I'm usually up around 5am, the fight for the bathroom is on. The conditions are pretty primitive, the smells are beyond description, we go through hand sanitizer like crazy. You don't wash your hands or drink water from faucets, it's boiled then we sterilize it with a steri-pen.
When clothes are hung to dry, they freeze like hard plywood. Today is a climb to about 15,000 ft. Some members of the team are experiencing more headaches which is normal, along with slight loss if appetite. I'm getting ready to go have porridge for breakfast, I'm not a big breakfast eater. For dinner last night I had garlic soup, steamed rice, fried vegetates, and apple pie. We get to choose what we want to eat, everyone gets something different of course, the night before it was French fries and apple pie, it was great. Of course it doesn't taste like McDonalds but I imagined it did☺
While writing this in bed, I can hear people coughing in other rooms, it may be just a morning cough, or what they call the Khombu cough which is something you don't want to have. My hands are freezing now, I'll finish this tonight.
Okay, it was supposed to be an acclimatizing hike today, it was, but some of our group got to the 15,500 ft mark, and decided to go back. I happened to be out if hearing distance and five of us kept going......17,000ft, 500 ft shy of what Base Camp is. The five of us, not my idea wanted to go to the top, this is the highest I have ever been. My feet hurt, my knees hurt, my back is sore from carrying 20lbs of pack up the mountain.
Today's lectures are on traveler's diarrhea and nutrition; learned quite a bit. Hygiene is so important in this part of the world, since water is bad and cooking methods are suspect, we wash our hands frequently. Today I was eating chicken soup and two of the doctors said Stop eating it because if the chicken.
We have met so many people from around the world, today I met Thomas from Germany at 17,000 ft today. Helicopters are here on a regular basis bringing people down the mountain who have gotten sick from being up at high altitude. One doctor checked my vitals today, he said I seem to be doing remarkably well, he said my hear rate readings were the best so far, lets hope they stay that way.
At dinner tonight we met another team headed for the summit, they will be here until late June if the weather cooperates.
I'm in my room which I share with Clay, a Chicago doctor practicing currently in new Zealand, Clay has been the life of the party since this trek started. I have to pack now, we start at 6:30am for the five to six hour trek to our next stop. We have four more days if all is well to get to Base camp.