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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Acclimatization and training in the Everest Base Camp

The Base Camp will be 'El Pampa' and Fer's home during the next 45 days approx. The Camp is set on the Khumbu Glacier. The glacier is made up by accumulation of ice and snow inside the 'horseshoe' which is formed by the Everest, Lhotse and Nuptse, and it continues covering the valley with the same name.

“There are about 300 tents with different purposes each: dining tents, bathroom, 'bedrooms' for climbers, 'bedrooms' for sherpas, kitchen tents, communications, medical service, etc., all of them put up on the very same glacier”, El Pampa' said.“That means we have to walk very carefully, for example. Besides, every glacier moves and this one is not the exception. Generally, the movements are imperceptible, but as the days go by one can notice that the tent shifted some centimeters or even bent over."
"The first days on Base Camp were so much fun. We used the time to adapt ourselves, to incorporate schedules and routines, to get medical checkups, to straighten up all our gear, etc”, Fer commented.
“Moreover, and this is truly important, the human body works very hard to adjust to the elevation changes, specially the low pressure and its consequent decrease in the amount of oxygen inhaled in every breath. We live 400 meters above sea level, and in just a few days we are settled down 5200 meters above sea level. What a change!”

“And the consequences in the group are pretty clear. Out of 10 guys, only 3 haven't had any problems: Luciano, HernĂ¡n and myself. From the rest, some had to stay a few days in villages located in lower regions, and some others had to travel to Lukla by helicopter to get medical assistance.”
“Willie tries to find ways so that we make progress in the acclimatization course without exposing us to big risks. This year, the Ice Waterfall is particularly dangerous due to avalanches. All the expedition parties are worried.

Usually, the acclimatization training takes place going up to Camps 1, 2 and 3, then going back down, and so on. In order to do that, we have to go through the Ice Waterfall.
Today, Willie came up with an alternative plan for us: climb up to Camp 1 on Pumori, in that way we get exposed to altitude but climbing over rocky ground. That is, we get what we want taking less risks. Regards, and see you on the next cultural meeting”, The Argentinians greeted.

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