Training at Basecamp

Posted by: | April 12, 2010
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest
Elevation: 17,575 ft.

We woke up to yet another beautiful and sunny day at Everest Base Camp. The team is still settling into the increased altitude and we are slowly ramping up our activity level in preparation for moving through the Khumbu Ice Fall. Today, we focused on ladder training as we will have numerous ladders bridging gaping crevasses and seracs between Basecamp and Camp One. Dave Hahn and Leif Whittaker decided to go for a short hike into the icefall to do their ladder practice while the rest of the team stayed in camp and created a simulated course. We rigged several ladders over the glacial rocks to simulate the icefall in which we practiced walking up and down the shaky ladders. For starters, we began in our trekking shoes stepping from rung to rung getting used to the shake and wobble of the aluminum ladders. Once everyone felt comfortable with this, we put on our stiff 8,000 meter boots and ran the course again. After this, we continued our progression and added roped hand lines while wearing crampons which best replicates the actual movement during icefall travel. With the addition of hand lines, we were able to steepen the ladder grade for both uphill and downhill travel and even practiced several “emergency” scenarios. One scenario involved stopping mid crossing and kneeling down on the ladder rungs to re-attach a crampon that had “accidentally” popped off. Although this was not a very likely scenario, it had the advantage of addressing a “possibility” while increasing confidence and agility.

Everyone did a great job showing skill and balance and we are all looking forward to moving higher onto the mountain.

Leif and Dave enroute to Basecamp Scenic vistas in the Khumbu Team trekking to Everest Basecamp

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