On Monday, April 23, 2018, the climb really started. We were at Everest Base Camp (elevation 17,500 feet) and getting ready to move the next day to Camp 1, which involves a journey through the Khumbu Icefall to an elevation of approximately 19,685 feet.
Every morning during breakfast at Base Camp, we get a hot towel with eucalyptus. That’s become such a wonderful thing, because the Khumbu air is very, very dry! If you’re not careful, you can get what’s called “Khumbu Cough,” which can last for days. I’m very fortunate right now to not have Khumbu Cough or any other kind of respiratory problems like I had in the first five or 10 days moving up through the valley.
We moved out onto the Khumbu Glacier and, for the most part, moved efficiently and effectively. We learned lots of new things while we were there, like how to maneuver through the icefall and how to not take your time, because things do happen in there.
Here’s a video example of some of the things I learned during my training (or earlier) about crossing a pretty deep crevasse. Out on the glacier, there are a lot of safety lines, but you still don’t want to be dangling 20 feet down in a crevasse for 20 or 30 minutes while other folks have to help you up. All my ladder crossings and those for our entire team went well, which was exciting.
It took us about six hours to get to Camp 1, which is fairly sparse. We chose which MREs to take with us, and they brought water in the evening and the morning to heat up our meals. We ate and moved on.