Day 15 – Khumbu Icefall
While today is another rest day, we are going on a short excursion (45 min each way) to head to the bottom of the Khumbu Icefall. The terrain on the way through Base Camp to reach the icefall was almost as fascinating as the icefall itself. In the picture above you can see part of the glacier as we walked along.
The purpose of the trek was to stretch out our legs, take some pictures, and give the climbers a sense of the terrain they will have to traverse to reach Camp 1. For most climbers it will take about five hours to climb through the icefall to reach Camp 1. This includes climbing over ice faces and walking across ladders placed over crevasses by the “Ice Doctors”. They originally prepare the route through the icefall and regularly maintain it throughout the climbing season. See the image below for an image of the icefall.
In the afternoon we continued our scheduled program of relaxing. As we are running out of interesting things to keep us occupied I’ve played a large number of games of Scrabble with my mom. She likes to think she’s better than me at the game (which makes sense since she is better than me).
Tonight after dinner we had a fascinating presentation from Russell Brice about his climbing and guiding career. One common theme throughout his talk was how work would get in the way of his time to climb mountains and how he would try to find jobs near mountains so he could climb more often. Another common theme was “mileage” or experience is highly valuable and helpful.
One more rest day here before we start climbing back down.