Getting to Camp 1! Everest

April 16-19 Posts

Camp 1 in Just a Few Days!!

April 16

Time is flying here on the mountain! It is hard to believe we arrived on the 8th at Base Camp. Everest is so different to any other climb I have done, as it is a waiting and prepping game. Most of our time spent on the mountain is spent, acclimitizing, perfecting our skills, trying to stay healthly, and waiting for that perfect moment when we can go up. It is important to rest as well. We are headed up Kalapatar today to sleep at 5800m, this is all in preparation to help us get up to camp 1 next week in a reasonable amount of time. 

Yesterday we had a much needed rest day at BC, where I was able to reorganize my tent, shower, practice knot tying, read, journal, and eat. It flew by though.
The day before that we got to go up on the glacier and get one forth of the way to camp 1. Our aim was to practice walking through the ice fall and also get used to crossing over the ladders. Luckily it was less scary than I thought it would be : ) The glacier did kick my butt though and it was a strenuous 3 hour climb up and about 1.5 hour climb down. The sun was on us on the glacier, which meant I was baking!! That is the thing about Everest, as quickly as it can freeze you, it can bake you too! Needless to say it was a good taste as to what lies ahead next week as we try to approach camp 1. We will go through about 3 rotations on the mountain, meaning I will go to camp 1 about 3 times, camp 2 about 3 times, camp 3 about 3 times, and camp 4 hopefully only once the nighte before our summit push sometime in late May.

My cold is much better, but I honestly it is hard to feel one hundred percent at 17,500 feet. I got rid of my cold, but then have caught some kind of stomach bug? Who knows, but not so fun and is really slowing me down : ( It should clear up in a few days as it has for others on the team. I am normally pretty healthy at home, so just hard to adjust. I am ok though and will keep pushing on : )
Mountaineering comes with its suffering...it is a continuous mental game and sometimes about how much you are willing to endure. With that said, you have to be smart and as our guides have been coaching us, knowing when your body is telling you it needs your care and attention.

On the flip side, it is beautiful up here...walking through the little of the ice fall we did kinda felt like I was in a dream. You really get an appreciation as to just how massive this mountain really is. She has been kind to us so far and I hope she will continue to do so :) I have 'pinch me moments" all the time, where I ask myself "are you really here?!? are you really doing this?!?" Maybe they will go away once I am all done. 

So the next few days is about getting ready for camp 1 next week and it should take us anywhere from 7-10 hours to get up there. There are many different fitness levels on the team-some faster than others. Bottom line is you have to focus on you and what YOU can do, not what everyone else is doing. I have been taking my time on all the hikes and climbs we have done, as that is what has gotten me up all of the other mountains I have summitted. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time. Mountaineering is not a race, so slow and steady is your best bet :) 

We met our personal Sherpas yesterday and I look forward to getting to know mine better over the next month or so. I have a lot to learn from him :) Again I cannot stress how incredible the Sherpas are...what they do is inspiration on its own.
As I am up here, I can't help but think about the future and what role this incredible journey will play in it :)

Big hugs and more to come soon. If you would like to support our efforts, please visit: www.climbtakeaction.com

A HUGE THANK YOU for all of your loving messages of encouragement and support...it keeps me going!! 

Ciao!
G


Everest: As Quickly As It Can Freeze You, It Can Fry You Too

April 19

Our team made it to Everest Base Camp (17,500 ft.) a little over one week ago. I am blessed and humbled to be here. Everyday is a test of will, from dawn to dusk. But even when I feel exhausted and stretched to my limit, I find inspiration all around me and, most importantly, in the cause that brought me here.
 
After a little more than one week at Base Camp, I am still adjusting to the altitude and way of life here. We spend most of our time perfecting our skills, acclimatizing, and waiting for that perfect time to go up, and we have to be ready to go when that window opens. 
 
In these first days on Everest, I have had a small taste of what lies ahead.
 
A couple of days ago, we were tasked with practicing walking through the ice fall, the most dangerous part of the climb. Here, we cross ladders and bridges over icy abysses in the glacier. Many climbers have died at this part of the climb - which is roughly a quarter of the way to Camp 1 - because the glacier can move with little warning, exposing deathly cracks and crevasses. 
 
Surprisingly, the ladders and bridges were not as scary as I thought they would be, but the climb to and on the glacier was grueling. It took three hours to climb up the glacier and 1.5 hours down. The sun beat down on the ice and practically baked us in our climbing gear. That is the thing about Everest: as quickly as it can freeze you, it can fry you too.
 
This coming week, we will try and make it to Camp 1. If all goes as planned, we will do three rotations on the mountain before attempting the summit.  This means we should climb  to  camps 1, 2, and 3 three times each before reaching Camp 4 the night before our summit bid on an early morning in late May.
 
Everest is a completely different climbing experience than any other mountain I have climbed, including the highest mountains in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Australia. I know it will take every bit of inspiration and mental and physical endurance to get me up there. 
 
People take on Everest for many reasons. For some, it’s a life dream to get to Base Camp. For others, it’s a life dream to reach the summit. To most, it’s a test of their personal limits.
 
Being at Base Camp is living out a personal dream, but that is only part of the reason I am here. My journey here started four years ago when I first read an article about the epidemic of rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I decided I wanted to do something dramatic to highlight a crisis that most of the world knew nothing about. 
 
I climb for the women of Congo, and when I have trouble finding resilience on this picturesque, but unforgiving mountain, I think of the resilience they show everyday against all odds, and am able to keep going.
 
Made it to Camp 1!!!


Made it to Camp 1!!!

Ghostwriter #1 here, sending out a message on behalf of our girl Georgina. As of 1:00am, our incredible climber and her friends at Peak Freaks reached Camp 1 on the highest mountain on earth! I had the honor of getting my very first SAT phone text - yay!

She is hopefully nestled up in her down sleeping bag getting some much deserved rest at 20,000 feet. It was a tough day for our heroin, but she always pulls through. In her own words (loosely), "you just put one foot in front of the other and eventually you get to the top of a mountain."

Peak Freaks should be updating their site soon with details too: Peak Freaks

Peace out friends. Keep sending the love to Georgina - I bet she can really feel it being that she's on top of the world!