23 Apr Another Little Trek Up A Mountain..
..or Another Exhausting Day at Base Camp, to quote LMAX Exchange Everest Rugby challenger David Fenton, whose insights we hear today. David, in his own words, is retired and old enough to know better but can’t resist the challenge of the outdoors. He has been a Wooden Spoon and Yorkshire Committee member for many years. You can follow his daily blog here.
Another exhausting day at Base Camp
Probably the most exhausting day so far today.
It started well at the team meeting where I was given the ‘Hero of the Day’ Spoon again which was very touching. I had taken the Ey Up Everest Quiz (one of my fundraising events) with me and that went really well last night, and I had helped a couple of the guys who were struggling to get off the hill safely yesterday afternoon.
The weather changes so quickly here which makes packing a rucksack very difficult. We set off in glorious sunshine and climbed a steep glacier which allowed us to overlook base camp – you could even pick out the orange tents that belong to our group. Seeing the area from an elevated height makes you realise how many different groups are here, but there will only be 300 permits issued for Everest from the northern approach this year, which tells you how fortunate we have been to get this challenge organised.
As we ventured further to try and get to as high an altitude as possible, the weather closed in and the ground under foot became very loose. The decision was made to retrace our route and we finally came back to camp after 5 hours of trekking. We only covered 2.5 miles but it was all climbing and we reached 5600m – still 900m short of where we have to reach for the record attempt.
I was OK with the altitude, but only slept a little again last night which meant I felt really lethargic today, so I’ve decided to grab any sleep I can when I can from now on – and have managed 90 minutes before writing this.
The rest of the team are in good spirits and strong friendships are forming as we all look out for one another – but there is no denying that we are being stretched. Two more had to come off the hill today, altitude sickness keeps hitting randomly, and there are various lurgies doing the rounds. The virus I had before I left, that I finally got rid of a couple of days ago, has come back too – I’m sure a large part is to do with the swings in weather/temperature, and also being in a large group together.
Anyway, tomorrow is another trek and the day after that (you tell me what day that is because I’ve lost touch with all things I would call ‘normal’!) we are going to attempt the mixed 7’s touch rugby world record. This is so that we have something in the bag regardless of what happens in the following days. We hope to go higher and reset it. It at least means we won’t come away with nothing to show for our endeavours.
Tonight we are going to be given a talk by Charlie who is Swiss and has run north Base Camp for the last 19 years and summitted 7 times! Looking forward to that – it’s all part of why I wanted to sign up for the experience.
Thanks to David and you can follow David’s daily blog by clicking here.