April 8, 2013' - Tim checks in: "We have arrived.. Everest Base Camp.. 5360m..." So good to be home at base camp. Karsang and the crew cooked up a fantastic roasted chicken dinner, sushi for starters, veggies and an awesome cake, followed by some good laughs and tired team. Everyone is off to bed now.
Tomorrow I'll take the trekkers out to touch the ice-fall so they can say "they could go no further" and get that photo. Then early afternoon Ang Nima will take them down to Gorak Shep. They are going to climb Kala Pattar to get the most sought after photo of Everest with the Khumbu glacier, Lhotse and Nuptse from the summit of Kala Pattar at 5545m.
We have our old location back that we had a few years ago here at EBC. It's tucked up into a cave feature very close to the ice-fall, no wind and quiet. I was super tickled to see what the Sherpas did for me. I have my own island. They built my personal tent camp in the middle of a lake with a stone walk way to the middle of it. They placed rocks to put my tent up high on it for great views, I love these guys! They are best team one could ever have, I feel so honored to have them in my life all these years, truly my family away from family.
Tashi went up to Camp 2 today to organize our camp location. Tomorrow the climbers will start organizing their equipment while the Sherpas will begin carrying loads to build Camp 1. This is a temporary camp used in the early stages of the climb for a layover place if needed. We'll need to take the dinning tent, toilet tent, sleeping tents, kitchen equipment and food supplies. The next work load will be carrying supplies and equipment to Camp 2.
Before any work begins on the mountain we'll have a Puja ceremony, this ceremony is believed to make contact with divine Sagamartha (Mount Everest) and ask her for clear the passage for everyone, the Sherpa climbers will not climb before they are blessed, this will take place tomorrow morning so the trekkers can be part of it too. This is the most important blessing for our team; Western climbers, Sherpa climbers, foodand equipment. Climbing boots and axes and crampons will be piled around the Stupa, it's a moving experience for anyone who has had the opportunity to be part of one, the burning of juniper and the chant from Lama Mingma, the tossing of rice and drinking of chang (or beer) all adding to this magical and spiritual event. Of course there is also a monetary part to help support the local monasteries.
Climber Lee den Hond is here with a TV crew, Kate Barry and Jonathan Crawford of "Carte Blanche", we are happy that the timing has worked out for them to capture this part of the expedition to share with everyone back in South Africa.
Good news on the communications front. 3G seems to working well from EBC. Over and out..... Tim
Photos: Camerman- Jonathan Crawford at work.... Mountain Guides- Joshua and Marty sporting their styl'in white glasses and their fat guide packs.