September 30, 2006 - Cami Mattson Reports from Base Camp

The team at Everest Base Camp

This is Cami Mattson reporting from Everest Base Camp on September 30.  Yesterday we hiked to the top of Mt. Kala Patar at over 18,500 feet (5638m) to get a fabulous view of Mount Everest. We could see the Khumbu icefall, South Col and Everest’s peak resting against the sky at 29,000 feet. We were surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Himalayas with fabulous views of Mt. Pumori and Nuptse before hiking into Base Camp, 17,600 feet (5364m), over the moraine of the Khumbu glacier.

Cami with a dime representing ‘climb for a dime’Last night we had dinner with members of the Berg Adventures Everest 2006 Expedition.  We are amazed at all those attempting the summit and for the three athletes who are attempting to ski down from the summit.  If they make their goal, they will definitely set a record.

Today we hiked up onto the first part of the Khumbu icefall to see the remains of a helicopter crash that occurred in the 1970s.  The sun was hot so we promptly got into a snowball fight with our Sherpas Min and Pemba.  Our trekking group of seven has really come together and we are so grateful to all the Sherpas who support us beyond belief on our trek.

The cultural experience is as rewarding as the scenic peaks and valleys.  We have passed through and stayed in many of the Sherpa villages.  On the trail we have stepped aside of yaks carrying loads down the valley, walked around stupas (religious monuments), over bridges laced with prayer flags, and by chortens (rock memorials) in honor of those Sherpas and foreigners who have died on Everest. We have even received a blessing at the Thame Monastery from the Rinpoche or reincarnated Lama who had just returned from two months of isolated meditation. 

Karen on the summit of Kala PatarThe air is thin up here so a photograph is always a good excuse to catch our breath. We are in tents up here at Base Camp in the snow.  It is amazing how quickly the weather changes from hot to cold as soon as the sun sets or goes behind a cloud. We are all doing well and are looking forward to a hot shower and clean clothes back in Kathmandu.

I want to extend a big thanks to all my friends, family and colleagues back home who are supporting this climb with contributions to the foundation of the Western Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus and the school of orphans in Arusha, Africa that is near and dear to my heart.  I love having all of you on the climb with me.  Thanks again!

Libby and Min take a stroll through Base Camp

All Text, Images and Audio Files © Berg Adventures International 2006

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