Last night, was like most nights, cold and wrapped tightly in a sleeping bag. There was one difference, all night you could hear the doors opening as people frequented the primitive restroom facilities; I was up four times myself.
Four of us on the team are part of a study being conducted by the University if Utah. We are taking a medicine called Diamox a high altitude prevention medication. In exchange we receive the medication for free, but we must record our symptoms four times a day; appetite loss, headaches, tingling in the hands and feet, and dizziness. One side effect, It makes you go frequently, and in high altitude with you drinking a minimum of one liter of water a day or more, you naturally are going more frequently.
Today we attempt to achieve the goal of the last eleven days of hiking, trek into Base Camp. People are tired and looking rugged, beards are growing, hair is wild, eyes are wide and tired. I noticed the other Trekkers coming into camp, they all have that look, the look of sunburn faces and fatigue, frankly, they look rough. The sound of backpacks hitting the floor after having been carried for hours on toughened strained backs hit the floor when unloaded with a definitive thud!
I have worked hard physically and mentally the last eleven days, there Is more happening here than getting to base camp, lessons of life are being imparted. Our Team Leader has a shirt she wears and it says, "Slow is the new fast." Most of us are learning what it means to go slow, and achieve goals without killing yourself trying to race to the finish line, "slow is the new fast."
The pictures below are of the sun setting on the camp outside our window, the menu of the camp restaurant, and the entrance into the camp tea house. Keep in mind, the only heat source in the whole tea house is in the restaurant. I've eaten rice and potatoes everyday for lunch, and dinner. I'm changing it up this morning and just eating porridge and eggs again.
We will start April 5th, climbing a mountain to get the best views of Everest for at at least three hours, then hike three hours into Base Camp. We ended up hiking from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm.
It's 10:11 am, I'm writing this at over18,000 ft, more than 500 ft above Base Camp. Six of us took off this morning and climbed Kalapattar to get the best views of Everest. The views are stunning. The other part of our group trekked on into Base camp. We walk three feet, stop, three feet stop, the air is thin here..
11.59 am, the time we scaled Kalappattar, over 18,600 ft, the highest I have ever been other than in an airplane. The way to Base Camp from here is being made up as we go, the Sherpas have decided to have us scale the rocks to get to Base Camp. It is all up through the snow, and over different routes. Many of us are wishing we had gone with the other group we are so tired.
It's 4:30 pm, we just arrived at Mt. Everest Base Camp, the GOAL HAS BEEN ACHIEVED!!!!!!! For five of us , this is the hardest day of the eleven days of actual trekking, 8 hrs and the climb to Kalapattar is official, the instruments registered 18,560 ft. We are exhausted, but full of elation.