Yesterday we received word that the route through the Khumbu Icefall is now open and climbers can are free to begin their acclimatization ascents up to Camp 1on Everest’s South Side. There is only one problem, aside from the Sherpas, there really isn’t anyone in Base Camp just yet. The teams are making steady progress to BC however and we should see some of them arriving as early as this weekend.
There are a couple of routes that can be taken to BC allowing trekkers to have slight variations on their approach. One of those routes runs through the village of Pheriche, which is where the Himex team team finds themselves today. They will reportedly take the standard tour of the high altitude hospital located there tomorrow and get a lecture of the dangers of acute mountain sickness aka altitude sickness. After a couple of days in Pheriche they’ll then continue upwards to a specialized camp set up near Lobuche East, which they’ll climb in a few weeks as part of their preparation.
The Peak Freaks are in Pangboche today where they are taking a rest day, making an acclimatization hike and meeting with Lama Geshe to get a blessing before they climb. Yesterday they posted the video below that is a great 4 minute glimpse of the trek that everyone is on right now. It does an excellent job of showing the sights of the Khumbu including the people, yaks and scenery. Just excuse the music and shaky cam.
Ian Ridley reports in today on his trek to Lobuche on a day that featured clear skies and beautiful weather. At this point of the trek the trail starts to get a bit more rocky and Ian says there was 8-10cm (3-4 inches) of fresh snow to hike through as well. Progress has been good however and he now expects to reach Base Camp on Saturday.
Kenton Cool is in Namche Bazaar on his trek to BC where he’ll make an attempt at his 10th summit of Everest while carrying a 1924 Olympic gold medal to the summit. He’s posting regular video updates along the way and sharing tales from the trail as well.
You’ll find similar reports from a host of teams who are now closing in on Base Camp and will start to set up shop there over the next few days. With the icefall open I’m sure they’ll be eager to start their climb up to Camp 1 early next week. Up until now, BC has been a quiet, sleep little tent city, but it is about to come alive with climbers.
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