Thursday, February 28, 2013

Continuation of the preparation

This post is best told through pictures and minimal words:

M - F the day starts approximately between 3:15 AM and 3:40 AM, the extra 25 minutes makes a difference when you really don't want start your day working out, but it must be done. In order to have a full workout and be on time to work, I have to get up at this time to start my day. Everest Base Camp is ever more in the back of my mind, March 21st is 22 days away, I refuse to give myself an excuse to not be ready.

This is "Buddy" he's an early riser as well, he's my sit-up coach, it takes me approximately 35 minutes to finish my sit-ups, and Buddy is always there making sure each one counts. Notice the intense look on his face, he does not tolerate excuses, and lets you know when you're slacking. After I'm done, he goes off and sleeps for 17- hours; usually found in the same position when I get home.

After doing 500 sit-ups at home, it's fill the water bottle, the cat's water bowls, then get to the health club for my daily workout. Notice, at this time of day, there are only a few cars in the parking lot. Driving to the club is like driving on deserted streets, virtually very few people are out, and the few people that you see when you come to a stop at a stop light, I have to wonder, where are they going? What do they do for a living? They are probably wondering the same about me.

"They're waiting for me, plenty workout machines open, notice there are only about three to four people in the gym right now. M-W-F it's an hour and 5 minutes on the treadmill which usually gets me about 7.25 miles. After the run, it's about 3-5 minutes on the Versa Climber, a kind of machine for people who actually climb. I find myself only able to do about 5 minutes at this point, the hour run takes quite a bit out of me, and to get on this climber machine after the run really is kind of nuts. After the run, its off to the pool for laps M- Thur. Tuesday & Thursday, it's weight lifting for an hour or more, 10 minutes on the stair stepper (that's all the gas I have after the weight workout), and off to the pool for laps.

I swim 4-days a week after each workout, anywhere from a 1/4 to 1/3 of mile. The swimming helps me build up lung capacity that I anticipate I'll need in higher altitudes. I'm finding out that just because you can run long distances, swimming is a whole other issue. When I started the swimming, I could barely do one lap without having to take a rest for 3 minutes. I've worked up to 16 - 18 laps now without having to stop as long; again, I swim after having run 7 miles, but I don't think it would make that much of a difference because it's a different type of exercise. I have great respect for tri-athletes who swim, run, and ride a bike in competition.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Prepping for EBC (Everest Base Camp)

The prep for Everest Base Camp began many months ago, yet the moment you start laying your gear out, you realize something is beginning to happen. I imagine this is the same sensation when a lion eyes its prey; they can start to taste it before the results of the hunt have begun. There's a different sensation that is taking place now that I've begun to lay different pieces of the gear out, I can visualize the enormity of it all. There are decisions to be made, deciding the rationale for taking something or leaving it, what has worked in the past, and what is extra weight that's not needed.  I've taken over the guest bedroom as command central, what you see is the beginning of the items required.

The Guest Bedroom, Command Central

The List as suggested by the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS):
  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Good pair of broken-in hiking boots-should be well worn to prevent blisters
  • Trek Poles
  • Daypack: to carry daily supplies and gear
  • Camera, extra memory and plenty of batteries (cold will deplete batteries quickly)
  • Headlamp
  • Rechargeable batteries for anything that takes batteries
  • Sunscreen - at least SPF 30
  • Water System - regardless of the system, bring water bottles - lexan/nalgene that can be filled with boiling water - to warm your boots/sleeping bag, then drink when cool next day. Two water bottles needed
  • Iodine or other treatment systems for water disinfection. We will have boiled water and use a Steri-pen for water.
  • Ball cap +/or visor for sunny days
  • 2 pair good quality sunglasses-at least one should be "glacier/ski glasses" or have wraparound feature, sandals/flip flops for the shower when available
  • Covered/Insulated mug
  • Personal hygiene stuff-bring biodegradable soaps/shampoos
  • Camp Towel - quick drying
  • 1 buff mask for dusty days
  • 2 rolls of your favorite TP...can't believe how useful and wonderful it can be. Some baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cards, Scrabble, Frisbee, etc
  • Extra Power type bars, i.e. Luna, etc.
  • Fleece or wool hat, plus one pair of warm gloves/mitts
  • Down Parka - 800 filled is best- will double as a pillow
  • Down Vest - can be use under 700 fill parkas
  • Outer shell wind pants and jackets
  • Insulated pants (Nano puffs work great)
  • 2-3 heavier wight polypro/fleece long sleeve shirts, merino wool
  • 2 lighter weight polypro long sleeve shirts
  • 2 short/long sleeve shirts - capilene is great for warm days
  • Polypro/fleece lined tights or 1 pair of long underwear
  • 3-4 light weight, washable underwear
  • Down booties to wear inside tea houses or under Teva's
  • 3 pairs of thick hiking socks, 2 pairs liner socks, smart wool is the best
  • Personal medical kit - should contain any prescribed meds
  • Pack gear in a waterproof repellant bag- to be carried by porter- must be rugged and durable
Medication for treatment of Altitude Sickness recommended by physicians:
  • Diamox 125 mg, twice a day. Beginning 24 hours before ascent to a sleeping elevation of greater than 8,000 feet. continue until achieve highest elevation.
  • Decadon 4mg tablets
  • Nifedipine
  • Viagra/Cialis (This is not a misprint, LOL) these medications thin the blood
  • Albuteral or Salmeterol inhaler
  • Gingko Bilboa

No matter how much you train and how fit you are, you still might develop life-threatening altitude sickness.

If you do not feel well at any point on the trip - suspect altitude illness. When in doubt always descend immediately to lower elevation.


There are two base camps, each on opposite sides of Mount Everest. South Base Camp is in Nepal at an altitude of 5,364 metres (17,598 ft) (28°0′26″N 86°51′34″E), and North Base Camp is in Tibet at 5,150 metres (16,900 ft)[1][2][3] (28°8′29″N 86°51′5″E). These camps are rudimentary campsites on Mount Everest that are used by mountain climbers during their ascent and descent. South Base Camp is used when climbing via the southeast ridge, while North Base Camp is used when climbing via the northeast ridge.[4]
Supplies are carried to the South Base Camp by sherpas or porters, and with help of animals, usually yaks. The North Base Camp has vehicle access (at least in the summer months). Climbers typically rest at base camp for several days for acclimatization; to reduce the risks and severity of altitude sickness.

Source: Wikipedia (know that this is not considered an authoritative source)