THE CLIMB- Filling in the Gaps (5th October) Base Camp

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Day 5-  October 5

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We woke to the beautiful sight of snow-capped peaks all around. Sheena was so excited, as she’d never seen snow before. After a quick breakfast, we headed off to Base Camp (BC)!

We were so excited and hopeful as we arrived at Base Camp (BC) (5,050m). We arrived at a good hour when the sun was still strong, so we wasted no time in setting up our tents. At different times, some would have more difficulty than others adjusting to the altitude. Julia chilled out around BC while the rest of us went for a hike up to about 5,300m (without our packs). We then came back down to BC for some dinner. 

On our way up, we passed a group that had just attempted the summit, the second-last group of the (climbing) season- we were the last. I think one in their group reached the top. Later, we found out that in this season of about fifty people, only three managed to reach the summit, due to either bad weather or that it was too late in the day to summit and descend safely. They were our odds.

Going up I felt strong, but coming back, I felt progressively weaker and more tired, as the sun went down. Sheena said her symptoms of altitude sickness were becoming more severe, feeling like an endless hangover (Jiji’s paraphrasing).

That night was the worst for some of us, physically. I felt the coldest and weakest of all the nights on the mountain, oddly enough. Philip later quoted the Qinghai Mountaineering Association (QMA), saying that more people died at this base camp than at Everest Base Camp- something to do with the fact that it was in a valley and the low pressure of this location. Great, it’s comforting to know we survived Base Camp! 

The dog in one of the photos belonged to one of the other climbers, we were told, and started howling like a wolf, right next to our tent at some hour of the night, to what seemed like morning! This added to Sheena’s “misery” that night, she said!

We would love to hear from you, leave us a comment (after the photos)- you don’t have to start an account or anything….

 

 If you prefer to see all the thumbnails here (smaller version, not as good as the slideshow above!) …

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