The latest dispatch from Seth Waterfall…
April 14, 2010
This is Seth Waterfall broadcasting from Everest Basecamp. It’s been another beautiful day here. We’ve had a few inches of snow each of the past few night and it has spruced the mountains up nicely. Everything is coming along in our preparation for our first acclimatization rotation. Today Dave went up to Camp One to check on the conditions in the icefall. He made great time and got some really good info on how we can move through the icefall efficiently. The rest of the group went out on to the Khumbu glacier and practiced our climbing and rappelling skills. It was sunny and warm on the glacier and all of the team members were able to run several laps on the ‘obstacle course’ that the guides set up. This practice is designed to get us familiar with our equipment and allow us to make adjustments in a safe environment. The next step for us will be to head up to Camp One and Two in order to build up our acclilmatization. But before we do that we still have several days of adjusting to the altitude here at Basecamp. It’s a long process but this is necessary in order to give all of us the best shot at the summit.
Basecamp is rapidly filling up with teams from all over the world. The camp is just about full. There are only one or two teams that have not arrived. Yesterday we were delighted to see our friends Melissa Arnot and Dave Morton arrive. They are camped about a quarter mile up the glacier and they stopped by for tea after they unpacked their gear. We’ve had several visitors from most of the big teams. It’s great to break up the day with a few visitors and share stories from the trek in.
We’ll check in again tomorrow.
The Khumbu Icefall
The latest RMI Dispatch from Wendy’s Guide, Seth Waterfall…
April 9, 2010
This is Seth saying hello from Everest Base Camp!
This is the team’s second full day at base camp and we’re steadily getting our communications gear online. We’ve got a large solar array and we are able to power all of our communication equipment completely by the sun. As you can imagine, though, getting several computers up and running for email access is not a trivial task at 17,500 feet in the heart of the Himalaya. That said, all of the planning and hard work that my boss, Jeff Martin, and our Basecamp Manager, Mark Tucker, have put in is paying off and we’ll all be able to email and call our families and friends shortly.
It’s not all about the modern conveniences here though. We’ve also been busy becoming a part of the base camp community. Last night we paid a visit to the Icefall Doctors and the Himalayan Rescue Association. RMI and First Ascent have made generous clothing and gear donations to the Icefall Doctors this season and last. Last night we dropped off new climbing clothes for ‘the docs’. Those guys work extremely hard at establishing and maintaining the fixed ropes and ladders through the icefall so that the expeditions can focus on the upper parts of the mountain. It was great to be able to show our appreciation by giving them brand new climbing gear.
After visiting the Icefall Doctors we dropped by the HRA to visit the medical doctors at base camp. We had a few clothing items from First Ascent to share with them as well. The HRA is a full medical clinic that is open to anyone here at base camp. This allows expeditions to pool their money to fund the clinic as opposed to each expedition brining their own doctors. The doctors at the clinic usually conduct some kind of research and this year they are working on treatments for the notorious ‘Khumbu Cough’. It’s nice to know that there is work being done on a treatment for the painful cough; I just hope that no one in our expedition becomes part of the study.
We’ve also started to think about heading up the mountain. Today we had our Puja. This ceremony involves a blessing by a Buddhist Lama and the raising of our Puja Pole. It is also a big party and folks from around base camp dropped by to help us celebrate. Our camp is now laced with prayer flags and we have all been blessed and are now free to move up the mountain. This is most important for our Sherpa team as they do not enter the icefall until after the ceremony. Now that we’ve had our Puja we will spend several days practicing for the icefall and upping our acclimatization. Then we’ll be ready to start our first rotations up into the Western Cwm. Wish us luck!
The full moon rises behind the serrated ridge of Lhotse and illuminates the Khumbu Icefall and Basecamp
RMI dispatch courtesy of Seth Waterfall – Wendy’s amazing guide!
March 30, 2010
Hi, this is Seth writing you from the Everest Bakery and Cyber Cafe in Namche Bazaar. It’s a beautiful day in the Khumbu.
Our schedule calls for a rest day today in order to allow our bodies to adjust to the altitude here. It’s kind of strange to have to acclimatize to a location that is a fully functioning town. But a slow and steady approach to basecamp is necessary to keep us healthy for the upcoming climb.
Namche is a beautiful village located in a high amphitheater surrounded by craggy peaks. The town is bustling with trekkers from all over the globe which give it a very cosmopolitan feel. It’s the Sherpa capital and it’s cool to see all of the guys moving through town on their way to basecamp. It must be climbing season.
The team is doing well and everyone is enjoying the trek so far. A few of us were able to get a glimpse of Everest this morning, which was great. It’s as big as I remember!
Tomorrow we are taking a day hike to the village of Kumjung and hopefully we’ll be able to get views of Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse and of course Everest.