Sorry for the long delay, I’m so early arriving at base camp there is no internet yet – had to walk a 3 hr round trip to post!
All is well! Settling into base camp life and acclimatizing slowly. I’m dealing well with the altitude I think, not a headache or any other altitude sickness symptoms to report at all. I forget I’m at 5,270m / 17,300ft until I start walking quickly or running, and then it bites! I also discovered all the things I hold my breath for, which normally you don’t notice but here they leave you gasping. Taking photos, pouring tea, putting in contact lenses! Strange habits!
As I’m the only client here at the moment I have my meals with the Sherpa, which is fun. They are a spirited jolly group somit is a privilege to hang out with them. The cook is really good as well which helps, from the traditional dal bhat for lunch to hot chai for those frigid early mornings.
It’s cold in base camp, barely above freezing during the day, if at all, although the sun is so ferocious at this latitude and altitude you can almost wear a t-shirt in the afternoon. At night it’s -12C / 5F or lower. I knew getting that -30C sleeping bag was a good idea! In any case I’m adapting to the cold, it’s really not bad. I don’t even wear gloves. And the views make it worth it!
Did my first mini acclimatization climb yesterday, up to the 5,670m base camp of Pumori, a 7,100m mountain overlooking base camp. In 2014 my record time at a strong but manageable pace was 1hr 15 mins from the path turnoff, after 2 weeks acclimatization. This time it was 55 mins after 4 days. So although I don’t feel fitter than last time, perhaps I am. However, when I pushed a little harder the feeling was brutally agonizing, as my lungs tried to expand but they don’t go any further – a sensation of slow motion suffocating. A taste of what is to come higher up, perhaps? Daunting.
In any case the view from Pumori base camp was worth it – again!
Hopefully the internet is installed soon so I can post more frequently. Hope all is well!