The team that took on the challenge of Everest BC got up at 430am for breakfast, anticipating a long day. Unfortunately they didn’t get out until 630am because Mark’s stocks went missing. The mystery was solved when Gretchen checked the ones she “put away” for Teresa. Then there was a toilet que, before they finally started hiking.
Kass was quite upset because her “support crew” were all to ill to attempt it. To her credit, she rallied, drawing on her mantra “courage”, and made it all the way one step at a time.
Jules was SICK. She was headachy and distressed, and we are so thankful that she survived! In fact, she recovered so well that she nursed another team member up to base camp, and back down again in the dark, through sleet and -20° winds.
Their lunch took a little longer than planned too, and they left for the 3hr hike around 1pm. Apart from the fact that they’re well above 5000m now, it’s freezing, bouldery, and they’re tired. They heard the crack and rumble of avalanches too.
At base camp, they stopped long enough to take pictures and make a little shrine to Kass’s mum, who’s ashes are now buried there. Kass carried her mum the whole way and has left her to rest at the top of the world.
The team left at around 4pm, knowing they’d be completing much of the return trip in the dark. They rushed to get over the most difficult parts in time. Once they made it to the valley, they could see the lights of the village. Their breathe was frozen to their clothes, and their runny noses weren’t runny anymore…
One of our wonderful guides, Puri, no sooner dropped the first group of before heading out to collect the next group. Another guide, Tendi, stuck with Mark and Justine for hours in the dark to ensure they made it back safely. Mark and Justine were covered in a film of ice by the time they made it back, and for our guides we are grateful. They then went on to serve dinner!!
Many people pulled up sick or exhausted after this. Only Tracey and Mark T were able to back it up with another 430am start, climbing Kalapatthar and returning before most of the others were even out of bed!
They joined the crew sitting around for breakfast with glazed, vacant, expressions!
Both times, our crew had the places to themselves, which was great for their pictures! Tracey will have me tell you that she left Mark for dead when Puri told them to run back down (it was bloody cold, Puri estimates -28°).
We evacuated Di that morning. She spent the night unable to get warm despite numerous got water bottles and blankets. Mark S took the day off. When they dropped Mark to our village, Binod and Clare were doing yoga on the airstrip. Binod ‘s preference was Warrior 1 and other poses, while Clare preferred the “starfish” (flat on her back).
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