I am lying in my tent and the winds are (still) shaking my tent. The sleeping bag is very comfi and I had a cery good rest without any interruptions. In today’s post I wanted to shed a little light on how we spent time here at Everest base camp having been here now for three nights and given it will be my home potentially until late May.
The camp is I reckon some 2km long and situated directly on the Khumbu glacier and very close to the actual icefall with all its crevasses and constantly moving bits and pieces. Each team has claimed their territory and in some cases defend it vigorously (I leave out names here for now). Mingling with other teams seems like a no-no so far.
Within each camp there is some key infrastructure:
- Mess tent: Arguably the heart of the camp. Here we spent most of our down time to eat, play (monopoly deal being king), chat and do briefings.
- Kitchen tent: Good food is key and so far we been catered for well. More importantly even is a constant supply of hot water.
- Storage / communication tent: here you can find a lot of snacks, dry food for higher up, commincation and charging gear and stuff you don’t wanna keep in your tent (like climbing and high altitude kit).
- Toilet tent: Men usually use for no2, women no1&2. The collective output goes into a barrel that is replaced when needed. Fellow hiker Mo had her tent blown away while in action – scared for life (but hilarious) ;o)
- Shower tent: operated with heated water from the kitchen and a pump. Looks simple, feels great!
- Sleeping tents: the only bit of real privacy. Required for such a long trip. Sherpa’s have the same tents than we do, but share.
- Sherpa mess tent: Common area (when not in kitchen) and eating quarters. Surely a few card games go down here too.
Beyond the individual camps there are communal places such as the Everest ER tent (emergency & rescue) staffed wit experienced doctors, nurses and rescue pilots, the Sagarmartha pollution and control committee (SPCC) that houses the ice fall doctors (fixing the ropes to the summits), the radio and wifi station (Usd50 per 1GB, ncell also available but patchy) and several heli landing spots for transport, rescue and supplies in & out of the camp.
On non-climbing days (and there will be quite a few), we usually start with breakfast at 8am though hot drinks are being provided from 7am. The offering varies from porridge, pancakes, muesli to french toast, fried and boiled eggs and sometimes even bacon (like yesterday).
Afterwards we typically have the first session of games, take a stroll, do some washing or things like reinforcig tents.
Lunch is served around noon. We have often potatoes (fried, boiled, even salad), rice (cooked, fried, with veg etc), cooked veg, tuna, sardines, sausages, traditional dahl bat … plenty of stuff. By the time we had our pudding it will be 1.30pm or thereabout. More games after or a nap ;o)
3-4pm we use for briefings either on general issues or the next day. This goes hand in hand with some munchy stuff like cheese etc and more tea. More games and wifi if you must. We try to limit wifi from 3pm though a poor connection often takes care of that ;o)
Dinner is 6pm and is followed by the hot water bottle supply for the night ahead. We usually hit the sleeping bags between 8-9pm. Depends how long our monopoly deal thirst lasts and what is ahead the day after.
Then its time to get cosy in your tent, read a book and to report to dream land. Nite, nite …