Getting into the swing of things now in base camp and slept really well last night and feeling as if my body is adjusting to the altitude and climate well now.
I’m wearing a Garmin Fenix 6s pro solar watch that constantly monitors my body temp, blood oxygen level, heart rate, etc and the readings are starting to head back towards normal now after the hike up from Namche Bazaar, I’m also wearing an Oura ring that monitors all sorts of things and its good to see my sleep patterns and efficiencies so I can see if I’m adjusting better or need more rest - basically I’m getting loads of data and readings about my vital statistics and its slightly alarming to see how they are affected by the altitude but reassuring to see them heading back to (semi) normal, the altitude adjustment on the body is quite severe!
Today has been an epic day of training in the icefall, the sun has been shining and the Elite team had set up a series of training stations to test and practice ladder walking, rappelling, jumar practice and traversing all overseen by Nims. It’s referred to as ‘expedition specific’ training that Elite do and Nims expects everyone to be proficient in using the equipment on the mountain or ‘you shouldn’t be here’ he tells us all, the Elite team help and assist and guide everyone but at the end of the day everyone is responsible for themselves and Nims reminds us we will look stupid on the mountain if we don't get the skills down that we need. Everyone did really well and it was good to get back to using the equipment and do some training at this lower level before we start the real stuff up above the high camps. We train for about 3 hours and then head back to camp for lunch and to relax for the rest of the afternoon in the cafe.
It sounds like a luxury to have a cafe set up but living in base camp at this altitude for a prolonged period takes a real toll on your mindset and body and having a central set up where we can all relax and catch up on social media , emails, read or watch some Netflix on our iPads makes such a difference to keeping a positive mindset for the days and weeks ahead, each camp does it to a scale they can afford but Elite have pushed the boat out this year as they have so many expeditions and climbers this season - if I had to recommend a team to climb with it would be Elite every time!
Not sure what the plan is for tomorrow but more training I expect, Camp 3 has still to be set up high up the mountain and Nims has told us we won’t start our acclimatisation until that’s set up, our Sherpa’s have been going up through the icefall during the night to set up camp 2, it’s a gruelling and dangerous task for them and takes time to set up so we remain in base camp and train and make sure we’re ready to move when the time comes.
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