Scott called this morning. After about fifty tries from both sides, we got to talk. It is worth noting that we are talking via the Nepal cell phone network, ncell at a cost of 6 rupees/minute to the US (about 1.5 cents a minute). The closest tower is at Gorak Shep less than 2 hours walk down valley. It’s pretty amazing.
Scott, Karina, Pemba and Mingma have returned from two nights at Camp 2. The first couple of loops up high are always brutal and Scott suffered from bad headaches, vomiting and the “Khumbu cough”. Fun. But as always, he kept working and carried the same loads everywhere as the Sherpas. However, he is back in the relatively thick air of base camp. They will rest a few days before heading up again and will journey up the Lhotse face to Camp 3.
The Khumbu icefall is perhaps the most notorious part of the route. Apparently this season there is a “squeeze chimney” where climbers have to turn sideways to move between the towering blocks of ice. Those who know Scott well will remember issues with towering blocks of ice!
You can text Scott at Basecamp on his US phone. I am sure he’d love to get word. Although spectacular – especially with the incredible full moon of the past few days – the whole experience is pretty grovelly (as we would say in NZ). It’s life in a tent, it’s rocky, it’s icy, it’s cold and there are no showers. It’s also high and altitude hurts at first. You can send word of meals you are enjoying because all he is eating is dal bhat, the Nepalese staple of vegetables and lentils. Best not to repeat his comments on dal bhat!
I hope to post pictures soon.