Thursday 30th Oct

Local Time 12:23pm - Altitude 5130m

At 5am this morning Neil led the team, excluding myself, to embark on a journey up to advance base camp. I was not in a position to accompany them because the terrain is just too difficult for even the Everest Chair to undertake.

I had the luxury of a lie in and at 9am I was woken by our friendly Nepalese cook with a cup of hot sugary tea. As usual the tent was covered in frost, both inside and outside. After my morning ablutions it was time for breakfast. This usually consists of porridge flavoured with sultanas, bananas and apples and is often followed by toast and eggs or omelettes.

Since leaving the last Tibetan hotel and moving into our tents the standard of food has improved immensely. This is because we now have Nepalese food, chefs and staff, and they can rustle up some tremendous meals in the most adverse conditions.

After breakfast it was time to plan some activities for the rest of the day. First up was tidying my tent which was looking, and smelling like a compost heap! I then asked our Sirdar if it was possible to go for a small stroll with some of the other Sherpa staff.

We travelled to a valley adjacent to the Mallory/Irvine memorial cairn that we'd visited the previous day. This offered yet more stunning views of Everest, this time from an altitude of approximately 5300m. After an hour or so spent soaking up the atmosphere it was time to head back to camp for lunch.

During lunch a yak herder arrived at the camp, one of his beasts was far from happy and started charging towards me shedding it's load as it did so. Luckily my Sherpa friends leapt to the rescue and managed to stop the animal before it reached me. Not something that happens to me everyday during lunch in London!


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