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Friday, April 20, 2012

Day 18 - Saying Farewell to the Climbers

Today right after our breakfast of the crowd favorite of scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes and fresh baked bread, the climbing team geared up and headed into the Khumbu Ice Fall all the way up to the first crevasse crossing via ladder - about a quarter of the way up the Ice Fall. I certainly would have enjoyed going with them, but my climbing gear is somewhere in the Khumbu other than EBC. If it doesn't show up here tomorrow, I'm hoping to catch up with it in Pheriche, my goal for Sunday's first day of trekking out. No worries.

I spent the morning doing a transfer of knowledge regarding the power and solar charging system to Joe, the base camp manager. This is Joe's baby. There was a lot of talk of Watts, amps, voltage, wire gages, battery dissipation rates, loads, charge controllers, etc. I knew that that second quarter of Physics was going to come in handy some day. Maybe going to class drunk wasn't as good of an idea as it seemed at the time.

I also set up the GoPro camera to record a few time lapse sequences that I edited in the afternoon on the team's laptop. One of them came out nice. I entitled that piece, "Klouds in the Khumbu" - by Sir Edmund Kurt Hunter. I'm going to enter it into the short, short, short film festival. Running time: 36 seconds. Massive potential to go viral on YouTube. File under "New GoPro owners." I'm certain that no one has made a time lapse video of clouds moving yet. I'm a trendsetter.

The climbing team organized their equipment and loads for their first rotation and the next thing you know we were having dinner. A spicy beef and vegetable stew with rice and fresh baked rolls. Come to Everest Base Camp for the views, stay for the food!

After dinner all of climbers wanted to go straight to bed because they will be getting up for breakfast at 2am in order to headed up on their first rotation by 3am. They will climb tomorrow about 8 hours to Camp I, spend two nights, move further up to Camp II, and spend another two nights before descending back to Base Camp on Wednesday, April 25. By that time I should have trekked the 35 miles down to Lukla and have flown back to Kathmandu on that same Wednesday.

As they headed to bed, I said my safety farewells and goodbyes to all of them in the unlikely (ha!) case I don't get up with them at 2am. I think I should be able to considering I didn't seem to have much trouble last night making another last ditch attempt to post my dispatch when I woke at about that same time. I also gave a call to Stuart and Scott in Edinburgh to hear about Stuart's travel experiences and make sure he arrived safe.

Tomorrow after the climbers go and all the communications business is taken care of, Joe and Jenny and I are planning to hike up to the Pumori advance base camp (18,700 ft.) for a view of Everest Base Camp, the Khumbu Ice Fall and Mount Everest, itself, that is said to rival Kala Patthar. And then Sunday I start my solo trek out early in the morning.

Hard to believe it's starting to come to an end! In less than a week I will be on a plane back to the States. And then it will just my memories and the about 50 billion photos that I've taken.

1 comment:

  1. An adventure of a lifetime that you will never, ever forget! Can't believe how fast the month has gone by!
    Can't wait to see you next weekend. Love you