Just leaving Dingboche and that’s our last teahouse for the next 5 or 6 weeks. Team on top form and we’re all itching to get to EBC.
Trekking to Dingogma where there is a beautiful grassy camping spot and then on up to around 5,100m tomorrow to camp at the Kongma La. Temperature dropping to around -10 to -15 at night which is good training for the even lower temps we’ll be experiencing at Camp 1 and Camp 2 on Everets where it will probably be down to -20 or lower.
We’re all pretty well acclimatised now and our O2 sats are around 90 to 95%. At sea level you’d expect 98 to 99% O2 and if you went to hospital with some of the readings we’ve been getting over the last 2 weeks you’d be a very poorly patient and on oxygen immediately. Typicall, for a lot of the team, our sats dropped to 80 to 85% (Bruce managed a lowly 75%) and although we are now back in to the 90s we’re going to be going higher soon and the sats will undoubtedly drop accordingly.
In 2005 my sats were below 70% and my pulse was above 100bpm for 6 weeks. The very day we decided to try for the 5 day summit bid, to catch an 18 hour window, my O2 popped up to 71% and my pulse dropped to 98bpm. I was so obviously ready and acclimatised!
We’ll be arriving at EBC in 5 days and then after a couple of days sorting our gear and moving in we’ll start exploring the Khumbu Icefall. We’ve heard that the ropes have been fixed to C2 (that was last week so probably further by now) and Camp 2 is being established so it’s all very positive.
All we need to do now is get acclimatised to above 6,500m, spend many uncomfortable nights in various tents on the hill in desperately cold conditions with frost coating the inside of the tents, keep fit and healthy, stay hydrated, get all our kit and equipment to the right places on the hill, stay safe and wait for the weather window. Easy as pie!