One of the things I have noted regarding expeditions to Everest is that this is not an inexpensive exercise. In fact the research I have done would indicate for a well prepared attempt to summit will cost each individual of the order $60,000. When you think about the amount of travel involved, international flights, internal flights within Nepal, car hire, buses, accommodation, equipment costs such as suitable clothing, climbing equipment, oxygen bottles, crampons, tents, sleeping bags, food, hired help such as sherpas etc. I am sure it all adds up pretty quickly. There is a also a significant fees and environmental deposits to be paid to climb. These can cost approx $20,000.
Naturally, as in all endeavours, you will always find some people trying to do it on the cheap and freeload off others. I have heard stories of theft of food and even oxygen on Everest as well as unprepared climbers assuming they will be able to use tents and other equipment of those who have been better prepared. This, I have to say is most unreasonable and puts others at risk of illness, injury and potentially loss of life. It would seem Tom and his party have already come across one such individual who is apparently known for these types of antics having tried them last year as well. It would seem Tom and his party did give this guy a lift from one point to another when he managed to get himself marooned and there was absolutely no other option.
So, Tom has now spent a number of days at base camp (5150m) where they arrived on the 19th April. Their Sherpa guides had arrived a few days before (as they did not need to stop en route to acclimatize) and setup what sounds like a very organized and comfortable camp. They setup personal tents, dining tent, storage tent, cooking tent and even a toilet tent and shower tent. They have even organized electricity to power lights and laptops etc via solar.
Day 2 and Day 3 at basecamp has been spent updating blogs, taking photos and doing some short acclimatisation walks.
Something Tom has mentioned in his blog is the importance of acclimitisation and the effect of lack of oxygen. At 5000 metres the air is much thinner and there is only half the oxygen we have available at sea level. So basically you need to breath twice as hard. A simple act of standing up can take a lot of energy and leave you giddy and possibly back down on your backside.
Well that pretty much takes us up to the 22nd of April by my reckoning. Tom should be remaining at Base Camp for about a week before heading up to Interim Camp (5650m)for a couple of days and then onto Advanced Base Camp (ABC)- 6380m for a few days for further acclimitisation. By my reckoning that should be around the 26th of April and should take him into early May. I look forward to Tom’s next update where I will once again update this blog. As always you can read the full account direct from Tom at http://kowp.com.au/category/blog/