After getting down from the second rotation, we headed down valley to rest and recuperate for the final summit push. At base camp elevation (17,600’), the air is still very thin and so it is difficult for the body to heal and recover. Even minor cuts and scrapes will not heal at this altitude. Thus, in order to be at full strength for the summit attempt, we headed down for a few days to Deboche at 12,500’ above sea level.
We took two days to get down to Deboche, stopping in Pheriche along the way. Every step we took led us to slightly thicker air, and soon we were moving quickly and feeling much stronger. It was nice to get another glimpse of the beautiful views of Ama Dablam and many of the other peaks around (picture attached). As we got closer to Deboche it was nice to see plants start to pop up and finally Rhododendron trees. Our appetites also improved dramatically on the drop back. Most people ordered two entrees at every meal, and I think we probably did about 10% of the business for the year at the tea house we stayed at in Deboche. We also made sure to make plenty of trips to the Tenboche bakery for apple pie and coffee. On the way back we took a nice leisurely pace and made it back in 3 days, stopping in Pheriche and Lobuche along the way. All in all a successful drop back!
The big drama while we were gone concerned Russell Brice’s HimEx expedition which was made famous by the Discovery Channel reality show, Everest: Beyond the Limit. HimEx was the biggest expedition on the mountain this year, with over 30 clients attempting either Everest or
Now we are waiting in base camp (see photo of our sleeping tents with Lingtren in the background) for the weather to improve and give us a good window for a summit opportunity. Right now we are planning to rest at least another day, and then depending how the forecast shapes up we will head up to begin the summit attempt. If all goes well, we can expect to attempt to summit sometime in the early May 20’s. Check out the Alpine Ascents cybercast (link attached in the previous post) for continued up to date coverage and even live GPS tracking of our climb through the RainOn Applet (which should be especially useful on summit day). I will post again when we are back down safely from the summit rotation!