October 30th 2017 –
Tomorrow the lodges give way to expedition tents at Ama Dablam Base Camp. We will cross the Imja River and head up to Base Camp at 4,600 metres, or 15,100 feet.
Today I headed up the mountain on the Pangboche side of the river, while Binoy trekked over to the Base Camp to supervise all of the final details for our tents and logistics. Des, the sherpa, came with me on the hike and we had a bit of a breakthrough in our relationship. He has always called me ‘sir’ despite my suggesting that ‘Graham’ would work just fine. He now calls me ‘Graham sir’. Progress.
Our hike wasn’t to anywhere in particular, just up the mountain toward the peak, rambling along what are essentially the paths used by the yaks when they graze. Very thin lines zig zag all over the mountainside. Pangboche is at the tree line where the thick wooded forests disappear, replaced by low growing plants, and rock.
The best part of the day was looking across the valley and the Imja River toward Ama Dablam. It gave me an opportunity to look along the south-west route that Rinji (the climbing Sherpa) and I will be taking, identify each of the camps, and generally get a sense of what lies ahead. It was a day of homework.
I took this black and white photo today of Ama Dablam. While looking through the camera lens I used the zoom to spot several climbers approaching the peak. I hope that will be me in two weeks time!