Assault on Mt. Everest Base Camp

Trip Start Mar 01, 2011
Trip End Aug 26, 2011

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Flag of China  , Tibet,
Friday, April 29, 2011

It must have been the glass of Chivas Regal whisky from last night that put me to deep sleep inside the nomadic tent at elevations over 5000m. I was also warm in my goose down sleeping bag, which I have been lugging around for the past two months, now put into good use at subzero temperatures. I decided to wake up at sunrise to get some fresh air after breathing in smoke from burning yak dung all night in the tent. I had a slight headache and blamed it on the the whisky and smoked yak dung. At breakfast I didn't have any appetite and barely ate the pancake our Tibetan host had prepared. The headache and loss of appetite are some of the symptoms of altitude sickness, but I ignored it and didn't bother taking any altitude sickness pills. This was my mistake. The others were a bit wiser and took their medication before our hike up to Everest base camp. After just a few hundred metres into the hike, I started to feel weak all over my body. My muscles were oxygen deprived and had no function. My breathing had also shortened along with dizziness and nausea. When we reached base camp after one and half hours, I had extreme headache, nausea and eventually vomited.

When we got back to tent camp, I collapsed on my bed and fell asleep. When I awoke, the others in the group had finished their horrible lunch and were ready to flea Everest. I packed my stuff and jumped in the land cruiser with my horrible headache. What was worse was that the drive from Everest to Old Tingri was the world's most bumpy and windy off road track I have ever been on. The only thing that would nurse my hellish headache was to descend and this is exactly what our driver did. After descending on the world's most bumpy and windy road, my headache and illness was all cured, almost instantly. So, when we arrived Old Tingiri, where more than half of the population is made up of loud howling mongrels on heat, I was ready for a plate of braised yak and radish for dinner. Although the Old Tingri Town appears depressing at first sight, particularly our filthy accommodation, it has a certain feel to it. A feeling of being stranded, with nowhere else to go, except for the great Tibetan plateau.          

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