Sitting here in Gorak Shep having just said goodby to Jo, Michael, Bernie, Luca, and Sami. Their trip ends with an incredible chopper ride down the valley. They’ll probably be in Kathmandu before I post this.
Check this video of one of the choppers heading down the valley, taking off at an incredible 5100m, they had to take 2 choppers between them. Luca will never know how close he came to not seeing his backpack again.
Yesterday we had made it to base camp, starting in Lobuche and stopping for lunch in Gorak Shep along the way.
This is the entrance to base camp, you can see tents in the background and Bernie, Luca, Michael, myself, Jo, and Sami.
Jo and me in front of my home for the next 6 weeks. It looks a little more lonely than it is – there are other tents nearby!
And a quick look inside our mess tent:
With the trekking gang heading back by chopper this morning I headed back to Gorak Shep with them so we could have a last night together having some fun and leaving the expedition team behind at base camp. The snow started to come down on the way back, Luca captured this shot.
We had a great final dinner and a few laughs.
Anyhow, time for me to return to base camp now, get settled in (this includes laying a carpet purchased in Kathmandu!), and start to do some prep for tackling the Khumbu icefall. We have a Puja (buddhist blessing) sheduled for the 19th, we’ll probably be crossing the Icefall for the first time on the 20th with a view to spending some time at Camp 1 and Camp 2 before returning to base camp. The nights sleeping out at 5400 under the Kongma La last week should provide adequate acclimatisation.
Not sure how the internet will be at base camp, will try to post if I can. Otherwise follow on twitter (@realrorymchugh) where I’ll be posting occasional short messages from my satellite communicator (really cumbersome typing messages and limited to 160 characters so please excuse grammar, spelling, etc!)
Latest Irish Times article should be out today as well, although I pushed the deadlines a bit and haven’t seen online yet, I’ll post when I do.