Dispatch 12 from Everest / April 17, 2012

O’Neill: Everest Base Camp

Mark, Dawa and I have made it to Everest Basecamp- finally. It’s a dream come true for me to see all these mountains I’ve heard about my entire life; Everest, lhotse, Nuptse, Pumo Ri, Loboche, AMA Dablam and so on and so forth.  We took our time coming in on the trek and now I feel well acclimatized to our new home at 17000 feet, plus or minus. It also gave me time to get over my cold, never an easy thing to do once you get to high.

Things seem to be plugging along at camp. MSU has been sending lots of dispatches and videos to create content for the education side of this adventure. Cory and his assistant, Andy, are handling photo and video content for Nat Geo. Mark should be starting his Nat Geo blog on the 16th. The rest of us are filling things in for North Face via their blog and instagram.

There has been a virus floating around Basecamp that has put some hurt on part of the group, namely Emily Harrington and Dave Lageson. With that said, we are splitting into two groups for our first foray up the mountain. I will head up tomorrow morning around 5 am with Kris, Andy and Sam. We will move through the icefall to Camp 1 at about 5900m. The next day we will go to camp 2 at around 6400m. We’ll spend two nights there and then head back to Basecamp on April 16th- my mom’s birthday- Happy Bday mom! The rest of the group will follow a day behind, in hopes that Emily and Dave will be healthier and stronger.

I’m really looking forward to climbing higher. I will update the blog when we get back down. Our technology at camp is pretty amazing. We actually have wi-fi but it is really expensive to use so I will likely only write in seldomly. Thanks to everyone for your comments and all the support!

Photo 1

Mark and I acclimatizing atop Khala Phattar before reaching Basecamp.

Photo 2

Llama Geshi giving us a blessing in Pengboche.

Photo 3

My system for charging my iPad on the fly!

Photo 4

A beautiful morning for a hike, outside our tea house in Pengboche.

Photo 5

Cory Richards super excited to have the whole team together at Basecamp.

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