I woke up this morning to find base camp covered in snow. The previous night there had been very strong winds and you could hear it battering against the tent while you were trying to sleep but it was definitely a surprise to discover base camp coated in about 3 inches of snow.
The plan for today was to reach 6000 metres, in preparation for moving up to Advanced Base Camp (ABC) which is at 6400 meters, on Saturday. Stuart wanted everyone to reach this target before going up to ABC to help in the acclimatization. As such we were given the option to either try and climb up to 6000 meters today or tomorrow. The majority of the group still feeling pretty fit choose to try and climb up to 6000 meters today rather than tomorrow, as did I.
Once again we set off up the frozen waterfall/ river though just before the end of it we took a sharp turn up a steep scree slope which took us on to a ridge of a 6000+ meter peak. Since it had snowed during the night I had to wear my high altitude boots, (something which I try to avoid at every opportunity) this made going a lot slower and more cumbersome though was good practice for wearing them higher up.
The climb up to 6000 meters took about 4 hours, though the last hundred meters must have accounted for at least 40 minutes of that time. At the top there was a spectacular view of the Rhumbu glacier. Once again the group split naturally into two. Those who didn’t make the 6000 meter target climbed as high as they could and just turned around when the rest of us were descending as it was getting very cold at the top. While I was waiting for others to come up though I was able to get an amazing video of Everest and the surrounding scenery.
I will try and find a way to send the video back or at the very least some pictures. Unfortunately the satellite at base camp isn’t working properly and this is causing problems. Apparently it is having its signal blocked by the height of the surrounding mountains – who would of guessed that might happen, we’re in the Himalayas!! Anyway we’ve been told that when we go up to ABC we should have signal so will hopefully send some pictures then.
At the moment I am having to use my mobile phone to send emails back to UK to keep you all updated on my progress. Its amazing that I get signal out here when back in the UK I often find my mobile phone searching for signal. Even more amazing is what one of the sherpas told me, that my normal mobile phone should get signal from the top. So assuming I can keep the phone warm enough on the way up and its not to cold on the top to have to rush straight back down I will endeavour to make a few phone calls back to the UK. So if you get a late night call from me in about a months time it might just be worth answering!!!