Thursday, May 29, 2008

Mount Everest: Last Day At Base Camp, 24 May 2008

Wake up and began packing, packing, packing, packing, packing. It's amazing to see how quickly you can tear down camp and get ready to go when driven by incentive. The goal is for us all to hike out as a group- members, Sherpas, cook staff. One whole group- one team start to finish. When we get to Lukla, our plan is to get the entire team onto one airplane but in the interim, we’ll be pressing through the length of the 80km trail from Base Camp to Lukla to stay in the same hotels, etc.

Francisco's parents have been in Kathmandu since the 20th, so he's been investigating helicopter flights to save time and in the essence of speed but man are they expensive. As in, they can cost as much as $5,600 for 3 people. Not this guy. That's too expensive when I have feet that still move underneath me. So as for the rest of the team we'll be hoofing it.

All day, we packed. Our gear, team gear. Comm equipment, cooking equipment. It all was packed up by the collective team, one piece at a time.

That night, we treated the team to a special meal- we (Bridie, me, Francisco, Willie) cooked the Sherpas and cook team dinner, kicking them out of their tents and setting the table for them in the community shelter. We put out a deli plate, a giant vat of Thai Chili, rice, and threw in a DVD for them to watch while eating. Somewhere, Sherpas unearthed two cases of beer to pass out. It was all great fun, even if they were extremely uneasy with us in the cook tent unattended. At least five times, we caught one or two peeking in to see what was happening and verify that we weren't about to burn down the tent.

It was a perfect way to close out the evening and the expedition, and they loved it just as much as we did.

Next: Everest Base Camp to Pheriche
Last: Down to Base Camp

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