Friday, May 9, 2008

On the way down

We made it to Everest Base Camp and are on our way back down! It was one heck of a hard push at the end. But before we went there we first did our own summit of a nearby mountain peak, Kala Pattar, topping out around 18,500 feet. The air was getting pretty thin up there, but it was definitely worth it. As Adam mentioned the views all around are amazing. The final hike in was difficult, uphill, and rocky, but we all made it to base camp, spent a couple hours there and then hiked back a few hours to our hotel for the night.

When we finally made it to base camp we were greeted by a very happy and active Scott Parazynski. He was bounding across the rocks as we were barely catching our breath. To see him so positive gave us all a lot of energy. We took a lot of pictures around base camp, and the Khumbu ice fall. That ice fall is the first leg of the summit of Everest, and Scott took us to the bottom of it to show us around. It's a very dangerous climb, so we didn't go very far. But while there we did see an avalanche, and got some good photos of the falling snow. We were safely far away (though some of us were still a bit nervous as we saw it coming in our direction!), but still got a nice little snow fall on us. Base camp is built on the Khumbu Glacier, so there was ice, rock and glacier melt all around. Amazing to be walking around on that glacier!

We're finally on our way back down, we all have a lot of energy. As the air gets thicker, and we're going mostly downhill so it's all much easier now. Tonight is being spent around 12,000 feet so compared to the summit of 18,000 feet the air feels thick! We feel great, and are loving the time, though are also looking forward to seeing home once again.


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