Edita called on her sat phone yesterday. She sounded great! She was getting excited and needed to get moving after her big rest while they wait to depart for their first rotation (to Intermediate Base Camp then to Advanced Base Camp on Sunday and Monday). She writes..
“Yesterday, including last night, I think I slept for over 20 hrs… I was just feeling tired after a few sleepless nights since I arrived to the BC. I think I am finally acclimatized to this altitude – no headaches, good sleep, good appetite!!Da Pasang, our chief cook, surprises every day by delicious meals. Last night we had stakes which were so tender and tasty. I think this was the first time I ate it all I had on my plate!
So, yesterday, I slept after lunch, I slept after ‘happy hour’, and then I slept right throughout the night.
There were quite few events that happened at altitude junkies site that day. One was that our Sherpas decorated inside of our dining tent with the prayer flags and told us that no swearing or bad mouthing should be allowed in that tent! That was quite a shock to many of us as quite few people here practice that kind of language. What we are going to talk about all these weeks if no bad jokes allowed! haha! Phil actually took it seriously and ‘enforced’ a dollar per swearword policy…Another thing that happened was a visitor came from Monte Rosa group and asked Phil to put up a posting .
Pepe from Mote Rosa is offering quite a luxurious services at the Everest Base camp! We couldn’t get over it all evening. Maybe the guy needs few extra bucks to cover his expedition expenses or so… Group stretching session – we got a good laugh about this one…Anyway, Holly and I decided we don’t need Pepe’s services and can do some ‘leg stretching’ on our own. So, this morning, after the breakfast, Holly and I went for a walk to the hill further away from BC where the tourists are allowed to come and take photos of the Everest Base Camp and of the mountain. No tourists are allowed to enter the base camp – Chinese are very strict about that. We kept stretching our legs and went to see the BC memorial for those who lost their lives on Everest.
It was quite emotional… I read about many of these climbers in books… I could hardly hold my tears in my eyes standing there, being so close to them. Many of them were just simple people like me or any other climber in my group, following their dream to climb Everest. Some were strong, experienced climbers, trying various new ascents. Standing there on that memorial hill with a perfect view of Mt Everest in front, I could not think of a better place for the memories of these people to rest in peace.
Tomorrow is the last day to pack and rest before we head for ABC. It is quite exciting! I think we’ve been long enough here at BC and we are now all eager to start moving. The plan is to leave after lunch on Sunday and walk to the Interim Camp which is around 5,800meters, basically half-way to ABC. We have no choice but stay there for one night as to go straight to ABC on the first rotation would be too dangerous. We are not completely acclimatized yet. Phil told us that the interim camp is very dirty, much worse that Nyalam and Tingri… So, not to catch any bugs while we are there, we are planning to stay at that camp minimum time possible. It will take from about 4 to 6 hrs to get there and when we get there, we just stay in our tents and leave as early as possible next day. This is why we are leaving BC only after lunch – we do not to go there and wait around for the tents to be built. The interim camp is where yaks stop on the way to ABC, so there is a ton of yak shit everywhere…
Anyway, I still have a day at BC and I am trying to take advantage of that free time. Today, in order to continue ‘stretching my legs’, I went for about two hours walk towards the ABC. The summit of Everest was covered in the clouds.
However, the views of surrounding mountain ranges and frozen lakes was incredible. I went on as far as I could, before the path was suddenly went upwards. I couldn’t see the summit of Everest but beautiful Pumori mountain was shinning in the distance, to the right of Everest.
On the way back, I was stuck behind yaks almost the whole way to BC.
Actually, herds of yaks where going both directions – up to the ABC and back to BC. I tried to be patient and enjoy the views. I even started chatting with some yak herders walking right in from of me. I was so surprised when one spoke to me in a pretty good English! When you look at these people of the mountains, you may get an impression they are very different. However, when you talk to them and listen, you see they are just like us, just happened to be born in this harsh environment.
One asked my where I was from. I said I am Lithuanian, but he couldn’t quite figure out where it was that. However, when Margaret approached and I told him that she is from Australia, a huge smile and nod came across his face. He knew exactly where Australia was. I wasn’t expecting him to know Lithuania as I get similar reaction from many relatively educated people all over the world.
Finally, I was back to BC. I wanted to find Pepe from Monte Rosa to interview him about his ‘base camp services’. However, everyone I asked around, nobody knew where Monte Rosa camp was. So, I decided to delay my search until tomorrow”.
Glad to hear they are all feeling good and Edita is looking for the Base Camp “Spa” ‘:-) I wonder if she will find it. Stay Tuned!