The Everest 2010 spring climbing season hit another milestone today with the news that the first teams have arrived in Base Camp on both the North and South Sides of the mountain. With both ExWeb and Alan Arnette confirming that RMI and the Peak Freaks are now on the scene in Nepal. Meanwhile, on the Tibetan side of the mountain, a Hungarian team has reached BC and is preparing to move up to Advanced Base Camp by the weekend.
With the news yesterday that the route through the Khumbu Icefalls is now complete, Everest is about to become a very busy place. There will be teams heading up on both sides in a matter of days, beginning the process of establishing their camps, shuttling gear, and acclimatizing to the altitude.
Speaking of altitude, it is apparently getting to some of the climbers and trekkers on the way to BC on the South Side. Tim Rippel, who is with the Peak Freaks team says that two of the members had to go back down the mountain to recover from Acute Mountain Sickness, or AMS. As Tim points out, they have “hit the wall”, but it has nothing to do with fitness, and everything to do with how the body adapts to being at altitude. Hopefully with a little time in the region, they’ll be back with their teammates soon.
In his latest update, Alan notes that there are still some teams in Kathmandu, biding their time, and waiting for the initial rush to BC to be over. Those teams have the benefit of trekking in less crowded conditions, but also the teams ahead of them help to find the challenging, more difficult, spots along the climb as well.
Alan also reports that the fixed ropes are already in place to Camp 1, but that it’ll be a few days before they start up. They’ll settle into camp, rest and acclimatize in BC for a bit, and of course, there is the all important Puja Ceremony before they can actually begin the climb itself. That will likely take place in the next day or two, and the climbers will have the proper blessings to begin the ascent.
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