Monday, May 09, 2011

9th May - EBC

Well, still here at BC, enjoying resting up, and looking forward to our next, and, we hope, final foray onto the mountain.
We've been sorting out last bits of kit, getting rid of every superfluous oz, and looking up at the mountains around us.
It isn't possible to see Everest itself from basecamp, just the first part of the Khumbu icefall sparkling raggedly white and blue in the sunshine, stripped of it's awe a little by familiarity.

Every so often we hear rock-falls around us, but here on the moraine we are safe.

We've had sessions on oxygen masks and how all that kit works, and, indeed, they are the same as I've used before, as well as Dr Abi going through the emergency medical kit that we will all be carrying to the summit with us.

Last minute adjustments of climbing gear continue; a rearranged knot to stop a carabina sliding round the rope, loose ends trimmed and scorched to stop them fraying, bits not used left behind - and our pockets filled with handy bits and bobs from boiled sweets to keep the mouth moist in the dry air, to lip salves attached to strings to keep handy around the neck.

We are certainly as ready as we're going to be, and each of us has our own private thoughts to mull over with so much time on our hands.

There's a bit of a game with the other teams as nobody wants anybody else to know when they will be going - it's best to have as few other people on the mountain as possible - but we're all working off the same forecasts, so it can get down to bluff & double-bluff.

For that reason, I'll not be telling you when we go up, but there'll be no more posts for several days when we do...wish us luck!!!

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