4/19/2019 Everest Base Camp ~ 5400m (~17,500 ft)
By James and John
We arrived in Everest Base Camp late on 4/16 after successfully crossing Cho La pass and hiking the Dzongla and Khumbu valleys. Setting up our camp for the next two months was an incredible feat of engineering involving two weeks of hauling rock, leveling the rock and ice, and building by our Nepali camp team.
We are sleeping on the actual Khumbu Glacier - walking and sleeping with a mere couple of inches of sand and small rock covering the ice. On our first day in camp, we helped build the puja structure, which will be used in a puja ceremony to bless our climbing efforts and ask the mountain for compassion as we struggle upward. We’ll have the ceremony once the entire team has arrived. In the meantime, we are burning juniper incense each morning in memory of our friend Asman Tamang who died in the Khumbu Icefall when climbing on our team in 2014.
In front of camp is newer, taller exposed ice that flows from the Khumbu icefall - some of which appears to have shaken loose from the Nuptse face in the 2015 earthquake. These ice pinnacles offer convenient venues for practicing ice climbing and rappelling before we head up the actual climbing route in the next week or so.
In the meantime, we are enjoying plenty of food, rest, and short hikes to recharge and acclimatize for the next several weeks of climbing and data collection higher on the mountain.
Everest Base Camp
The Khumbu Icefall