Over the last few days I haven’t written a single word. This is not because there is nothing happening here at base camp on Everest; it is probably because I have shut myself off, and have not been in the mood for doing anything. This always happens to me when it is time to begin our ascent to the summit. The nervousness that I feel before we set off usually manifests itself in this way.
Of course there are things happening here: people are reaching the summit almost everyday. I don’t even know how many people have reached the summit of Everest this season because it is impossible to keep tabs on everyone. Many customers with the commercial expeditions have already conquered the summit and helicopters are arriving every single morning to take all these customers back to Kathmandu, and then home.
We, on the other hand, are still here. We would also like to make it to the top as soon as possible, but the weather forecast is not that good and this affects us in particular. The guys who are making it to the top are doing so with the help of artificial oxygen: Even if the wind is blowing when they reach the summit, it doesn’t pose too much of a problem. In our case, there has to be practically no wind at all, and this is apparently not going to be possible before the 20th or the 21st.
As a result, we have had to entertain ourselves over the last few days at base camp. Perhaps the most difficult part is not allowing everything that is going on around us to influence us, and just getting on with the preparations for our ascent. It is hard. One day we went for a walk, and another day we went to Boulder at the base camp on Pumori to try and immerse ourselves in our own little world and concentrate on the matter in hand. All the while we are waiting for the right day to attack the summit of Everest.
According to the weather report that we have from Vitor Baia, the 21st might be the best opportunity to make it to the top, as the wind is going to die down considerably. The days just before then, the 19th and 20th, are going to be cloudy with a little snow. However, I reckon that our best option is the 21st . At the moment there doesn’t seem to by any other option.
Tomorrow will be our last day at base camp before we begin our ascent. I know exactly what it is going to be like: all nerves and meticulous preparations so that we don’t forget anything. Days like this are really strange. I want to get out of here now and although I know that we are going to suffer a bit, or rather a lot, I just want to begin our ascent.
Tomorrow I will let you know what we finally decide before we begin our ascent. Thanks to all of you who are supporting us and following the expedition, and for the messages of support that you are sending us.