After three days in Lobuche Base Camp we made the move to EBC. This was the biggest day so far and after a long 17km trek gaining around 600m in elevation we found ourselves walking along a sharp lateral moraine (side ridge created by a receded glacier) which took us up and down over piles of rocky glacier until we came into Everest Base Camp which is situated at around 5250m.
For some reason I thought such a well known place would be fairly flat and established. They clear down the whole Base Camp each year and then rebuild. During this 12 months the grinding ice and rock is constantly reshaping and folding upon itself creating a new landscape each year.
The IMG Base Camp is HUGE. There are well over 50 tents including client tents, guide tents, cook tents, communication tents, charging tents, chillout tents, toilet tents, shower tents and others I am forgetting.
Getting around camp is interesting as like I said, it is all situated on top of a glacier so there are patches of ice and frozen pools peppered amongst the crumbled stone.
We are situated towards the ‘entry’ of Base Camp and it would take a good 15–20 minutes to navigate our way up to the other end of Base Camp. I’m sure I will get to know the entire site well over the next 6 weeks as I have friends with other companies dotted around.
The view from my tent is spectacular I look out past my vestibule (tent veranda) straight onto the Khumbu Icefall, something we will get to know very well in a few weeks. The Icefall curves around along the side of Base Camp and down the valley creating a strange landscape of knife edge ice spires and flat frozen glacier pools.
Today was a rest day although we started the day with a Puja ceremony which marks the end of the trekking and the beginning of the climbing. We (all climbers and sherpa) and all our equipment were blessed by a Lama who trekked in from a few villages away back down the valley. After a good hour of prayers they then raised a pole covered with prayer flags and wiped flour on everybody’s faces. It was a mess! Then the food and alcoholic rice wine was handed out and we all got up joined arms and sang Nepalese songs and danced till we were ready to drop. We (the westerners) were all so out of breath that we were really about to drop! The end of this ceremony was welcomed where we all retired to our tents to pass out for a few hours.
Last night in Base Camp for a while tonight as tomorrow we pack our bags with climbing gear, trek the 17kms back down to Lobuche Base Camp, sleep one night, climb up to Lobuche High Camp, rest a few hours and then go for the summit. Once we have achieved this we will rest another day then trek the 17kms BACK to Everest Base Camp where we will truly be based for the remainder of this adventure.
I will be offline for about 4 days. Will send the next update when I can.