Everyone is up early to get moving this morning and the dining room is a hectic scene as everyone tries to grab breakfast, beds are cleared away and teams of tired slept trekkers try to get mobilised.
As soon as breakfast is done we throw on our packs and head out, a quick cheerio to the Lobuche team (we will see them later in base camp ) and we’re off, at a decent pace! TJ drops back to trek with the Lobuche team and we are joined by Max from the Lobuche team who wanted to trek a bit faster and had been told ‘follow Steve’ so the three of us Max, myself and Azay kick on up the trail.
We soon reach Gorak Shep the last place before basecamp where trekkers often stay or climbers might stay to climb Kala Patar for acclimatisation, kits basic to say the least and we just pass straight through and onwards towards basecamp. Its an up and down trek skirting along the mountain side before we are onto the ridge line that will lead us into base camp and our pace means were in front of most trekkers and the trail is quiet, we arrive at the Everest Base Camp marker stone and the cameras come out again. This is the point that those trekking to Base Camp stop at and go no further so its normally a busy point as everyone takes a break, grabs their photo next to the stone before heading back to Gorak Shep or Lobuche. Unfortunately thefts from tents, people more trying to grab a souvenir than anything else, has meant that they have had to stop trekkers going further into base camp.
The Elite Exped camp is another 20 mins further into base camp and we arrive just as the photoshoot for the Puja is finishing and I manage to run in to get into the team photo, to a great cheer from the whole Elite team.
I get a quick tour of the basecamp (I will blog about base camp later in the week) and am then shown my tent named Mt Dhaulagiri. It’s fairly luxurious given the location and its a large tent you can stand up in, has a desk, chair and a single bed (this really is a mountain luxury to be off the floor), power and lighting. I head into the Elite Cafe that has been set up in a huge dome tent and have a welcome hot drink and rest before the chairs are pushed back and the post puja party starts - a lot of alcohol is consumed and some rather chaotic dancing for the next five hours or so, its a mountain tradition and everyone certainly throws themselves into it, I even break out a bit of dad dancing!
A couple of the Lobuche team members are struggling with the altitude and one is put on oxygen in his tent with a Sherpa sleeping next to him for the night, hopefully they will recover after some rest and I also hear that a Sherpa fell in the icefall into a crevasse in the early hours, the first fatality of the season, anther reminder of the risks involved.
A late dinner in the dining tent and them I’m off to bed, I’m knackered from the hike up and tomorrow we have an acclimatisation hike after breakfast.
Happy Easter by the way.