April 30, 2013
Our rotation to to Advanced Base Camp was tough. We left on April 21 for Interim Base Camp which at 19,000' is two thousand feet higher than Base Camp. This was a six mile walk. It is a horrible place filled with yak leavings. In fact there is a small pond of nothing but the stuff and the poor thirsty beasts were drinking from it. We were told to remain in our tents 100% of the time to minimize the chances of getting sick. I didn't need to be told twice!
We left early the following morning for ABC and spend six days and nights at 21,000'. I found life difficult as I lost most of my appetite and could only sleep very fitfully for 2 to 4 hours per night. This made for terrible boredom as we would retire to our tents by 7 p.m. and typically not emerge until 8 a.m. the following day.
The team made one climb up the North Col (Welsh for "pass") at 23,000'. It was a cold and windy climb and I'm very happy to say that among the ten clients I made it the furthest, along with a 38 year old British guy. Phil turned us around about 100' short of the top due to the very real danger of frostbite or even being physically blown off the mountain. Of course Phil, the owner and lead guide of Altitude Junkies, and the Sherpas made it to the top. Mere mortals can't compete with them.
The rest of the time was spent fighting boredom. It would be very warm in the tents from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and then freezing the rest of the time.
Yesterday we walked the 10.4 miles down to BC. We are reveling in the luxury of baths, clean clothes, wonderful food to satisfy our huge appetites and restful sleep at this lower altitude.