Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 13 - Makalu Base Camp Exploration Day 1

I didn't sleep at all the first night at base camp. I wasn't sure whether it was the altitude or the fact there was a board missing that made my bed pretty uncomfortable.

The two Sherpa girls also talked in the kitchen late into the night.

I was out early to take pictures of the mountain before clouds arrived.

We had base camp to ourselves the first night we stayed there.

It was amusing to think there could be 1000+ tourists over at Everest Base Camp and we had this place all to ourselves.

It was also amazing just how close our teahouse was to the mountain - it was literally at the end of the moraine pile.

It was super cold before the sun could make it over the surrounding hills.

Camelbaks full of water froze inside the teahouse during the night.

Longman got out of bed and was looking to borrow a pair of flip flops.

His hiking boots had fallen apart on the previous day - they weren't looking too good since the start of the trek.

He hiked the entire return journey to Khandbari in these flip flops.

We had curried fried rice for breakfast.

It was the most tasty fried rice we got at any teahouse.

You couldn't pick a nicer setting to eat breakfast.

As the sun hit the teahouse it was very pleasant - even though it only lasted a few hours.

The locals looked amazed when Mark let his hair down.

We took the opportunity to dry boots and air out sleeping bags in the morning sun.

I had been placing damp socks inside my sleeping back each night to dry. The bag was absorbing the smell of ripe hiking socks.

We also charged camera batteries using a GoalZero panel I brought. The solar charger worked really well at this altitude.

After breakfast we went for a stroll up the valley along the side of Makalu.

This valley heads towards the Barun glacier.

This is the advanced base camp area - our guide told us it is also known as Hillary Base Camp.

As you carry on up the valley towards the Barun Glacier the terrain gets rougher.

The trail all but disappears and you scramble over ankle breaking rocks.

The route to Sherpani Col is up this valley and then you veer to the left.

This is a pano shot of Makalu from an area close to advanced base camp.

When we got back to base camp we found that Longman had spend the entire day in bed.

He got up around dinner but transplanted himself into the bed / sleeping bag of the Sherpa lady running the hut.

It wasn't clear whether it was the cold or the altitude that was bothering him. He certainly didn't have the correct clothing for the environment.

We ate dinner early again.

A group of English trekkers arrived in the late evening and went straight to their tents.

We saw the wisdom in their ways and were in our sleeping bags early too..

Weather: Freezing. Definitely a 3 hat day.

Accommodation: Still 3 out of 3. Dinner was a repeat of the previous night but still tasty. Our Sherpa host watched a DVD on a laptop late into the night which could lead to a lesser rating.

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