April Fools ;)
Thus far we've gotten through April Fool's Day without any major casualties, although the night is still young (and back home in New York City it's just starting). Today we had our first rest day in Pheriche, which is misleading – we kicked off the day with a morning hike to the ledge near Dingboche (several of us made an extracurricular excursion down to the French bakery there and were disappointed to learn there were no cakes on hand). At the high point of today's hike we took some fun photos – handstands and human pyramids are now a regular part of our acclimatization. On getting back we took a quick tour of the HRA "Himalayan Rescue Association" clinic, conveniently located right outside where we're staying at the White Yak. Dad purchased six HRA patches, a new record since Kathmandu…it's an addiction, but fortunately proceeds go towards the nonprofit. We attended a talk on altitude given by one of the resident doctors, Hillary Irons, from Boston, MA. CJ (Beanie) and Sam rejoined the group after caring for some sick Australians in Temboche, and we spent the rest of the afternoon hearing from Kirsty and Suzi about hypothermia (Kirsty), avalanche and frostbite (Suzi). I had no idea that it can take 2-3 months to fully recover from frostbite, and finally determine what damage has truly been done. Or that if you can create just 1-2 centimeters of air around your mouth in an avalanche you greatly increase your chances of survival. Clay learned that he can't go more than 30 minutes without dropping an F-bomb, which might come in handy during an avalanche situation.
A long day, the first where I've managed to stay awake the whole day without a voluntary or involuntary nap (thanks to a solid ten hours of sleep last night, high altitude be damned!). Tomorrow we're heading higher on a final day hike and night in Pheriche before we start the final push to base camp.
Suzi & Sam send mum + dad their love + Suzi sends Dave a big hug x
Chris sends all his love to Susie and hope she had a great Easter in Arran! Xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Jim says "Love and miss you Shelley and Danielle!!"