were up for four days. Day 1, going all the way through the icefall for the 1st time. It was amazing. It is hard to describe in words. If you took the city of roseville and turned every building from dog houses to our biggest city buldings and turned them into blocks of ice. Then dropped all of it from miles into the air untill they formed a mountain 2,500′ high. That is as close as I came come to describing the ice fall. you’ve probably hear how scary it is supposed to be with the large blocks of ice over your head, and the ladders tied together by rope you have to cross with your crampons on. That is probably true. but to tell you the truth I am so dang tired when I am going thru it (takes 5-8hrs) I barly notice any of it. OK, on the ladders you have to concentrate a little bit. Day 2 is spent at Camp 1 (elevation 20,00′) There is mostly just tents and a cook tent at this camp so most of you day is spent inside your tent. We had topped out of the ice fall to gusting wind 40 – 60 mph. At night the gusts got up to 70-80 mph. On our 3rd day we moved up to Camp 2 ( about 22,00o’). Now the air is starting to get a bit thin now . Camp 2 is acually Advanced Base Camp. We have two man tents, and cook tent , and a dinning tent. The climb up the CWM from camp 1 to camp 2 is a fairly gradual climb. At this elevation just putting on you boots takes your breath away. Then you have a final 500 yards or so of a little steeper climb into you camp. It was a tough night of sleep at camp 3 because of the altitude, but we all got thru it. On Day 4 we climbed all the way back to EBC.
After being up so high on the mountain being back at EBC is like being at home. EBC is at 17,400′ but to us that is really comfortable now. EBC is like a small city. We have our own tent, a large dinning tent, communications tent etc. We have been down here for 3 days eating, getting alot of rest and healing from any health issues anybody may have. We sleep really well at this altitude. Tomorrow is our last day here at EBC befor we head up again for a 6 day rotation. Icefall to Camp 1, Camp 2, Camp 2 , Lhoste face to Camp 3 (24,400), Camp 2, Back To EBC for a rest before out Summit attempt.
Everything is just about on schedule and I am doing fine. Am reading a book about the beginnings of In & Out Burgers. It is very interesting. Yesterday we all got our oxygen masks and were given instructions on how to attach them to the bottles. Some how that brought me to the realization that I am on Everest. Hope everything is going good for you folks back home, and thanks for following. If you see Loretta, give her a big HIGH FIVE, she was awesome.
Sorry. I have been trying to figure out how to post. As you can imagine communications from up here are a little trying. And I just wrote a ton of stuff but must of hit the wrong button and it all went away . I am at EBC right now and we are going to leave for our 1st rotation on Mt Everest in the morning at 3:30AM. We will move up through the icefall and spend 4 days going from camp 1 to camp 2. I will try to bring you more up to date when I get back in four days.
This is Loretta. I am back in Kathmandu. I trekked out 40 miles in 3 days. A couple of things that made an impression while being gone is 1. I did not see or hear any cars for three weeks. Everything is supplied by porters or yaks (lower elevation animals are called sows or naks). 2. Base camp is so quiet at night. The only thing that you can hear is your neighbor snoring, maybe a rock avalanche in the distance, or every now and then the ice creaks like when you drop an ice cube into liquid. 3. The big dipper was completely upside down. 4. It is much easier peeing into a pee bottle than to go to the bathroom.
It was an adventure of a lifetime and I am so glad that I got to share it with my husband. Loretta
We have been having major internet issues. So I have not been able to update the blog. We arrived in base camp at noon on April 9. It was our anniversary, so the cooks baked us a cake. The elevation at our camp is 17,400′. Loretta had a sinus infection the first day here so had to go on the Z-pak. She is feeling better now. Base camp is much bigger than I expected. We took a tour of it yesterday. We went to the foot of the icefalls. I am healthy and excited for the start of our climb. The food is great! Today, our hybrid group took off at 9 am for Loboche. We will spend 4 days there for training and acclimatization. We will be back at base camp so I will update the blog then. In the meantime, I have given Loretta the authorization to update. Loretta
Just dropping a quick note that we are in Periche at 14,091′. Everything is going well, getting a little harder to breathe and it is getting colder at the higher altitudes. The internet is very expensive and the connections are not very good in these smaller villages, soI will write more when I get to base camp in 3 or 4 days.
Before we got to Periche, we went to the Pangboche monestary to see Lama Geshe to get our khata’s blessed and our neck cords. During the Puja, the Sherpas essentially ask and pray to the gods for permission to climb upon Mt. Everest and for a blessing for a safe and successful expedition. Until the Puja is held, no one from the expedition is allowed to travel through the Khumbu Icefall, for fear of angering the gods.
Rick’s puja ceremony
We spent 3 nights in Namche. On our first day we did an acclimatization hike up to the Everest view lodge at about 12,782′. It was a very nice lodge, and we had coffee but Everest was hidden in clouds. The next day on out rest day we went to the Namche bazar where people come from villages all over the area to buy and sell goods. It was exciting to see the town so alive. Later that afternoon some of us went up to the Sherpa museum where they had all sorts of artifacts from the Nepal why of life long ago. Loretta and I found a bakery (Nepal is known for their bakeries) and we sat out on a patio having coffee and a pastry looking up at the high peaks of the Himalayas that surround Namche. We have been having great food, and if you are ever passing the Khumbu lodge in Namche you have to stop in and have the chicken chilli plate. It is amazing.
