Today has actually been something of a rest day! FINALLY!
Our day began with the departure of the WMS trekking team. Breakfast was a lonely affair, as seven of the nine participants who have been sharing our two days here at base camp left. We were very glad to keep Karen and Dennis, the first WMS Camp II participants, with us for a few more days.
We spent the morning practicing our ice climbing skills in the outskirts of the Icefall. We are improving, both in technique and stamina, and we could actually enjoy the beautiful weather… and the view of the avalanches going off around us! In fact, we inaugurated the deck chairs outside our dining tent, sipping orange tang and admiring the view of the Icefall.
After a hearty lunch, some of us did some laundry while the others rested. After some reading and card games, we had a very welcome visit from Melissa Arnot of the First Ascent team. She inspired us to take a walk around the upper parts of Base Camp before dinner – after threatening that too much rest would not only render us insufferably lazy but also give us quick-growing potbellies!
We enjoyed a dinner consisting of mushroom soup, vegetable spring rolls, lasagne and pineapple rings whilst listening to Ray Charles. After dinner, we settled in our heavy duty down jackets and read our books, wrote our diaries and… updated our blog.
Tomorrow is Puja day, as well as Nepali New Year Day, during which our expedition will be blessed, and we will be given permission to finally, FINALLY climb into the Icefall!
Goodnight! Don’t let the bedbugs bite!