Everest 2008: Updates From BC

Mount Everest
Yesterday we had new from the North Side and today we have a few updates from the South. It seems like more teams are arriving in Base Camp, and the Ice Doctors are proceeding as planned.

The latest dispatches from The Peak Freaks indicate that they are continuing with their practice sessions in the Icefalls, but have come across a body that is beginning to push up through the ice. This is a fairly common occurrence in that area, as people who fall in to the Icefall chasms are generally not found, but their bodies can later be pushed to the surface by the moving of the ice. The dispatch tells of a grisly scene, and promises “Pictures to follow”. Oh joy! Can’t wait for those! (Update: A new post indicates that it wasn’t a body at all, but someone’s garbage that contained the hipbone of an animal. Crisis averted!)

They also have an update from the Ice Doctors, who estimate that it’ll be another two to three days before they complete their rope and ladder course through the Icefall. After that, the mountain will be open, and teams can begin setting up Camp 1. They’ve also spotted Ang Pempa Sherpa in the Icefall with an HD camera. Apparently a documentary on the Ice Doctors is in the works, spotlighting the work they do. That should prove to be very interesting, and probably just a tad bit scary too.

Finally, the Peak Freaks also note that they are no longer alone in BC as other teams have begun to arrive. They mention that they might not have even noticed, as their camp is backed up against the Icefall itself. The newcomers are a bit further away, and the Peak Freaks team has to go over a ridge just to see them. The new team has had their Puja ceremony as well and seem to be getting settled quite nicely.

Speaking of newcomers in BC, it seems that the IMG Team is amongst them, as their most recent report claims that they were the first team in BC. They must have been surprised to see Peak Freaks after that. 🙂 The IMG dispatch says they’re happy with their camp location and layout and that the Sherpas have done an excellent job of preparing it for them. It’ll be home for some of them for awhile, so it’s good to hear it’s in working order.

Yesterday’s update from Everest Challenge says that Sir Ranulph Fiennes has left Kathmandu and is now en route to BC as well. He’s already reached Namche Bazzar where he is acclimatizing in preparation for the remainder of the trek to Base Camp. This is Sir Ran’s second attempt on Everest, having given it a go three years ago, and it seems like he’s enjoying the trek in the Kumbu Valley quite a bit, saying “Compared with my attempt to climb Everest from Tibet three years ago and the approach to the base camp on the Tibetan side – the Nepali side is wonderful.”

Alan Arnette has released an audio dispatch updating everyone on his progress. He leaves for BC today, but was treated to some great views of Everest thus far. The weather in the region is clear, affording early views of the summit, the Hillary Step, and more. He also reports in that his health is great and his entire team is doing well, and that they expect to be making their first excursion to the Khumbu Icefall over the next four or five days.

Finally, MountEverest.net has posted one of their traditional updates with news on more arrivals and departures, as more people arrive in Kathmandu and then depart for the Khumbu Valley and the trek to BC.

So far, we continue to get solid news from the South Side with no word on giving up sat phones or censored information. Hopefully that continues in the days ahead.

Kraig Becker

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