A last minute weather change means our departure from basecamp has been delayed 24 hours, it happens and it’s important we go for the best weather window we can so Nims decides to delay everyone and we will now go tonight, I must say from my point of view I’m glad of the extra nights rest and waking up this morning to blue skies and sunshine was glorious and has certainly put me in a positive mood to set off on our summit push.
For today we will do another equipment check (and re-check) and rest in basecamp, there’s an excitement around basecamp now that we are prepping to go and the whole Phase 1 team can sense the end of the expedition is in sight.
Last night, Nim’s, returning from a successful summitting of Kangchenjunga, threw a party for the team, the cafe was packed with around 40 Sherpa’s, 10 kitchen staff and 20 team members plus film crew, photographers and others - it makes for quite a number and the Khukri rum was flowing unabated with lots of dancing - the Sherpas have some amazing dance moves that I hope to learn to improve my Dad dancing but I doubt I will carry it off with the same style. I managed to sneak out around 10pm and head to bed and the party went on past midnight but I was fairly tired so slept through it, surprisingly Nims and all the Sherpa’s look surprising bright this morning - clearly hangover’s don’t exist up here.
This afternoon we had a briefing on the use of oxygen which we will be going onto from Camp 3 onwards, we were taught the assembly process of the oxygen system and how to pack it properly in our rucksacks. The flow rate will be monitored and controlled by our Sherpas as they see how we get on and if we need a boost at all during the push to the summit they will give us a twist on the dial and the extra oxygen should propel us upwards. For our team summit attempt the Sherpa’s have carried up over 200 oxygen bottles and at the end of the expedition will carry the empties back down to be flown out to Kathmandu to be recharged, its a massive logistical operation to move this amount of equipment up and down the mountain but without it an attempt on the summit would be beyond most people. In camp 4 we will sleep next to our oxygen bottles and use these only if we need to during the night.
The afternoon is spent discussing any last minute preparations with our individual Sherpa’s and chilling in the camp cafe, spirits are high and the team is good to go now, we swap tips and questions between each other but mostly I try and keep out of the discussions, things can be over discussed sometimes and I’m happy I know what I’m doing and Mingma David will be on hand to keep me right as we work our way up to the top of the world and back down again.
I’m eager to get going now and hopefully will be back blogging in 6 days or so.