The climax of our trip is fast approaching. It is hard to believe both where I am and what I get to be doing. With no planned events for our rest day my dad and I went for a short (90 min) hike up to a ridge above our camp. Each of the 360 degrees around us was filled with jaw dropping peaks capped with snow. We were even able to get a few quick glimpses of Everest when the clouds would momentarily cooperate (video to be posted after we return).
The layout of our camp is 54 individual tents for each of the trekkers, climbers, and guides. For meals there are 3 large dining tents and one large kitchen tent. For the bathroom, men and women are each allocated a different side of the hill for pee and there is a tent with a toilet seat for poop. There is even a space for showers once the water thaws (likely not for another week we are told.
Tomorrow we have about a 5 hr hike with a quick stop in Gorak Shep to use an internet cafe or the 3G signal to send out the last two blog posts. The usual weather patterns have been clear skies and warm sun in the morning with afternoon clouds rolling in and stormier weather in the evenings. It is snowing outside as I type this on my dad’s iPad in my tent.
Hard to believe that tomorrow we will head towards Mount Everest Base Camp at an altitude higher than anywhere in the continental United States. We will only have 50% of the oxygen available to breathe compared with sea level. Our schedule of rest days and slow altitude gains will pay off to allow us to breathe (mostly) normally in the thin air.
Thanks for all the support and with some hard work the next words you read will be sent from Everest Base Camp.