Teams are rolling into Everest Base Camp this week and since a lot of people back home don't really understand what Base Camp (BC) is or what it's like, I decided to put together a little video to help with that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRuxrpjn5MM&feature=results_video&lr=1&ob=0
As you can see from the video, BC is a pretty rocky place and sits on top of a bunch of moving ice. Throughout the two-month expedition all the different teams' BCs will shift and change tremendously. I remember last year when I first pitched my tent, all was flat and smooth, but two months later my tent was sitting on a little hill with melted glacier rivers streaming on either side (like a moat). Also, take note of the fancy toilet set ups. Not bad, right? FYI, these kind of toilets get you pretty good at taking a dump while squatting (I've heard that it's the healthiest way to take a dump actually, which is probably why it's the pooping posture of choice in the East). Enough of that....you can see that BC has a cozy feel. The shower tent is pretty glamourous, I'm not gonna lie. And even though that little shower nozzle thing doesn't look like much, it's an absolute god-send. Peak Freak's dining tent is awesome, warm, and filled with movies, books, and games, so no one gets bored. The Sherpa cooking/dining tent is clean and a pleasant place for the Sherpas to hang out in, which translates into good food, healthy climbers, and most importantly, happy Sherpas.
This year Peak Freaks camp had to be built in a different spot from where it usually is. The BC from last year (the one from the video) is now a big boulder field. Nice. In other news, the route through the Ice Fall is complete with ropes and ladders and apparently Camp 2 has been staked out as well. So, all is going smoothly. From reading other blogs, it seems that either most teams are in BC already or are arriving there today or tomorrow. The teams, once arriving, will spend about a week getting accustomed to BC living, acclimatizing to the thin 17,500 ft air, and participating in the Puja, which is a ritual performed by each team before climbing to appease the mountain gods on Everest.