Today went trekked to our next village, Deboche. Deboche is at about 12,500′, And we will be here for two nights. There was also another good climb up to Deboche, but that is expected I guess if we are ever going to get to Base Camp at 17,500 . On the way to Deboche we rounded a corner and there she was, EVEREST! It was still quite a ways away, but what a sight! You could see the ploom blowing off of her summit. Tomorrow we are going back up the trail a ways to the Tengboche Monastery, which we pasted on the way in. I am excited for two reasons. One, we may get a meeting with the Lama if he is there. And two, at the monastery is the highest Bakery in the world, and I plan on having the apple strudel aaand chocolate cake.
So far the trek in is going very smoothly. The whole idea is for me to get to base camp feeling well, without any injuries or illnesses. Loretta are feeling fine and are climbing well.
We met for breakfast on Wednesday morning at 4:30AM. Then Headed for the airport to catch the flight to Lukla. Everything was going great untill I got caught with a knife in my backpack (Ali is laughing). Luckly I was able to give my knife to one of our Nepal helpers who was going to put it in one of the duffles. Oh yea the duffels have locks on them, OOPS. So back to the counter where I think they didn’t believe I got rid of the knife and they made me empty my pack out. On to get my third pat down and to the plane. We take off and I think most of us were a little worried about the landing in Lukla. Someone in the group relayed the fact to us that the landing in Lukla is the most dangerous one in the world. There is a cliff at the beginning of the runway and a mountain at the end. Once you commit to the landing there is no pulling out. The airplane wreckages at the edge of the runway tell the story.
After a safe landing we had a snack in a lukla shop and then headed out for our first day of trekking. The first day was pretty easy, mostly down hill But the trail if very rocky. Our destination was the village of Phakding (yea,yea I know). I again have been surprised by Nepal. Kathmandu was much more rugged than I had expected. But on the other hand the Kumbu Valley and its villages are so amazingly beautiful. The buildings are mostly made of stone that they shape by hand, and the roofs are a bright color. Its hard to put into words. It is like you are in a movie and this area is an elaborate set. We stayed at a lodge where we had a room with a SIT DOWN toilet. I can’t tell you how great that is in a country that is mostly long drops for toilets. After breakfast we headed out for our second day of trekking. Our destination this time is the village of Namche. Unfortunately this was to be a much tougher day. It was a 6hr day with a long climb up a very big hill to finish out at Namche. Right now we are 5 days walk from the nearest road and this village is amazing. Namche is at 11,00′ and we will be here for 3 nights to acclimatize before we set off again. We will do a hike here in the area. For dinner tonight I was going to have Yak steak but chickened out at the last minute. Maybe tomorrow night, I will let you know.
It’s been fun in Kathmandu. Loretta and I found the market area with its 1,000s of shops. We must of walked by 40 equipment shops alone. I picked up a heavier pair of mitts, and Loretta bought a long sleeve quickdry top. We shopped for gifts and had lunch at the Rum Noodle bar and resturant. It is a famous resturant and bar where Everest summiters sign their name behind the bar. The pizza and BEER were good. All the climbers are comming in now. One of the climbers that I was in Anarctica with wouldn’t be able to come. But Loretta and I were in a shop when someone called out my name. It was a guy who I was in Washington with at a avalance seminar. It was good to see him here and will be fun climbing with him. I have always heard (from the guides) that if you go to climb Everest you have to get a straight razor shave in Kathmandu. Didn’t know If I would be able to go thru with that when I got here, but this morning I did it. I was a little nervous at first but it turned out really great. For 165 rubees ($2.25) you get a shave, face massage and more. If I could get that in the US I wouldn’t bother with shaving myself any more . We have our Hybrid team meeting in about one hour where we will go over the basics of the expedition. Tonight will be the whole IMG group for dinner. At 6:00AM (5:00PM Tuesday your time) we will fly to Lukla where the real deal will start. Its been all smiles and laughs up till now. Tomorrow the game faces will start to go on. I think everone is looking forward to getting out on the trail.
“Adventure is Out There”
Hello out there. Well after 46 hrs from door to door we are in Kathmandu. We just got finished having breakfast at our hotel. We arrived about midnight last night. The flights mostly went well, we just had some long layovers in San Francisco and Hong Kong. We had to circle another city in Nepal for about 1/2 hour because of thunderstorms. No worries though, ALL ARE BAGS ARE HERE !!! The hotel is very quaint with alot of wood carvings. Didn’t see much of Kathmandu last night on the way to the Hotel Tibet, so will give more info on that later. Very excited to be in NEPAL
Well it’s that time. “Our bags are packed and our boots are tied tight, hope me don’t miss our flight” The planning for an expedition such as this is an endless process of researching equipment, ordering multiple numbers of items, trying them out and sending the ones that don’t work back. Lists. Lists to help keep track of lists ( if you really know me you will know that to be true). Documents, shots (I HATE shots). Needed to get my dental in order so went in for a check up. Of course needed two fillings and one crown. Way better than having a dental problem ruin my climb ooooor have a tooth being pulled in a Nepal village. :-( We did it pretty much on schedule, only a couple of little things to do today. Should have time to play with our first grandson Orion before he and our daughter Toni take us to the airport for a 4:50 flight. Our flight path is Sacramento > San Fransico > Hong Kong > Kathmandu. We get into Kathmandu Friday the 26th at 10:10 PM. Loretta and I will arrive in Kathmandu a couple of days earlier than most of the climbers. I usually do this so if my bags don’t show up they have more time to get there. This is when everyone sends good thoughts for my bags to arrive on time (hey I’m not kidding, CONCENTRATE!) See yall in Kathmandu. :-)