First of all our data coverage at Everest Base has been less then adequate, the NCELL air cards we all purchased for our computers has not been making the cut due to the high volume of users! Therefore, we need to take advantage of giving you updates when we can get it.
In regards to our scheduling, we ended up spending two extra days at Everest Base. During this time we were able to partake in our Puja (a Buddhist ceremony to grant safe passage on the mountain) and some training in the ice fall for our upcoming acclimatization climb of Lobuche Peak. Our training consisted of fix line practice, rappelling, and descending the fixed lines with hand wraps. We use fixed lines on the glacier and steep snow slopes. The lines (or ropes) are adhered to the mountain with various forms of ice or snow protection and we ascend these with ascenders (one way traction devices) that dig into the sheath of the rope to keep us safe.
After our stay at Everest Base we descended to the lower elevations of Lobuche Base Camp. The thicker air, vegetation, and chirping birds is a homecoming to the stark landscape of rock and ice that encompasses the highest city on the planet, Everest Base. Our passage then led us again to the higher elevations of Lobuche high camp which stands at 17,000 ft, here we prepared for our summit bid of 20,000 foot Lobuche Peak. Our summit day was spectacular. With zero wind and clear skies, the climb went very smooth. The 360 degree views from the summit were outstanding and our next objective, Mount Everest, could be seen in all of its glory. It is a humbling experience to be standing at 6000 meters and then be staring up at 8000 meters, I have a long way to go in the coming month!
Now we are resting back at Lobuche Base Camp. With good food and water and a sunny warm day to recuperate, I am able to send this dispatch from a good friend on the team who has a surplus of data via his Thuraya satellite arrangement. The Lenovo X220 computer has been handling the extremes of this landscape with reliability and grace. The solid state hard drive, light weight and solidly built construction, along with its long battery life is testament to its innovation. For me, staying connected in the mountains via the right computer is as important as having the right Sherpa staff and technical equipment. My profession as a mountain guide and co-founder of a newly launched adventure travel website www.pathwrangler.com, being connected in the most remote regions of the Himalayas is essential.
All the best,