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Re-count of the last few days from Dwight

March 15, 2012

No phone service so typing this and will send it on when back in range. Yesterday hiked from Dingboche to labouche. Non eventful hike. Long and very cold at times. Nothing at Labouche but lodges. Quite a few people now. -12deg over night. Stayed in lodge – quite warm in dinning room. Iced over inside of windows again! Freezing in room. Left lodge at -11deg for Gorek Shep but no wind and sunny. So hot! Had to strip off 2 layers of clothes. Lasted an hour or so then the wind came and back to -average temps. Walked over huge glacier. Really cool! But hard and rocky. What I expected, as glacier moving so much. Gorek Shep is at 5200m and a tiny little place. It is the smallest and highest in Nepal – maybe the world. Used to be original base camp. Surrounded by 7000-8000+ metre peaks . Wow! Lunch then up to Kala Patar for sunset over Everest. Was -22deg yesterday. We are all hoping warmer today. We are all good. Altitude definitely taking affect. Everything is exhausting. Just need to walk really slow and rest a lot. Just blowing nose makes you huff a bit. After a minute or two all good again. Tomorrow is Everest Base Camp, and mission accomplished then back down the track.

Next Day: Left for Kala Patar at 3pm for sunset. Cloud came in and no view of Everest. Got really cold and and windy. -9 deg and getting colder by minute. Started to snow high up on mountain tops so that was it. Mike, Anthony, Dave and I stayed as long as possible them came down. Dark by the time 3/4 down. Woke this morning to snow everywhere.

Next Day: Holy crap! What a day. Had 2 pair thermals, 2 long sleeve shirts, 2 fleece jumpers and gortex jacket, 2 gloves, lined pants and wet weather pants, 2 pair socks and toe warmer pads. Full balaclava. Neck buff. Snowed the whole way and howling with wind to our backs most of the time so packs took the brunt of it. Took 2.5hrs of hard slog to get to base camp. Copped a rock avalanche on a very narrow ridge. Had to duck and weave. Took a ricochet rock on the knee, and ducked under another. Thankfully just a small rock but will have a bruise tomorrow. Got to base camp after climbing over boot wide glacier ice with a few pebbles scattered over for grip. What a barren place! Hard to imagine climbers and support crews there for months. No flat areas for tents at all. Supposed to be 45 teams this year – just can’t imagine it.

Everest Base Camp is right on the glacier next to big ice flow. Quite an emotional moment – even more so as the trek in so hard. Cameras shut down in cold and a couple of screens cracked, so unfortunately not to many photos. Will just have to share around what we have. Wind and snow howling. Had to leave as just too cold. On the way back snow very heavy at times and straight in the face. Could not see out of iced up glasses and pelting snow in the face hurt. Faces covered in ice and snow. Look like wild mountain men with our beards! Back to warm lodge and hot tea! Bliss!! But snow blowing in from windows and roof! Just sat around fire exhausted all ended up asleep. Wow what a day! Plan was to drop down 2 villages this afternoon, but not happening now. Hope weather improves so we can get down tomorrow.

So pleased the end has been reached and can just focus on getting home now! There is a few of us the same. The goal now is to get back. This has all been great and amazing but looking forward to being back at sea level.

Next Day: Back in range now. Left Gorak Shep at 8am to snow covered ground and clear blue sky’s. Still very cold. Arrived at camp site under monastery at 6pm. It took us 4 days to get up excluding the 2 day side trip to Ama Dablam base camp! Hard to believe we have covered the same ground. Mostly down hill and ran into a lot of people going up in the first hour. Wouldn’t want to be doing this in peak season. Too many people for these little villages to cope with.

Another long day again tomorrow. Trying to make up a day or so to get back to civilization. So much easier to breathe back down here at 3800m from 5200m at Gorak Shep. Makes the hills easier to. The end is near!

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Jan Woodham permalink
    March 15, 2012 1:46 am

    Thank you so very much for such a descriptive blog, I can almost see what you are describing – even though I do not the rest of you (friend of Dave Turners) I am so incredibly proud of single and joint achievement. Well done – nothing in life from here on in will ever be a challenge for you all – you have proven what incredible men you are. safe travels homeward bound – enjoy and smell the roses (so to speak) along the way. jan 🙂

  2. March 15, 2012 1:49 am

    Awesome description of what it’s really like Dwight.

    I would not have imagined cameras shutting down and screens cracking… but you still have the amazing experience even without pics!

  3. Tracie permalink
    March 15, 2012 1:59 am

    Wow, that was a great read. My mind was imagining it all as I was reading it. No one can say what you guys have accomplised was easy.. Very proud of you Blair and the rest of the guys. Hope you all come down safely and enjoy every moment. Gotta love the Everest Rockstars!!!

  4. March 15, 2012 2:28 am

    Couldn’t agree more, very vivid commentary. I was ducking the rocks whilst reading.
    Glad to hear everyone is still in high spirits (although a little weary) and able bodied.
    Go lads go, almost there.

  5. Kelvin permalink
    March 15, 2012 2:43 am

    You guys are truly a whole world away from the rest of us. This is like following the Apollo Moon landing. I’m very happy for you all. This is a huge achievement. Congratulations on making it to Base Camp in such difficult conditions. The trip back should be much easier. To Mike, I hope the massage Sherpa is doing ok! I can’t wait to talk to you about the trip when you get back. To say I am jealous is a massive understatement. My time will come! Safe travels and watch out for the Yeti!

  6. Jim & Eileen O'Hara permalink
    March 15, 2012 3:35 am

    Well done. Congratulations on a great trek. Many people would like to do what you have done but live with regret for not doing so. What wonderful memories formall of you. Jim & eileen

  7. Gary Wert Snr. permalink
    March 15, 2012 7:20 am

    hey blair rippa blog matey so beaut reading alright thanks very much top of the world boys top of the world eh top trek top effort top aussie boys now concentrate gettin down alright mates luvya ol ma wert ZZXXOO ZZXXOO

  8. Gary Wert Snr. permalink
    March 15, 2012 9:49 pm

    ooooooooooops sorry dwight it was your blog anyways massive description of whats goin on up in your mountain space truely fantastic thank you very much dwight safe home our aussie supa doopa boys i luv yous all go gazza go ol ma wert toodlesZZXXOO

  9. Tony Sutton-Yeomans permalink
    March 17, 2012 9:34 am

    awesome effort, fantastic log, sounds like you’ll all deserve a cold beer and celebrate sea level 🙂

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