16 April 2008: The Everest bakery just opened today here at base camp...
After our 5 AM bed tea Chet and I had breakfast and headed up into the Khumbu icefall. Mingmar, and Kame accompanied us into the icefall after their prayers at the alter area built for our puja. By leaving at 6 AM we were able to avoid the heat of our previous trips into the icefall. Kame stayed with Chet and Mingmar stayed with me. Chet and Kame made it up to about 18,400 feet, where the first set of prayer flags is located. This is Chet’s high point on this trip.
Mingmar and I made it up to the end of the fixed line. The elevation was about 19,500 feet. Camp one will be about 25 minutes further up the icefall. We reached our high point at 10:20 AM. After a short break we headed back down. At the first ladder section we waited while the icefall doctors came up with additional ladders (two each) to finish the route to camp one.
The longest ladder section so far is four ladders up and ice wall. There are two of these section and many single and double ladders spanning over crevasse. Some of the ladders over crevasse have a bit of tilt to them that makes the crossing a little more interesting.
Mingmar and I made it back to base camp by 1:30 PM. On the way we were held up several times for 20 to 30 minutes while climbers came up some of the longer ladders.
Tonight we were fortunate to get a fresh apple pie delivered to our dining tent. The Everest bakery just opened today here at base camp. They sent one of their first pies to the HRA. We are lucky enough to be sharing our dining tent with them. Needless to say the pie was excellent. We look forward to trying some of their banana bread.