Staying connected has been significantly more challenging here at Everest Base Camp than during the trek in. Luckily with my Dad’s local SIM card from Kathmandu we can make calls out for only slightly more than 3 cents per minute, incredibly cheap. Unfortunately, although the signal works for calls, it is almost always too weak to handle data, which means we are forced to use our group’s satellite connection, which is very pricey at $5 / MB or $5 / email (not including attachments). In order to avoid those exorbitant prices I am posting this from Panboche on our trek back down.
Today is another standard day of relaxing. I had my first shower in a long while, which was really nice with hot water, boiled by our kitchen. The water goes in a jug that I pump about 30 times and then spray the water over my body in our shower tent. This tent is sealed shut by zippers to avoid making a mess. A nice by-product of the sealed tent is it keeps the stream in so I can stay warm even though it is freezing outside.
We did have an event added to our day when one of our fellow trekkers got very sick with a high fever and has to be helicoptered off the mountain. Unfortunately, the weather rolled in and so they are keeping him on an IV and bottled oxygen until he can fly out tomorrow morning. It is a constant reminder of the dangers of altitude and to be thankful that everyone in my family is in good health.
Tomorrow we head back down to Loboche Base Camp, where we spent 2 nights before Everest Base Camp. We have an optional detour to summit Kala Pattar, a nearby peak that is about 1,000 ft higher than Everest Base Camp, which I will attempt with a few other trekkers. The climbers, including my Dad, climbed this peak today and were saying the views will be spectacular if we have clear skies like today.