Today is a full rest day which I think everyone in camp is grateful for, its been fairly non stop since leaving the UK and I’m grateful to have a day completely free of training, hiking or equipment checks and to be able to chill out and firstly have a shower (my last was in Dingboche 6 days ago and there’s only so much you can do with a few wet wipes!) and then sort out some laundry which I’m pleased to find out can be done for me for a few dollars so I take advantage of that rather than trying myself with a bucket - I’m not that domesticated.
A drone pilot, called Steele Davis (no relation) @mrsteelefpv has arrived in camp to film some promotional footage and his work can only be described as amazing as he slips on a headset and remote control and flies his drone at super high speed around base camp and in and out of our tents (I managed to get my Yorkshire flag up in my tent before he films so look out for that if you get to watch it) and a few of the team do a yoga class on the helipad as part of the filming, I look forward to seeing the finished product.
Last nights ‘film’ was the 25 minute film from Ama Dablam that I climbed last November and the cafe tent was quite full so I sat and cringed at my few moments on screen, you can watch it on YouTube at https://youtu.be/5liPu5ply9M if you wish, the second film was Mingma David Sherpa carrying out a rescue on Everest which was slightly unnerving as we watched his amazing feat of endurance in rescuing a climber stranded just below the summit of Mt Everest, the climber had all but given up been rescued and was found just below the summit sat down listening to her ipod, its a testament to Mingma David’s skill on the mountains that managed to get her down and despite suffering severe frost bite that she kept all her fingers and toes and went on to make a full recovery. It was a hard watch given were sitting at the foot of the very mountain in question and will be heading up soon into this extreme and unforgiving climate.
To follow on from the film we then had a medical briefing from Agnwol, the team doctor who went through the contents of the medical kit that will be going up the mountain with us and will be on hand should we need it, her talk covers snow blindness, frost bite, broken and fractured limbs, HAPE, HACE and a multitude of other conditions that we may experience on the mountain. Agnwol discusses altitude sickness and what can be done given the extreme altitudes we might have and advises that in an extreme case of altitude sickness we can be administered Dexamethasone (“DEX”) which may give us a six hour lifeline to get down, however they aren’t sure if this might freeze in the medical bag so before we head up on our summit push we will each prepare a syringe injection and keep this within our summit suits where it will be warmest and on hand to administer should we need it, hopefully mine will stay safely tucked away in my pocket - it’s reassuring to have this with us but I have to say it puts the shits up me a bit and I headed to bed with a busy mind.
Mingma David sorts me out with some new crampons this afternoon as mine are too blunt I’m told for the ice climbing we will face, they have to be adapted with extender bars to fit the massive 8,000m boots we wear but hopefully with these new razor sharp points I’ll be climbing up the ice wall like spider man, alarmingly the new crampons made by Grivel have very small connection points to my points so don't look as sturdy as my old ones but I’m assured they are ‘new and improved’ - they f***king better be!
I’ve included a short view below of my tent below so you can see where I’m staying for the next six weeks and that’s the cafe in the top photo.