Everest 2008: Alan’s In BC!

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More news from Everest today, as the Ice Doctors are expected to finish up their work in the Khumbu Icefall and more teams gather in Base Camp and prepare for the climb to begin in ernest.

We’ll start off with our friend Alan Arnette who sent out a pair of dispatches yesterday, the first of which heralded his arrival in BC after a two hour hike from the last teahouse on the road to Everest. As always, Alan writes an interesting dispatch that really paints a picture of what the trek to Base Camp is actually like, and shares his thoughts about completing the first stage of his journey to the summit. The second dispatch gives an equally descriptive account of his puja ceremony and the party that broke out following it. With the puja over, and the Icefall opening soon, it’s nearly time to get down to business.

The Peak Freaks have been one of the more consistent teams releasing info so far this season, and they have yet another dispatch today as well. The team has been in BC for 11 days now, longer than anyone else, and they are getting anxious to get moving. They’ve done their duty by welcoming the other teams, and have worked hard in preparation, spending time practicing their ice climbing skills in the Icefall, but now they’ve elected to head to Kala Pattar, a mountain in the Khumbu Valley while they wait for the Ice Docs to finish their work. At 18,500 feet, Kala Pattar isn’t all that much higher than Everest BC, so they won’t gain a ton of acclimatization out of it, but I’m sure they’ll feel better actually standing on top of a mountain rather than just playing in the Icefall.

Also of interest is that the Peak Freaks seem to have confirmed the story I talked about yesterday where it was rumored that China would close Tibet until after the Olympics. It seems all visas to the country have been canceled, and the government is telling the trekking and guide services to not expect to open again soon.

Yesterday David Tait reported in that he is currently back in Kathmandu thanks to a conspiracy of circumstances that include dental work, missed messages, a hurried helicopter flight, and a city shutdown by elections. Despite all of that, he hopes to be in BC by the end of the weekend as he goes for another summit on Everest.

Most of the other news from teams is mainly about their arrival in BC and their preparations to move beyond the Icefalls. With any luck, the way will be clear by Sunday, and the long climb up to C1 can begin.

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