7am- Bill gets up with the sun for a cup of coffee and a bit of quiet time before everyone is awake.
8am- Breakfast (prefaced with hot towels for faces and hands). Today we ate apple pancakes with scrambled eggs and, as always, fresh ground coffee!
9am- Morning emails. We all are sharing one computer for emails, so we pass around the laptop in the dining tent and all check and answer emails throughout the day. Then, usually morning and night, we hook up to our satellite modem and do a "send and receive." This can create a time lag between when we respond to emails by up to a day. I think every team member has their own individual blog in addition to the Mountain Trip blog, so there's no shortage of stories flowing out of here every day.
9.30am- Hot sunshine, shorts- time for showers and laundry! We have a very nice shower tent with a battery operated pump that works very well. Ask someone in the kitchen for a 5 gallon bucket of hot water, and a base camp shower is a little bit of heaven.
10 am to 1 pm- Time to visit, go for a hike, or catch up with personal tasks. Yesterday (Friday the 14th), we went for a hike up to Camp 1 on Pumori, a mountain that looms above base camp to the west of us (the Khumbu Icefall is to the east side of our camp). It is a great hike up to over 19,000 ft, which doesn't really feel all that high to us anymore. It's a great way to get some exercise, remind our bodies that there will be higher altitudes in our future, and the views of Everest from up there is hard to beat.
1pm- Lunch time, usually announced with a big stick on an empty Oxygen Bottle! Every meal here is all you can eat! Today's lunch was veggie spring rolls and potato salad.
Mid afternoon- If it's cloudy (or not) we'll gather in the dining tent for a movie. We probably have over 100 movies to choose from, and the selection process amongst the group is half the fun. If you pick a bad movie, you'll hear about it for days. We watched Pink Panther and Pink Panther 2 in the last couple of days, to many groans and eye rolls, but it's entertainment.
7.30pm- Dinner. Last night we had Momo's filled with either buffalo or vegetables followed by the best chocolate cake ever! Serki, our cook, has a small oven in the kitchen and he makes fresh rolls, cakes, cookies- something outstanding every day!
Apres Dinner- Another movie perhaps?? Or cards, but we seem to be stuck with the 2 games we know how to play, Hearts or Rummy. If anyone knows the rules to another great card game email them to us!!
Food, Emails, and Weather Forecasts...
These are the things that dominate our day's now.
Everyone wants to know when we are "going to the summit". There is no answer to that until more or less 5 days before as that's about how far out we can project for a forecast we like and then make a commitment to move to Camp 2. Once, we get to Camp 2, the whole schedule can change when we are there, as we reassess the most current forecasts and make the next commitment to move to Camp 3. We download new forecasts daily, which provides us plenty to think and talk about. With all the weather information we are looking at, there seems to be favorable weather starting perhaps as early as the 22nd and probably lasting through the 27th.
We are watching that window closely to see how it all comes together. It's the talk around camp these days, and even though we are paying for the weather forecasting services of experts, but it can all seem like guesswork at times, and it seems to be forever changing. At the end of the day, we try to get the best information we can, and we are carefully watching what's going on in the mountains around us.
Tonight we are actually planning on having some guests over for dinner! The two doctors from the Base Camp Clinic are coming over this evening. Dr. Peter Hackett is a friend from Telluride, it will be good to have some new faces around the dinner table.
That's a bit of what Base Camp life is like. There are plenty of distractions to keep us entertained, but we are all ready to climb the mountain!!