NEWSLETTERS - 2014 Expeditions

Everest, Lhotse and Makalu #39 April 2014

Base Camp ready for the housewarming

While our Everest team is slowly approaching base camp, the Sherpa team and Russell are just in the final stages of getting the Himex base camp ready for its new dwellers. "I arrived here on Tuesday and our base camp is in fine shape. Like every year, the Sherpas have done a great job," Russell told me over the phone. "We are just about to test the new wireless data system that was installed by the Nepali telecom company Mercantile this year. If it works, our members will be able to check their emails on their own laptops in the comforts of the White Pod," he continued.

On the approach to EBC with Pumora and Lintgren on the left
On the approach to EBC with Pumora and Lintgren on the left

The White Pod is our (in)famous Swiss-made igloo tent, which is equipped with sofas, a bar, a flat screen TV, a heater and even a Scalextric car racing set, where our members can hang out, read, play cards or just relax. "The great thing about the White Pod is its big window. You don’t often get to look out of a tent that is closed," Russell said.

Just as in previous years, there will be two separate toilet tents for men and women, a shower tent, a store tent, several dining tents and of course the kitchen tent, where our head cook Lacchu and his team will share the pots and pans with Bob, our chef from Manchester, who is ready to spoil the taste buds of our team to the max. Lhakpa Wangchu will be cooking for our hardworking Sherpa team making sure they have enough fuel to do their demanding job of carrying heavy loads, fixing the ropes, setting up and equipping all the camps and accompanying the members to the summit.

Nuptse seen from the Himex Everest Base camp
Nuptse seen from the Himex Everest Base camp

"On Saturday, some of our Sherpas went to Camp II and apparently the route looks in reasonable condition; not many teams have been through yet as everyone is just trickling in," Russell explained. The Himalayan Experience Everest team is due to arrive on Wednesday afternoon and will rest and acclimatise at the altitude of 5,350 metres for the next few days before they go back down the valley to acclimatise on Lobuje East.

The Lhotse and Makalu teams are not far behind. They are due to arrive in Pheriche (4,700m) on Wednesday afternoon and, just as their Everest colleagues, will also stay there for two nights. In a few days, all teams will be united at base camp, where they can finally settle down, unpack their bags and make their tents their home for the next seven weeks.

Billi Bierling, Kathmandu