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Title image - BAI takes you to: Everest Basecamp
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Leo Power Everest Marathon Dispatch

May 27, 2011 – Gorak Shep, Nepal, 5170m/16,962ft

Great news this morning: we decided to stay at Gorak Shep for an extra night so we'll trek to base camp tomorrow, Saturday, which means I will only have to sleep in a tent for one night.

The lodge at Gorak Shep is a traditional Sherpa design: a large central room with a stove in the centre burning the aromatic yak dung. Low wide benches covered in an assortment of rugs and blankets line the walls and this serves the double purpose of seats for dining and benches for resting/sleeping. Unfortunately dried yak dung is a laborious process so the general rule in the lodges is that the stoves are not lit until 4 pm or so each day. The single stove is generally the only source of heat so needless to say the tiny rooms are bloody cold. Each night I sleep in my Mountain Hardwear 800 fill down sleeping bag which is rated for -20 degree F/-29 degree C, and I'm wrapped in thermal underwear, then a fleece top and bottom, and sometimes a hat and gloves. I love it!


Spectacular peaks as seen from Gorak Shep and

Everest Base Camp: Nuptse 25,791ft/7,861m

If any of you are contemplating trekking to Everest Base Camp or Kilimanjaro or similar heights, I recommend a sleeping bag with at least the above noted rating.

This afternoon I met the six other Canadians who will compete in Sunday's marathon- they hail from Alberta and Saskatchewan and are true adventure seekers: Paul has done a marathon in Antarctica. Canadians will total approximately 7% of the total participants in Sunday's marathon.

The North Face clothing I brought with me to Nepal has been a godsend. My sister Valerie first alerted me to the fact a few years ago that the product line takes its name from the North Face of Mount Everest, the route George Mallory attempted in 1924 when he lost his life.

Today I finished reading Michael Palin's book "Himalaya". He describes his communal toilet facilities in Tibet as "a pungently malodorous lavatory, from which I can hear the sound of throats being graphically cleared". I can relate!

I went for a walk today in the bright sunshine and again marveled at the magnificent views of the highest mountain range on earth, the pure mountain air, the bluest skies I have ever seen, and the stillness/silence- all a true delight. I kept singing parts of some of Johnny Denver's beautiful mountain songs- my uncle Ed Power always raves on about the quality of Denver's music and in particular the lyrics- I appreciate it more now.

When the sun rises in the morning and I first feel its luxurious warmth I think about George Harrison's "Here comes the sun"!

Speaking of music that is another luxury I have noticeably been deprived of; I forgot to take my iPod so I'll be blasting the tunes for weeks once I arrive home.

Dr. Nima Namgyal Sherpa is the doctor for the marathon and he checked me today and I'm good to go for the marathon. He is the cousin of Nuru, my sirdar/trekking guide. Blood pressure was 120/70 and oxygen saturation level was 80, considered good for this altitude, so I'm looking forward to 7 am Sunday, the official start time for the marathon.

As my 5-year-old nephew Quaid Power exclaims, I am "living the dream"! (Taught to Quaid by my brother Cory!)


– Leo Power

Pumori 23,494ft/7,161m meaning “Unmarried Daughter” sometimes called the daughter of Everest

Pumori 23,494ft/7,161m meaning “Unmarried Daughter” sometimes called the daughter of Everest

Changtse 24,747ft/7,543m on the Tibet side of the border

Changtse 24,747ft/7,543m on the Tibet side of the border