Everest Base Camp Day 11

April 20th, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Today (Wednesday in real time) is the day we head up to Base Camp.

EBC0120

Another early start. Up at 4.45 am and away by 6 am as we have to trek to Gorak Shep, have a wee break there, then go to Base Camp and back to Gorak Shep. It was good to get away early as we avoided most of the crowds going from Lobouche.

EBC0121

Those peaks in the distance are where is.

EBC0122

If you look at a map of the area and see a reference to a pyramid, well this is it. Part of some Italian research facility.

EBC0123

Those peaks again getting closer. I could stare at them all day. In fact I did!

EBC0124

One of several memorials to dead climbers we passed.

EBC0125

A great shot of this peak with the sun rising behind it.

EBC0126

On a very narrow part of the track, some yaks came down as we were going up. Their horns got rather too close for comfort!

EBC0127

I like this photo of the shadows of the eight of us trekking along. There were five Kiwis from Wellington in our group, and we had three Nepalese guides.

EBC0128

Remember that dog from yesterday? Well him and a mate decided to follow us today. The two of them trotted along with us all the way to Gorak Shep, presumably hoping we would feed them. They never pestered us and were quite lovely, but the guides joked that if you gave them even one bit of food they’d then follow you all the way back to Lukla!

EBC0129

You can see the famous Khumbu glacier that stretches down from .

EBC0130

A fairly unsturdy bridge.

EBC0131

Gorak Shep ahead. The tea house we will stay at bills itself at the highest in the world at 5,180 metres above sea level.

EBC0132

Apart from yaks and mules, they even have horses here.

EBC0133

After a one hour break, we carried onto towards Everest Base Camp. A very rare directional sign. This is not like NZ tracks with marker signs everywhere. It would be very easy to get lost here without a guide.

EBC0134

This is actually the site of the original Everest Base Camp that Hillary and co used. I’m not sure when they swapped sites but it was many years ago.

EBC0135

Another cool shot of part of the glacier.

EBC0136

Recall the advice that you should always be between a yak and the wall, not the cliff. Well on this section it was cliffs on both sides so we just moved a bit off the track for them. During the morning we saw well over 100 yaks move a huge amount of gear to Base Camp for teams planning to attempt the summit.

EBC0137

And that is Mt Everest in the background. The best view of it is around an hour before Base Camp.

EBC0138

You can’t really see it from here but that is Base Camp to the left of the glacier.

EBC0139

Another shot of Everest.

EBC0140

Now you can start to see the tents at Base Camp.

EBC0141

A close up of some of the glacier.

EBC0142

And we are at Base Camp. It is considered very rude to go beyond this point and wander around the tents without an invitation.

EBC0143

You can see most of the Base Camp tents next to the glacier.

EBC0144

Me at Base Camp. A long 11 days to get here.

EBC0145

Posing with Mark Russell from Ideas Shop (you can see their logo on my borrowed hat if you look very closely). Mark organised the trip and did a great job making it all happen. He has been a great companion (along with K, H and J) despite our slight variation in political preferences!

And no he did not trek in that shirt – put it on just for the photo!

EBC0146

Mark Inglis commented on an earlier post that while Base Camp is (sort of) the end for us, it is only the beginning for those who are going on to ascend the summit like he has done. The ledge above is the initial climb for those going up to Base Camp 2.

At times during the trek I flirted with the idea of how amazing it would be to actually try and ascend the summit one day, after a few years of training. However during the trek I was also reading “Into Thin Air” on my Kindle, which is the first hand story of the very sad 1996 expedition/s which saw 12 people lose their lives, including Rob Hall. It’s an amazing and captivating book.

Of course two days after we were here, the avalanche occurred near Camp 1 (not Base Camp) which was another sobering reminder of how dangerous the mountain is – not just up in the death zone above 8,000 metres.

EBC0147

 

On the way back we passed through this rockslide area, and just as we entered it there was a very minor rockslide. Small rocks, so wouldn’t have seriously hurt anyone. But it did make us move quickly through that section in case any larger rocks decided to come down.

On the way back it started to snow, which made us very grateful again for our early start. We set a fair pace going back and got to Gorak Shep again around 2 pm.

The day wasn’t as tough as the Chola Pass, but it was still reasonably challenging. Six to seven hours trekking is tiring, and most of that time was above 5,000 metres so it only took a small ascent to get out of breath.

