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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Day 10 - Rest Day at Lobuche

All of the teams climbing Everest this season are starting to come together. This morning at breakfast we noticed a bunch of the Eddie Bauer/First Ascent team assembled outside, including Jim Whittaker - the first American to summit Everest in 1963! I was a little sad that I was unable to snap a photo of him or with him. A helicopter landed to pick him up while the rest of First Ascent team looked on. I spotted Dave Hahn (red jacket) and Melissa Arnot (green jacket) and did get a picture of them. Celebrity climber heaven! Pretty cool.

For our acclimatization hike today we headed about 25 mins up the trail and off a slight branch to the Italian Research Pyramid. We were kindly given a brief tour inside where the Italians man the station year round to conduct atmospheric research. Super interesting. While we were there a group of Sherpa and other researchers were being trained on how to make repairs to the weather and collection station that is maintained on the South Col of Everest at 26,000 ft.

After we continued our hike by climbing the ridge behind the Pyramid to 17,000 ft. to gain our first view of Everest Base Camp and part of the Khumbu Ice Fall. I snapped off a picture while one of the very frequent avalanches came down off the side of the Ice Fall. Look for the plume in the center of the photo above the one of Steve, Garrett, and me. I felt great on the hike.

We came back down to Lobuche for a lunch of chow mien and egg rolls. The food here at Lobuche is actually really good. Most of the crew is off resting or down to the Internet cafe. I'm still hanging out in the dining room typing up this dispatch before I head down to upload. Willi Bengas of the Patagonia Brothers just came in and I spoke to him for a bit. Last year on Everest, Garrett had talked to Willi about RainOn and he had an interest. I met Willi's twin brother when we were on Aconcagua in 2010. The Bengas brothers are probably the most famous climbers from Argentina; do a web search.

This morning the trekkers and Island Peak climbers, along with most of the friends and family of the climbers headed up to Gorak Shep. Tomorrow the friends and family will climb Kala Patthar in the morning, then met up will the trekkers back in Gorak Shep and all will head to Everest Base Camp. After lunch, the trekkers and Island Peak climbers will descend back to Gorak Shep while the family and friends will spend the night at base camp.

Tomorrow we (the Everest climbing team that I'm hanging with) will head up to Gorak Shep for lunch and then on to Everest Base Camp. Along the way we will pass the trekkers and Island Peak climbers on their way down.

After a night at Base Camp, I will descend with the family and friends to met up with the trekkers and Island Peak climbers in Gorak Shep. While we are doing this, the trekkers and Island Peak climbers will have their Kala Patther climb in the morning. We will all then descend all the way back to Dingboche for the night and then the split of trekkers and Island Peak climbers.

Complicated these expedition logistics! Tomorrow I'm in Everest Base Camp!!
Last night after we arrived at Lobuche, my slightly dizzy head turned into a full blown headache (4 on a 5 scale). This is very common and I've been reading in the trekking book that most altitude effects on the base camp trek actually occur near Lobuche. I tried drinking, pressure breathing, and music induced meditation. Red Hot Chili Peppers perhaps not the best choice to meditate to but they do rock!

About 7:30pm I talked with Eric (one of our guides) and he suggested two Excedrin and see how I was feeling in an hour. After an hour the headache was still in full swing, so I took another Excedrin and 125mg of Diamox and went to bed. I fell straight asleep and when I woke up at 12:30am, the headache was gone and I felt great! A well known side effect of Diamox is an increase in pee. And we come full circle to the pee bottle I featured a couple of weeks ago. I'll spare you the details. I feel great today and very much back to normal.


  1. Awesome news! What a great shot of you and Steve and Garrett! Chinese food and egg rolls? Man, you guys continue to eat great food! The First Ascent team and a helicopter--man, I'm expecting to see a picture of you and that guy, Russell Bryce soon!
    Have a great day and have fun reaching base camp.
    I love you

  2. I was happy to see you got rid of your headache. Boy, you all are eating like you're in 5 star restaurants. Looking forward to you reaching base camp. What a great experience. Love you, MOM

  3. Happy to hear your headache went away and you are closing on base camp. Magnificent article today and thanks for the picture of you, Garret and Steve too. My next request would be a close-up.:)

    happy travels today..