Berg Adventures International 2003 Everest Expedition

September 26 – Resting at Base Camp while avalanche buries gear above Camp 1

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Base Camp Sept 26th a.m. Beautiful Clear weather with winds apparent on the ridgetops.... starting to look like October weatherThere are certain days at Everest Base Camp – they come after you’ve been high up on the mountain and you are back down and resting and recuperating – and the weather needs to be good, clear and warm. And those days are what the great times at Base Camp are all about. Today, September 26, was definitely like that.

We washed up, we took showers, we sat around and had a leisurely breakfast in the sun outside the dining tent. Great Base Camp day!

I believe the weather has finally shifted and become October-like weather. The clouds move in, but they’re benign, there’s no precipitation, and there are brilliant mornings. Even we’re beginning to see the ridge top winds that eventually will blow some of the snow a way up higher on the mountain.

A warm morning at Base Camp on Sept 26 allowed Leila and Maegan to wash their hair.Interestingly enough Leila and I arrived in Kathmandu one month ago today. And this was really what I consider the beginning of the Berg Adventures 2003 Everest Expedition. And today was the first day in that month that I did not see some precipitation wherever I was, be that in Kathmandu, trekking, Base Camp or even higher on the mountain. No precipitation at all today. And as you can see from the photos, we took advantage of that.

I should tell you though that there is a lot more going on than just resting and doing nails at Base Camp. Nima Tashi and all the climbing Sherpas rolled out at 5 am this morning for a carry to Camp 2. I stayed in touch with them via radio. They went well at first, but past Camp 1 they were breaking a lot of trail that slowed them down.

And then, just above the crevasses between Camp 1 and Camp 2, they found a huge avalanche. Nima Tashi called me on the radio and reported this because there were two two-meter aluminium ladders standing in the snow there and I had tied a rucksack with a load intended for Camp 2 to those ladders. Nima Tashi called and reported to me that a huge avalanche had occurred and the ladders and my pack were missing underneath all the debris somewhere no doubt.

This was an interesting story for us because when we had been at that point a few days before, I had told Maegan she should leave her skis there and we could get them later and move them on to Camp 2. She thought about it but she said, “You know, I just feel better keeping my skis on me.” And she carried her skis back down to Camp 1. Enough said there. Her skier’s instinct, her mountaineer’s instinct that said “Keep those skis!” was vindicated. She had no rational reason not to leave them that day but she just felt better taking them back to Camp 1. She still has her skis. One of my Nikon cameras, 20 rolls of film, my down suit and some other items are under that debris. It remains to be seen whether we find it sometime later this season.

Anyway, it was a great day at Base Camp. The recuperation and the cleanliness that took place was much needed by all the team. And we’ll be reporting in to you in the coming days.

The luxuries of Base Camp: David Burger in the shower tent at B.C. He is shaving using the mirror on his Tates Compass.

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