May 3: Flaming pants and round 2 coming up

The most exciting thing that has happened to me in the last 5 days stuck here at basecamp is my pants caught on fire when I got to close to the heater. I can report there are no long term physical injuries except to my pants and my pride. I had been complaining for the last few weeks that the heaters were not strong enough. I have stopped complaining now.

I have made a short YOUTUBE video here of a tour of Everest basecamp. We have a beautiful basecamp, especially considering everything is temporarily set-up in tents at 5200m in very strong winds. It is so nice in fact I thought a tour of the tents was worth a short video.

The view of the North Face of Everest from our basecamp here in Tibet is mindblowing, breathtaking, spectacular and mesmerizing. I can never get enough of staring at it, anytime of the day. It sends shivers down my spine when I see the plume of snow raging off her summit. Even at night time as I head for my tent I can makeout the ominous huge dark triangle of the North face.

From basecamp, mentally Everest has the upper hand over me. The same as many problems in life, they often seem larger when you stand back and stare at them. From basecamp Everest looks too huge, too windy and too high for humans to climb. It is not until I am on the mountain, climbing on her flanks, doing battle step by step, higher and higher that I can finally believe I have a chance of summiting her.

I attach two photo’s below. One showing a windy day on Everest (today) with the huge summit snow plume, and the the other a day with hardly any wind and no snow plume for comparison.

The last few days have been spent waiting at basecamp and looking and discussing weather forecasts. To a point I am sick of talking about the weather. Thankfully it looks like the winds which have kept us pinned down for the last few days will subside tomorrow. Allowing us to leave on round 2 of our acclimatisation. We will make a long single day push from basecamp, skipping Interim Camp at 5700m all the way to Advanced Base camp at 6400m. I expect to be very tired tomorrow night.

I am extremely excited about this next acclimatisation push to get higher up on the mountain. I hope to reach between 7300 -7500m. Getting high on the mountain is what I dream about. This is where I want to be. Pushing myself as hard as possible, high up where every step is taken with care and has consequences. I can’t currently think of anything more exciting and beautiful in my climbing ambitions than edging along the summit ridge to the summit with 3000m of exposure under my feet. Unfortunately I have to spend a great deal of time ‘plodding’ between Basecamp and Advanced Base Camp but this is part of the cause.

I would like to say a big thank you all those people who are following my trip. To those people who make comments, I try to reply individually to each one, however due to restrictions to the internet here in China this is often difficult.

Thanks again to David Lim who will make short updates on my progress over the next acclimatisation cycle.

Until next time, this is Axe siging out from an Everest Basecamp currently being battled by wind and snow.

PS: Hold you mouse over the photo to see the caption. Click the photo to enlargen.

Posted on May 3, 2012, in Everest 2012. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. "Uncle" Bill

    Hi Grant

    Have been following your blogs with great interest and lots of smiles, glad that you have not had the same bad experiences of last year, apart from the hot bum. Go for it me boy and take care.

    “Uncle” Bill


  2. Matthew edwards

    Good update axe. Loved the video of base camp


  3. Barclay Morison

    nice blog axe-man. your base camp looks great. I’d up your frequency of showers dude. best of luck for the next few days / weeks.


  4. Good to hear that you are doing fine Grant. Good luck onthe rest of the expedition. (You should be glad youre not Norwegian, all they talk about here is the weather. :o) )


  5. Really interesting Blog Axe thank you. My 7 year old son has watched the video 4 times. Cheers! Angus


  6. Ow, you probably stink. It’s all natural anyway. No comment on the burnt butt except the letter ‘L’. Patience is a virtue. All the best on the next push.


  7. Inspiring stuff mate. Good luck for the final push. I hope it all comes right for you. You certainly deserve it.

    Your mate, Damo


  8. Kate (Isadora) Smith

    Quite wrong,it was a brilliant blog but sorry about the pants presume you have more than one pair. You may have been bored anchored down at base camp but I’m sure your followers feel honoured to be shown round your fantastic living quarters. I must admit I was really impressed so much so that I have shown my other half the shower room to study and we are thinking of installing one next week. Seriously the whole set up is very impressive and it must feel like the Ritz after battling it out on the slopes. Hope you get started soon and look forward news soon. Cheers Kate stay safe


  9. Excellent blog as ever. Loved the tour around the base camp. Don’t worry about responding to the Shorty’s, we just want to let you know that we are following your progress avidly and loving the blogs.


  10. Informative & interesting blog. Great set up. Do base camps on the Nepal side have the same level of sophistication given that it is all carried up by sherpas?.


    • Hi Deb and Allen, Basecamps on the south are carried up by Yak not Sherpa. I am lead to believe that certain expeditions on the South have much more lavish basecamps than ours! There is a huge range in standard though and it depends how much you pay for the expedition as to how lavish the BC is. Cheers for now! Axe


  11. Great another entry in your blog, it keps us also in a great contact with what Margater is up to. . Best of luck with the weather and everything else during the next roptation.


  12. You won’t believe how many people I’ve put on to your blog! They are all rivetted. Waiting for the next episode. By the way I heard that the Chinese were building a road to north side basecamp. No sign of it in your photos.


  13. Axe-man, without pants it must make using the first tent easier! Looks pretty comfy pal. You’re looking and sounding in fine form. Good speed on the next acclimmatisation cycle. Lamby


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