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Ice fall test

Apologies, we have posted many dispatches at once due to the communication restrictions at BC.
These were posted by the Namche Cyber Cafe - thanks!

Some of us are on the mountain, others about to head up. It may be a while (a week or more) to our next dispatch.

Monday 21 April - Feeling good?

Andy writes: Following our puja ceremony yesterday the sherpas established Camp 1. David, James and Anselm took a more leisurely pace through the icefall, starting at 4am and reaching camp 1 at around 2pm. The intention is that they will stay there for around three days before moving to Camp 2, and finally dropping back to base camp after around a week.

The rest of the team remain in base camp recovering from various afflictions. Andy (cough), Raphael (toothache) and Gineth (back) will follow a similar acclimatization itinerary after a couple of days rest.

An interesting point to make here is that people rarely feel good climbing Everest. Altitude, change in diet, differences in temperature and a number of other factors combine to make the body react in a number of different, usually adverse, ways (in fact over breakfast this morning we had a wide ranging discussion on the different types of diarrheoa that could be contracted in Nepal and their various characteristics and treatments). This is why climbing Everest takes time, and is rarely a holiday. In fact, this is basically seven weeks of discomfort, hard work, and feeling poorly. Now why am I doing this?

Apparently a neighbouring expedition was throwing a “lipstick and salopettes” party tonight, in order to celebrate the birthday of one of their female members. Jamie was seen to be in possession of a bottle of whiskey and wearing a stretch fleece bodysuit a la Annabel Bond at around 9pm. The following morning he tested with the best oxygen saturation stats, how does that work?

22 April - Andy, Raphael and Gina test the ice fall

Jamie writes: we had a little wander up in the ice fall to brush up on skills and learn new ones like ladder crossing in crampons.

Gineth Soto on an icefall ladder

Gina practices crossing a ladder over a crevasse

Everest Base Camp

The Everest base camp town, our camp is above Gina's head
R-L: Da'Ongchu, Gina, Mindu, Andy, Raphael and Tarke barely visible - Jamie

Gina climbing, a sponsor shot perhaps - Jamie

Wednesday 23 April

Andy writes: The news from our advance team of David, James and Anselm is that they are acclimatizing very slowly, but not without a few headaches as they have made a significant jump in altitude! Meanwhile, those remaining at base camp went on a foray into the lower reaches of the icefall yesterday, testing some fixed ropes, crossing a few ladders and gaining just a bit of altitude – attached are some of Jamie’s superb pictures of the event. The team found the icefall generally far less intimidating than its reputation may suggest, but speed will be a real issue when actually moving the whole way to Camp 1. Our ailments are clearing , and so the plan is to do this tomorrow – an early start may be required!

Also, our amazing Sherpa team moved to establish Camp 2 today. Mindu Sherpa made Camp 2 in an amazing four and a half hours, carrying a “good” load! Our intention is to use Camp 2 as an advance base, from which we will make acclimatization pushes to camp 3.

We are unlikely to be able to post further dispatches until we return to base camp, which will be in about a week.

PS, David is back in BC and says climbing to C1 was all a lot harder than we expected.

Next dispatch - we switch BC to a beach in Thailand?

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