I know this is my first blog on Everest and I probably should have posted before but it’s been hectic since getting on the mountain.
After the Sherpas established Basecamp (5800m), Intermediate Camp (5800m) & Advanced Base Camp (6800m) we could then walk the 26km to Advanced Base Camp with a day or two’s rest at Intermediate Camp en-route.
On arrival at ABC I felt tired but a lot stronger than last year. No loss of appetite however my horrendous cough returned but this was nothing in comparison to 2016.
I’ve taken medication to subdue this and we shall see how I fair on summit push, I digress…
Over a few days at ABC I would rest, carry out some training on one of the ice walls of the Rongbuk Glacier and eventually try and push up to Camp 1 North Col (7000m) but this was scuppered due to bad weather. I did manage to top out at 6800m for my first acclimatisation rotation which was plenty enough to set me in good stead ready for round 2 where I would spend a night on the North Col & try and push a little higher the next day but this would be after returning to Basecamp again, along the 26km trail that seemed to go on forever.
Resting for around a week at Basecamp with my birthday the day before we were due to go back up for our second bout of acclimatisation.
Again the 26km trek tortured me physically and mentally but all worth it to get up to and sleep on the North Col!
My night there was erratic and relatively sleepless. I coughed like an asthmatic pig and the only real saving grace was that I was as warm as freshly cooked toast in my Rab Expedition Down suit and lightweight sleeping bag.
The next day was simply stunning. Beautiful clear skies, views of the summit, Nepal, Tibet and beyond!
I topped out at just over 7200m. The highest I’d been without oxygen. I’d just be glad to get back up here on summit push and get on that lovely bottled O2!
After squaring my gear away it was time to make my way to ABC. By the time I got there I was totally exhausted. I chose to carry my own gear up to the North Col, Summit Suit, Sleeping Bag, Flags, Food, Water etc. I don’t know if it’s the ex-soldier in me but I don’t like others carrying my personal gear if I can help it and of course I’m raising money for charity rather than spending it on the luxury of a personal Sherpa.
The next day…you guessed it! I had the pleasure of the 26km trek back to Base Camp, argh! It pains me so!
A few of us then went to the lower village/ town of New Tingri for a couple of days R&R. Although at a cost this was paramount to my recovery and well being. We had some Trekkers join us on the expedition and all of them caught some sort of cold or stomach bug and the possibility of us catching something from them was high. So thought it best to come away!
Two nights in a hotel in a comfy bed, red hot bath, good food and a course of anti-biotics have given me the new lease of life, so to speak and I’m chomping at the bit for Summit Push but as the heading says, “It’s all a waiting Game”.
To follow Les on his big climb click here