Updated by Linda McMillan
April 12, 2006
In the early morning hours, the sound of yak bells grew steadily into a loud crescendo in camp. The dozens of yaks that will be needed to move the several expeditions now in CBC to ABC had arrived with their Tibetan yak herders. These people are incredibly strong, honest, cheerful, and able to live in harsh conditions with very little warm clothing or comforts. It's hard to imagine how any expeditions would be able to move up these mountains without these amazing people and their animals.
Nawang Sherpa, Nima Gombu Sherpa, and Ang Dawa Sherpa helped the rest of our team pack up all our base camp and move up to Middle Camp (approx. 17,000 ft) this afternoon. There they will camp one night and then move up to Advanced Base Camp (18,600 ft). However Tom has picked up a sinus infection from the swirling dust at this site and from the smoky fires of the Tibetan yak herder nomads here. So he must descend to Tingri where the air is thicker in order to heal. I will go with him to help him recover and resolve major equipment and services problems we have encountered with our expedition facilitator, Mr. Guo Jin Wei.
Tom and I have been given valuable assistance by the Liaison Officer at Chinese Base Camp, Mr. Dorjee (in blue jacket at right). He arranged a ride for us to Tingri in his "Duty Jeep", which is actually a sturdy Toyota Land Cruiser--the vehicle of choice for this part of the world! Mr. Dorjee's capable young assistant Tenzing (far left in photo at right) will accompany us to help with translations. Dorjee and Tenzing both speak excellent English, so have been able to help us in many important ways. They have also shown surprisingly strong personal concern for us and all expedition members. They are doing a great job for everyone at Cho Oyu.
During most of the morning, our team members all helped to get our equipment divided up into 22 kilo loads that can be carried on each side of a hardy yak to Advanced Base Camp. This is a time-consuming process, but our Sherpa friends knew exactly how to get things ready for the Tibetan yak herders to load up the 15-20 yaks. The loads are carefully weighed (as shown below) then balanced for the yaks to carry without shifting and causing problems.
Thursday, April 13,
Today while Tom continued recovering from his illness in Tingri with me, the rest of our team, food, and equipment moved up to Advanced Base Camp (ABC) at 18,600 ft.. The weather has been very windy but only partly cloudy and not as cold as previous days.
The afternoon was highlighted by some kind of Tibetan festival events, which were celebrated by people singing and dancing in the large courtyard of the lodge where we are staying, the Everest View Lodge.
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