Everest Base Camp Trek: Arriving at Everest Base Camp!

Posted by: Linden Mallory | March 26, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Everest BC Trek
Elevation: 17,575'

The sun took awhile to reach us this morning, the shoulder of Nuptse standing 9,000’ above blocked the sun rays and cast long shadows that gradually crept backwards as the sun rose. By the time we stepped out of the tea-house after 8:00 am the sun hit us and almost instantly began to chase away the nighttime chill. We left Gorak Shep in good spirits, eager to complete the final few hours of walking to Everest Base Camp.

The trail becomes notably less defined this far up the valley. In addition to seeing less traffic, the path is ever changing as the loose moraine settles and shifts with the passing glacier and the pull from gravity. Despite Everest Base Camp being a relatively short distance from Gorak Shep as the crow flies, no more than two miles, the trail itself is much longer as it twists and turns over the rough landscape, descending through boulder fields and climbing back up loose scree gullies. We picked our way along it, stepping from rock to rock and occasionally catching glimpses of the tent tops of Base Camp off in the distance.

About two thirds of the way to Base Camp the trail finally drops off of the side moraine bordering the glacier and crosses onto its surface. This low down on the glacier the surface is covered in rock that was pulled down from the mountain side further up and large features of ice, pushed up by the pressure of the glacier above, are interspersed with giant pools of frozen water that sit on the glacier surface from when the ice melts in the warm afternoon sun. The walking, while relatively flat, is tricky as every rock lies atop a sheet of ice below and the footing is continually shifting underfoot. Nevertheless, the group navigated the trail well and by midday we crested the final rocky rise and walked into RMI’s Everest Base Camp.

Our Sherpa team has been busy working up here for the past two weeks, hacking away the shifting ice and rolling the rocks aside to create large platforms on the glacier’s surface for our tents to sit on. With the creative eye of a designer, they set up a very comfortable camp here. Our dining tent looks right out at Everest, the lower stretches of the Khumbu Icefall filling the view out the door from inside. A series of large stone steps leads from the Dining Tent to the sleeping tents sitting in a semi circle on a small rise above. Just in front of them stands our Communications Tent, with direct sight to the mountain above for the best radio reception and good exposure to the sun as it tracks across the sky for the solar panels that power all of the equipment. The Kitchen and Storage Tents are just below, with a large stone path leading between them and the Dining Tent above.

The Sherpa team greeted us enthusiastically when we arrived, showing us around before we settled down for lunch. Kumar, the Expedition Cook, pulled together an incredible meal complemented with fresh baked rolls and steamed veggies. The change of pace from the typical tea-house food is refreshing and the food was excellent. After lunch we settled into camp, unpacking our gear in our tents and relaxing in the warm afternoon sun. We are all very happy to be here, pleased that we don’t have to turn around and walk back to the tea-house this evening and enjoying the life around Base Camp. Everyone continues to adjust well to the altitude and hiked well today. We are spending tomorrow here in Base Camp, enjoying this place for a bit and covering some climbing training in preparation for those of us that are headed to Island Peak next. We want to thank everyone for the great comments on the Blog, we read them aloud over dinner last night and enjoyed hearing the snippets from home.

RMI Guide Linden Mallory

The team walking around a melt pool on the Khumbu Glacier this morning. Walking into RMI's Everest Base Camp. The sleeping tents looking up at the West Shoulder of Everest.


RMI Guide Linden Mallory checks in from Everest Base Camp.

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Comments

Congrats to the whole team - what an accomplishment.  Hopefully the good weather and fortune will continue for the trek back and for the girls climbing Island Peak. 

Mike

Posted by: Mike Hogan on 3/27/2012 at 2:48 am

You did it!!!! And look at all of these wonderful and encouraging comments! You ladies sure are impressive. So proud of you, Mom. Happy yu made it safely to base camp and enjoyed a yummy meal. Stay safe! Xoxo

Posted by: Courtney on 3/26/2012 at 5:03 pm

Hi mom! I miss u! Can’t wait 2 c u! Love u!!!!!

Posted by: Katie Hogan on 3/26/2012 at 3:26 pm

Hi mommy! I hope you are having fun. Congrats that you made it to everest base camp. Love you so much!

Posted by: Carter Hogan on 3/26/2012 at 3:21 pm

congratulations Corell and the team for reaching your destination! Ive loved following you daily. Keep up the good work!! What’s next???

Posted by: nancy on 3/26/2012 at 3:02 pm

Epic - a truly epic adventure. I can see that all my advice and training leadership by example to Corell paid off. I cannot believe that I still won’t see you for another 12 days (and nights!).  Christian and Thurston are doing fine and should be out of the hospital by the time you are back. The docs think it was just a simple case of malnutrition and video game overload. Beats me - they looked fine the last time I saw them on March 13. The weather here in Harbour Island is great, but the fishing has been a little slow. My guide - Bambi - says it will be better this weekend. I am so proud of you and miss you so much. Take care my love.

Posted by: Thurston on 3/26/2012 at 2:13 pm

Dear Jane - I could think of other ways to get high.  Love, Jim

Posted by: Jim Livesay on 3/26/2012 at 2:11 pm

What a great report!  Looks like all of that hard training paid off.  You gals made it look like a piece of cake, and we all know it wasn’t.  We are so proud of you all.  Have a great night (you deserve it) and a safe trek back to Periche.

Posted by: Hugh and Sally on 3/26/2012 at 12:17 pm

Spring has arrived in Central Virginia, the azaleas and dogwoods are in full bloom, the pollen covering all of us in a blanket of soft yellow pollen. We have all adjusted well to the change in season and look forward to some cooler weather. 

Colman was happy to see that Christopher and Thurston were there to greet him in the juvenlie detention cell.  What a relief for him!  I hear the Richmond public schools aren’t too bad after all and I’ve taken care of registering him.  The officer said first time offenses for drug use aren’t too bad.  I have had a heck of a time getting the time to take the girls to planned parenthood, that place is busy, especially with all those ultrasounds.  Our dog Caeli has run away, (sorry for the bad news). 

Glad you all made it to EBC.  Send me a picture of a Sherpa, I want to see who I resemble. 

Love to all of you and hi to Linden and Jeff

Posted by: John on 3/26/2012 at 12:07 pm

Congratulations to the whole team for making your goal!  I’m sure the views are well worth all the effort.  Don’t you want to keep on going?  Only 11,000 more feet to the top….

Jane - I did hear through the “circles” that your house is a disaster.  Me, Paige and the girls will be joining the army of people volunteering to help get things back to normal.  I just hope there is no structural damage.
JP

Posted by: JP on 3/26/2012 at 11:37 am

Yippee!!!  You did it!!!  And Jane, I heard from one of your neighbors that a whole TEAM of people is over at your house cleaning - John’s a mess!  Can y’all believe you’re finally there??  After months of training and climbing the stairs??  Good for you!  Janie I hope you’re still going to like walking when you get back!!  I need me some Jane Therapy!

Posted by: Holly on 3/26/2012 at 10:59 am

Great report and glad all is going so well.  rainy here yesterday, but beautiful today.

Let Jane know I’m starting the house cleanup process today so it will b back in good shape for her arrival home April 2!!

Posted by: john on 3/26/2012 at 9:02 am

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