Thursday, April 8, 2010

Safe arrival at Everest Basecamp!

I have safely arrived at Everest Basecamp. How cool is this? I am presently sitting at 17,500’ A.S.L. typing away on our fantastically reliable GD8000 computer. The weather has been absolutely fantastic. Not one cloud in the sky every single day and very warm temperatures. As well, there has been a slight breeze to keep the trekking to basecamp manageable.

Actually, we are one day ahead of schedule. Since the team is all very strong and healthy we decided to skip the last village of Gorak Shep and trek all the way to basecamp. I am positively dumbfounded at the facilities and amenities we have here. I will elaborate more on these luxuries at a later time.

So what is in store for the next couple of days? I need to acclimate to this altitude so the name of the game is rest, rest, and more rest, at least for a couple of days. Tomorrow we will have our puja ceremony. This is another Buddhist ceremony in which a local lama will come to our basecamp. The sherpas have built a chorten or alter and will string out 5 strands of prayer flags. A little rice throwing, some prayers, dancing and drinking will be just enough for the sherpas to feel safe and secure. The following day they will begin carrying loads of gear up the mountain in order to help us build and supply our camps. Of course I will be respectful but will chose to sit this ceremony out. In a few days we will begin to wander into the icefall. This is the most spectacular portion of the Southside route on Mount Everest. We will come back to rest a few more days and then make our first foray all the way through the icefall and sleep at Camp 1.

Since my computer and satellite connection are much more reliable now I will be able to provide updates much more frequently. Thank you to everyone who has kept the team and I in your prayers. A special measure of thanks to those who have prayed specifically for my back. So far, no problems. My back is feeling fine.

Thanks for following along. More to come later. Is that fresh bread I smell?