April 22- Acclimatization

In order to climb Mount Everest, we literally have to change our bodies. Over a period of weeks, through a complicated physiological process, our bodies gradually become more able to gather and distribute what little oxygen there is at these higher elevations. In order to take most advantage of this process we ‘climb high and sleep low’ to gradually expose our bodies to the thinner air but allow recuperative time sleeping at the lower elevation of basecamp.

April 21st: training in the icefall

Our climbers have been working hard on a training route established in the icefall. We have been crossing ladders, ascending ropes and abseiling (rappelling)— practicing for our travels up the mountain. It was hard work but the skills learned and practiced here will make our time on the mountain safer and more efficient. While we were training, the Sherpas made their second trip to camp 2 bringing another load of supplies up to 21,300 feet to establish a comfortable perch partway up Mount Everest.

Fri Apr 20 - Changes in Basecamp

Today was a day of change in base camp. After a mild, -9C / 15F night, we said farewell to our trekkers Charlotte and Paul as they left for their long walk home. Just outside basecamp, they were able to capture some final, stunning Everest photos before making their way down to Periche. We were joined by two new people as Anna, a trekker from Sweden, and Pasang, the daughter of the lodge in Monju, joined our camp. Anna will be staying in our camp for 6 nights as she experiences life in Everest Base camp in all its glory! Pasang intends to climb Everest!

Charlotte's Blog

One of the trekkers - Charlotte, has been keeping a blog of her adventure.  Here is the link for another perspective of what we've been doing.


Fixing for upward progress

Hugo attended a meeting of the other expedition leaders from around basecamp who work together each year to string a fixed line up the mountain. This year, 10,000 meters of new kernmantle rope will be installed from basecamp to the summit of Mt. Everest. This line protects climbers crossing the massive crevasses and towers with in the ice fall, and helps protect their ascents up the steeper faces and cliffs above basecamp. We will put the rope to good use tomorrow as we work to move tents and equipment to camp 1, above the icefall.

April 19th: Ceremonies and celebrations!

Our second day in basecamp has been full of activity and celebration. After learning that Swiss climber Ueli Steck was here, we invited him to our tents to learn more about his plans for the mountain. Ueli is in the Himalaya this year in part to climb Mt. Everest without using supplemental oxygen. On a previous attempt, he had the presence of mind to turn around even though he was very close to the summit so as to avoid frostbite and a potentially deadly situation. We also met a 16 year old Nepali woman hoping to be the youngest Nepali female to climb the mountain.

April 18: Fried eggs on toast!


What a treat to wake up in basecamp on Mount Everest! After a brisk -11˚C (12˚F) night we gathered for a breakfast of rice pudding and fried eggs on toast with espresso and tea. We have a luxurious camp arrangement situated at the bottom of the Khumbu icefall. We are actually one of the closest teams to the icefall giving us a much shorter hike and easier access to the icefall. Even above 17,500 feet, we have many luxuries. Each of us has our own, large (10’ x 7’) tent allowing us to stand and move around. We even have access to solar power for all our electronics.

April 17: Comfort in Basecamp!!

Basecamp at last! Hugo, Paul and Charlotte, Amit and Nawal are all here and doing well. All Trekkers, climbers, Sherpas and kitchen staff have arrived— High Adventure Expedition is officially at full strength! We are moving into our tents, already set up in a perfect location on the Khumbu glacier below Mount Everest.  Dendi has outdone himself with our carpeted accommodations here above 17500 feet and the Sherpas have worked very hard to dig all our tent platforms out of the glacial ice and snow. Now time to adjust to the new altitude and our beautiful surroundings.

April 15th - Split Up

This morning Paul was much better, but we decided that a proper rest day was in order, so Hugo, Charlotte, Paul and Dendi all stayed in Dingboche.  However Amit was keen to continue his acclimatization, so he and the two porters headed up to Lobuche, hopefully to meet up with Nawal.  Also meeting in Lobuche should be one of the climbing Sherpa's from our team - Karma, who has come down from basecamp to meet us.  As if that's not enough, another of our climbing Sherpa's, Pemba should be arriving in Lobuche today.

April 14th - Dingboche

Today we stayed in Dingboche, but we were not idle!  We hiked up a nearby hill until we were 3000 feet above Dingboche.  Then we rested, had some tea and biscuits and enjoyed the spectacular views.  After a while we walked back down and now we're being idle for the rest of the day!
We were supposed to meet up with Nawal here in Dingboche, but there has been no sign of him, but we just heard that he has gone on to Lobuche which is our destination for tomorrow.  So perhaps we will catch him then?  Its good to know that he's healthy, acclimatizing well and moving up.