Thursday, April 22, 2010

Into the Icefall!

We're just back today from our first foray into the Khumbu Icefall. It is always an interesting experience confronting ladders across large crevasses and steep ice sections. The team did super well today moving up to the famous "popcorn" section of the icefall that is full of huge, multi-ton blocks of ice that can resemble enormous popcorn chunks! Our goal today was to gain some more acclimatization and to experience what it feels like to move quickly through the icefall.

Everything went well, so we are ready to move up to Camp 1 early tomorrow morning, and then up to Camp 2 a couple of nights later. Everyone is feeling good, moving well and ready to go! Today the Sherpas moved 14 loads up and were back in Base Camp around 10 a.m., which was amazing to observe. So far, we are almost exactly on our planned schedule, which is really great.

We will have a little less ability for communications while in Camp 1 and should have better access to phone and emails when we are in Camp 2. Don't fret if you don't see a report for a couple of days, but we'll definitely post when we move into Camp 2. We will equip Camp 2 to be a fairly comfortable place, with many amenities, and it functions as out Advanced Base Camp. We'll spend a lot of time up there, and are eager to visit it for our first time this year!

The route is still not fixed above Camp 2 so our foray up higher will position us to be right on schedule for when that happens. After visiting Camp 2, we'll descend back to Base Camp for showers, sunshine and great food by one of the best cooks in the Khumbu- Serki Sherpa!

Yesterday we shared a very nice "Puja," or blessing ceremony, with our Sherpa Team. This was a very powerful and necessary event that is a time honored traditions for Sherpas and climbers to partake in before venturing onto Sagarmatha, the Sherpa name for Mt. Everest. It is also quite a fun time that takes about half a day. Several Lamas blessed the Sherpas, us and our equipment in preparation for the actual start our climb.

Scott Woolums reporting from Everest Base Camp

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