at Basecamp August 21, 2001 Rongbuk Glacier
from the Rongbuk Glacier and Everest Basecamp. After
8.5 hours traveling 70 miles along a road you would
not believe, we pulled into basecamp yesterday, August
20th. The journey overland from Tingri makes it
tempting to think that the most perilous part of this
climb is over.
is laid up a bit today, nursing a very sore right
shoulder from being bounced repeatedly off the door of
the Land Cruiser. In fact, the word 'road' does not
really apply to many of the sections of the route.
'Track' would be more appropriate.
are emphatically overjoyed to finally be here. We are
the only expedition in basecamp at this time. Basecamp
on the north side is at an elevation of 17,000 ft. So
none of us is exactly sprinting about just yet. Though
we are the only expedition here, there are a few
trekkers about. Interestingly enough, we met John
Joyce and his daughter, Jaclyn. John is the CFO for
IBM, and is trekking with a company called Wild China
out of Beijing.
basecamp site is located on the only piece of grass in
the area - the rest of the area is gravel glacier
moraine. Our trucks departed for basecamp a day ahead
of us, so when we arrived, the dining and cooking
tents were up, and there were hot drinks waiting for
relaxing for a bit, we set to work putting up our own
tents and getting gear organized. Everybody was
hustling to beat the afternoon monsoon rain showers
that occur daily at this time of year. We had a couple
of brief partial views of the mountain yesterday.
However, today we had some truly spectacular views of
the north face and the west ridge. We were able to
glass over the upper portion of our planned route on
the north face. This left me in deep silent respect,
as it should for all of us.
we spent time just resting and acclimatizing. Tomorrow
will be more of the same for the most part. On
Thursday the 23rd, we plan on making a trip up to our
interim camp and back for the purpose of
acclimatization. This camp is approximately nine miles
from here at an elevation of about 19,800 ft. This
camp is enroute to our Advanced Base Camp (ABC) which
is 13 miles from our basecamp here, at an elevation of
about 21,300 ft.
Friday the 24th, we are expecting 33 yaks to show up
to assist moving gear up. On Saturday the 25th, we
begin transporting via yaks all the food and materials
needed for the climb up to the advanced basecamp. One
night will be spent at the interim camp enroute to
ABC. Although we will be resting tomorrow, we will
also be organizing loads in preparation for that trip.
current plan is that Brian, Karl, Kelly, Pemba and Man
Bahdur will accompany the loads to ABC. The loads will
be dropped on the morning of the 26th, and everyone
will return to basecamp in a single push.
then plan to start moving the entire team to ABC on or
about September 1. If the route to the top of the
North Col is in safe condition, we can start working
it upward within a couple of days of arrival at ABC.
If not, we will descend back down to basecamp and wait
for improved conditions. Patience and mental tenacity
are key factors in the safe success of this climb.
Other than some minor headaches and loss of appetite
from altitude, we are all doing well. We all send our
greetings to everyone at home. Goodnight from Everest
on the Expedition