Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tomorrow morning the climb begins in earnest

I am lounging around today at Chinese Basecamp doing very little other than walking about, meeting other climbers, playing cards, and eating.  I even managed a nap!  Who said mountaineering was difficult.  Oh...just wait.  Life gets way more interesting for me and the rest of our group in the next few days.  We leave for Interim camp (IBC) tomorrow morning.  After two nights sleeping at that altitude (5800m) we then head up to Advanced Basecamp (ABC) for several days.  As I explained previously, we embark on round 1 of our acclimatization process where we climb higher and sleep lower than we climb.  To many, these rounds don't make much sense but to mountaineers these are the common tool for getting used to the low oxygen.  So by April 22nd, we will be at ABC.  The 23rd we rest.  On the 24th, we walk across the snowfield and touch the headwall then return to ABC to sleep (and eat).  Then the 25th we do a little ropework practice.  On the 26th, we climb up to the North Col then back to ABC.  Finally, we hike back down to CBC on the 27th.  Those days up high gives our bodies a chance to get accustomed to the low oxygen.  We should all feel pretty good after our return to CBC - even better than we feel now. 

Today, I met many climbers when we toured Basecamp.  One thing I love about climbing with Brendan is that we are both social and largely uninhibited.  We just walked into the 6 neighboring camps and said hi.  We met Chinese, British, American, and Austrian climbers on our tour.  Climbers are often very friendly and those we met today didn't disappoint.  We also witnessed a black tie affair at CBC.  These folks aim to set the world record for highest formal dinner at the North Col.  Here they are during dress rehearsal...

So much fun!  These folks are from the UK.  Very nice and welcoming.  Cheer them on if you can.  Search for highest formal dinner on Everest. 

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