Sunday 26th October
As we arrived at Rongphu on Sunday the weather was atrocious and
the drivers of our Land Cruisers did not want to proceed through
the bad conditions, after lengthy negotiations we eventually made
our way to where our Sherpas had set up camp.
Monday 27th October
Today we took out the Everest Chair with the intention of travelling
from Rongphu Monastery back up to Everest Base Camp. The trek was
7km in length and started at an altitude of 5000m, the terrain was
icy with calf-deep snowdrifts.
We continued on up from Ronguphu Monastery through horrendous conditions
and gale force winds. Headlong we faced the wind chill and I found
my legs starting to seize and become incredibly painful.
Upon reaching camp the team were highly fatigued and some members
began to feel the effects of altitude sickness. Dr Kim's expedition
medical experience was to prove invaluable in helping the team recover
sufficiently to be able to continue participating the following
Tuesday 28th October
Rest day for all the team. We spent the entire day enjoying the
majestic views of Everest set against clear blue skies. It was great
to wake up with your sleeping bag covered in frost and icicles hanging
from the inside of the tent!
Wednesday 29th October
In the morning Neil led Mark and Graham on an ascent of an adjacent
5300m peak, involving some scrambling and rock climbing.
Later on that afternoon I was to fulfil one of my childhood ambitions
and visit the cairn that forms the monument to George Mallory and
Andrew Irvine. To attempt this required help from the whole team
and our Sherpa support team. The trip from base camp took about
45 minutes and involved a lot of pushing, carrying, huffing and
puffing. Reaching the cairn was very moving and well worth the effort.
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