Very satisfying to have made both the Chola Pass and Base Camp. Also I decided that I wanted this to be an Ibuprofen free day so didn’t take any pain killers for the headaches. There were a couple of times when I regretted this, but overall they were not too bad, and less severe than when ascending to Gyoko. So you do acclimatise – but different people at different rates.

Tomorrow sees the start of the descent. That doesn’t mean all downhills though – a mixture of up and down – but with more down than up. We hope to be back at Namche Bazaar in two days.

Tags: , , ,

23 Responses to “Everest Base Camp Day 11”

  1. lolitasbrother (702 comments) says:

    good going Farrar, we are with you

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Those dogs are probably following you as they are rabid like you

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 16 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. lolitasbrother (702 comments) says:

    how dare you dog martinhdirty filth dog die now

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Say Goodbye to Hollywood (562 comments) says:

    Good stuff David, I’m enjoying these posts.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. lolitasbrother (702 comments) says:

    Mr Farrars journey to the base camp Everest and other places is one we can take pride within .
    Farrar has become an adventurer to achieve very good things.
    We are always looking for future leaders.
    Each parent like me to his child can help lead our country.
    Too big, all I have to do is get Nikki Wagner elected in Christchurch,.
    And where is my support.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Elaycee (4,393 comments) says:

    Totally outstanding, DPF. Brilliant effort.

    And no surprises you had to go to the top of the world to find a Labour supporter prepared to wear their colours.

    There aren’t many here, either! :D

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. wiseowl (899 comments) says:

    You mentioned a 100 yaks.It may seem a silly question but what do they eat.?

    Is there enough vegetation for them at altitude?

    Great stuff DPF.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. johnwellingtonwells (137 comments) says:

    David Cunliffe’s CV says that he has climbed Everest, but did not say if wearing a Labour jersey

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    Great stuff DPF! Good photos and really good commentary to go with them.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Lolita
    Hey just saying beware dogs that follow you overseas..
    Rabid monkeys are the worst since they can climb.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. chuk (40 comments) says:

    Great effort David, well done. Thanks for the great photos too.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    Glaciers,glaciers……..?

    Don’t tell griff,his head would explode……if it weren’t so addled.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. hj (7,033 comments) says:

    You can see the difference between the rocks of Everset and (greywacke) Mount Cook.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Nostradamus (3,344 comments) says:

    Martinh:

    Hey just saying beware dogs that follow you overseas..

    No, you actually said more than that, as you well know.

    How do you explain away the words “as they are rabid like you [ie like DPF]“?

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Notradamus
    Dont have a hernia over it, you are sounding like poor little Collin Craig.
    Next you will feel sorry for Mad Dog Prebble

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    You have climbed higher than The Cunliffe will ever go.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Manolo (13,837 comments) says:

    @DPF: With all due respect, you ought to be mad to put yourself through all this.
    Give me a soft bed and a few good single malts instead!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Nostradamus (3,344 comments) says:

    Martinh:

    Oh dear – so you can’t bring yourself to acknowledge you completely misrepresented your previous comment?

    On the bright side, deny, distract and denigrate are the responses to any argument you don’t like, and you managed an impressive score of two out of three (distract and denigrate) – so well done.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Nostradumus.
    Not sure what i completely misrepresented, so im definitely doing well to of got 2/3.

    You are sounding a bit precious.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Nostradamus (3,344 comments) says:

    Martinh:

    Now you’re being a dick.

    I note you edited your comment to add “You are sounding a bit precious”. You couldn’t help yourself, could you?

    Instead of distracting and denigrating, as you’ve been doing, how about explaining precisely what you meant when you wrote “Those dogs are probably following you as they are rabid like you” (focusing on the words shown in bold)?

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. martinh (1,257 comments) says:

    Nostradamus.
    Must be raining at your place too.
    No i couldnt help myself, thats correct.
    “Instead of distracting and denigrating, as you’ve been doing, how about explaining precisely what you meant when you wrote “Those dogs are probably following you as they are rabid like you” (focusing on the words shown in bold)?”

    What i meant is that you have to be careful if you have dogs following you when overseas no matter how cute they are, as they might be rabid.

    Is calling someone rabid highly offensive now or something?
    Maybe you come from the middle east where calling someone a dog seems to be as bad as it can go?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. UrbanNeocolonialist (289 comments) says:

    Worth climbing up Kala Pattar. Next to Gorak Shep, only takes a couple of hours (and don’t need to carry pack)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. David Farrar (1,899 comments) says:

    There isn’t a lot of vegetation for yaks to eat. I’ve seen some feed being transported up, which is probably for them. Also saw one yak eating a cupboard box!

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote