Everest 2008: Teams Still En Route

Over the weekend there were a host of updates from teams making their way to Everest Base Camp on the South Side. The Adventurist did his usual good job of summarizing the good stuff with quotes form some of the top groups.

For the most part, Base Camp is still empty, although Peak Freaks is there and already preparing for the climb by getting in some ice axe practice in the Khumbu Icefall. They also report that the Icefall Doctors took the day off yesterday, but expect to finish the task of putting down the ropes and ladders in the next four to five days.

The weekend was also a time for the traditional Puja Ceremony, which is of particular importance to the Sherpa people who will not set foot on Everest or begin the climb without first taking part in the ritual, which sees the entire team, their gear, and food all blessed. The Peak Freaks have undergone their Puja, as has Alan Arnette. You can read Alan’s excellent post on the ceremony here.

It seems a fresh blanket of snow covered the Khumbu Valley over the weekend, allowing the trekkers to have a bit of a cooler hike. Snow in that area is a bit out of the ordinary at this time of the year, and it was a refreshing, but surprising change of pace for those with experience on Everest.

Most of the dispatches over the weekend dealt with teams continuing to acclimatize in the Valley as they continue their trek to BC. There really isn’t any rush to get there at this point, as they can’t proceed beyond the Icefall yet to begin stocking the high camps and acclimatize at the higher altitudes. Look for things to heat up at BC later in the week, as more teams arrive. From there, we’ll have to wait to see how much news is getting in and out, as rumors of censored reports and no use of sat phones continue to persist.

Kraig Becker

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