Episode 135: Real Surreal Reality

Hilarious Hypoxia. Visiting at any base camp on Everest gives you an entirely new appreciation for high altitude mountaineering. You’re always a bit hypoxic here, and it only gets worse as you move uphill.

I’ve always said that your perspective on most any topic becomes very fluid at altitude. Here we are at the south side base camp and we’re feeling the effects of the thin air up here. Now, ask any of the climbers here how base camp air feels to them and they’ll tell you it’s thick and luxurious!

That’s a fairly large discrepancy between perspectives.

While we walked from Gorak Shep to base camp yesterday I felt great but was physically burned out. It was a very similar feeling as what I experienced walking into ABC on the north side in 2003. I felt good but just didn’t have the energy to move my legs any faster. I could see ABC in 2003 just like I could see BC here in 2009 but couldn’t speed up from my one-step-every-three-seconds pace.

That was a long hike up from Gorak Shep for me.

Cut to this morning and Chiri arrived at BC with the car battery we’ve been using to keep our sat gear and computers running. The battery had been completely drained of power last night and so he brought it up from Gorak Shep to hopefully get it charged. The battery is a true car battery and weighs about 17 Kilos or about 30-40 pounds. It’s heavy.

Remember me saying that I felt the hike up to BC from Gorak Shep was a long hike for me? Well, it took me about 4-5 hours to make it here. Chiri did the same hike not in 4-5 hours, but in 45 minutes.

With a car battery.

Jon Miller

Total Running Time: 30:46