First night at Camp 1

Tuesday was a long , hard but stunning day.
8 hours to Camp 1. Most of it spent in the Khumbu Ice fall.

The team set off at 4:40. I was ready to go until rather dramatically my bowels, that frustratingly had been on strike for several days, finally decided to make their presence felt. I guess better at BC than an hour later in the ice fall! So Hermant and I wandered off a little before 5am.

A couple hours later we passed David and his guide for the day, Dorje, on the way down. David was suffering from the effects of altitude on his sleep and unbeknown to me Hermant was suffering from a tummy bug. I had just picked up on what I thought he was him having a little less patience with me. Dorje and Hermant swapped places.

Dorje and I had an amazing day. My first few hours were filled with thoughts of “what am I doing this for? The pain is it really worth it? Then the sun came out and I warmed up and it all seemed more achievable and then the tiredness kicks in but by that point it would hurt more to go down than to just get the next couple of hours over and done with!!

So much for the wonder of Everest and being motivated by the summit and the beauty surrounding you! It’s just another hundred steps and eventually I’ll be in my tent with a hot cuppa of tea that tastes terrible but it’s hot and wet!

The bits I enjoyed in the icefall were the technical sections where you have to concentrate at a higher level. I loved the ladders. Up, down, across, single or 3 lashed together, no drama. Which is quite ironic as at home I’d worried about the ladders quite a bit. The toughest section was the undulating but relatively flat section at the top of the ice fall to Camp 1. I was exhausted and dehydrated and it went for ever. There was an awful lot of step counting going on I can tell you.

But finally I fell into camp at 1pm. Dorje not skipping a beat threw my gear that he’d been carrying into the tent. Blew up my thermarest (now that’s service for you) and then trotted off down the hill to BC. Bonnie, who had arrived a couple of hours earlier pulled off my boots and plied me with tea.

The afternoon was spent hydrating and resting (chatting). Then at 6pm time to start boiling again for tea. It’s a long drawn out process and by 7.30 or so we’d both had a bag of delicious Chicken Tikka Masala and a cuppa and filled our water bottles for the night. We didn’t quite get enough for the next day. Camp1 isn’t the easiest spot to collect snow to boil.

It was a cold windy night. The wind was vicious. The noise was incessant. But thanks to my little ipod and my incredibly warm bag (I actually had to strip off I got so hot) I fell asleep to the sounds of Antarctica, which I thought I was quite poetic. Bonnie said I slept so soundly I didn’t hear the huge avalanche that she tried to wake me up to listen to.

I had morning cooking duties and the wind hadn’t let up. It was a frustrating experience to say the least. At one stage the wind claimed the lot, the stove, saucepan full of nearly boiled water, Bonnie’s crocs and my crampons. Kenton helped me retrieve it all. And I started all over. Time wise I’d lost about ¾ hr. Thank goodness Kenton had an excess 1 litre or my trip back down the icefall to BC would have been awful.

We were up and out by 8:15am. It was a cold day. I made what at the time was a forward thinking move. I got my sun hat out and strapped it to my backpack for later use. Bad move. Something failed and to my horror I realised later it was gone. Lots of sunburn cream got me back to BC in an only slightly pink state and on the way down I told every Sherpa I passed about the missing hat. Low and behold one gentleman had found it and so on my next trip up in 5 days I will find it attached to an anchor! You can be lucky and on this mountain everyone is looking out for each other. Even if it is in the form of a wayward hat.

The ankle held out really well on the trip up and I was really pleased with it on the way down. It only gave out on me a few times until we were 20 mins to home. It gave way, the right foot had nowhere to go as it was tucked up against a rock and I went face first into ice, rock and water. Ouch! Bleeding, bruised and strained the achilles again! Not happy Jan! So took an extra 20 mins to hobble into BC a bit battered and bruised. BUT Everest was never meant to be easy and I have 4 or five days to get the ankle to settle which I don’t see as being a problem. I’ve picked up a sinus infection which made sleeping/breathing at Camp 1 a little more interesting but again 4or 5 days on antibiotics here at BC and I should be ready for our next acclimatisation bid. 1 night at C1, 2 nights at C2 with a foray towards C3 and back to BC.

So here I am sitting in the comms typing this blog up which got me thinking:
Technology!
It’s funny if there’s no technology no drama. Incommunicado for 2 months, no problem.

But when it’s made available to you, it’s a mixed blessing and you want it to work!

The MacAir is performing beautifully BUT won’t connect to the Bgan!
The Bgan is incredibly expensive (not surprising) but keeps dropping out usually when you hit SEND!!!
I’m going to email Apple today to see if they can advise. Why so important to me? I’m receiving many beautiful emails which if I could get via my Mac on line then I could read and reply at my leisure off line BUT on the PC in here (in the comms tent) you can’t work off line and as I said it’s sooooo expensive and drops out.

My not so cheap phone only works sporadically. There’s another type that works off of a fixed satellite. That’s the one I should have hired!

The solar powered battery that charges up all our technology isn’t working properly. But my little solio solar panel is working well to keep my ipod charged.

So it’s all a little frustrating but the point is to have this technology in whatever working order at Everest BC is just incredible.

Now I need to copy this blog from my Mac laptop to the comms tent laptop and fire up the Bgan (like a satellite phone on steroids that can connect to the internet) and post it to my website for you all to read wherever you are in the world. Amazing. But I still want more so hopefully fingers crossed apple can help!!

Oh Nearly forgot!! All this technology? Well the good old fashioned mail got through!! I’ve had 2 parcels since I’ve been here. Both flags from Plan Nepal. But it’s so cool to be sitting in the mess tent and the Sirdar arrives with mail for you!!

I loved the address:

Lynette Trott
Everest Base Camp
c/- Kenton Cool Dream Guides

I guess that’s pretty specific if you think about it!!

I’m not sure that it didn’t actually go through Iswari – Himalayan Guides in Kathmandu (our logisitics guy) and then get put on a yak with other gear coming up. The Yaks come and go all the time. As I’ve been typing this a Yak train arrived. They’ve just had their 2nd breakfast (our left over food scraps for the last few days) in large bowls which I think at other times are our wash bowls. One of them stood facing me here in the tent and his ears would twitch as I chatted away to him. I’m not sure if he was relaxed or just bored but he sat down on the ice to continue watching me. They are gorgeous looking animals.

Speaking of food it’s nearly lunch time so I’m going to post this and then head to the mess tent when the gong announces grubs up!

Namaste

Trotty

PS word got out about my hat and it just arrived in the mess tent. How lucky am I?

6 comments to First night at Camp 1

  • Krishna

    Hi Lynette

    Great to read it. I am happy that you are there!!!! How is your anckle? Hope that problem gone now! Glad that you recieved the flags.
    Please keep on writing your expreinces.
    We wish you all the best.
    Krishna

  • Julie

    Hi Lynette
    Great to hear you on the Baldies. Fantastic to follow your adventure. Go girl!

  • Anthony

    Lynette,
    Glad to here things are interesting for you. The Bgan works on 802.11b or hardwired I gather you have tried both. The wireless could be having an issue as Air runs on 802.11n. n is faster than b by a factor of 4 or more. Am trying to investigate for you.
    May you air remain clear.
    Anthony

  • Thanks Anthony,
    Read this after you email. Will pass on to the not so “techies” here at BC
    Lynette

  • hi there im a friend of michael no coke weve

  • Hi Karen,
    Say hi to Michael no coke and the “puppies”. Yes they’re puppies until the day they pass on!
    Look forward to meeting you and M.N.C’s Mum

    Trotty

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