Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

Jump to helpful navigation →

Glacier Fun

Everest 2016  •  April 18

Our two day break is coming to a close… at 3:30 AM tomorrow, we will climb to Camp 1, spend two nights, then climb to Camp 2 for another two nights, then come all the way back down to EBC.

It’s no good to sit around on our backsides all day… even a short walk is helpful to keep legs, lungs, and heart in good order.  Today, we chose to walk up EBC to crampon point (roughly).  Beautiful day, and lots of fun.

Good morning sunshine. Our love / hate relationship with helicopters grows...
Good morning sunshine. Our love / hate relationship with helicopters grows…
Ready to see the sights. (Photo: Steven Hess)
Ready to see the sights. (Photo: Steven Hess)
DSC01953XX1X
Walking up-glacier via the “low” trail.
Prayer flags stretch to the glacier.
Prayer flags stretch to the glacier.
A standard toilet at EBC... underneath is a plastic blue barrel that is carried out of the park when full.
A standard toilet at EBC… underneath is a plastic blue barrel that is carried out of the park when full.
Lots of snowmelt roaring down the side of the glacier.
Lots of snowmelt roaring down the side of the glacier.
Some of the snowmelt carves perfect waterslide chutes.
Some of the snowmelt carves perfect waterslide chutes.
Very, very tempting to give these a try!
Very, very tempting to give these a try!
Amazing icicles. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
Amazing icicles. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
A space heater makes its way up valley on the back of a very strong porter. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
A space heater makes its way up valley on the back of a very strong porter. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
Yaks headed down-valley.
Yaks headed down-valley.

The glacier appears to be pretty pristine at a glance… on closer inspection, there are countless tiny traces of the tragedy from last year.  Shards of fabric, plastic scraps, metal bits, wooden splinters… all entombed in ice.  There is no conceivable way that the glacier can be properly restored; rather, I suspect that the wreckage will work its way down the valley over the next century.

A snarl of prayer flags left over from last year.
A snarl of prayer flags left over from last year.
This place is incredible. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
This place is incredible. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
We do like our photos here...
We do like our photos here…
Cristiano and Nicky on ice.
Cristiano and Nicky on ice.
The Khumbu Icefall, our target for tonight.
The Khumbu Icefall, our target for tonight.
A tongue of glacier creeps down Nuptse.
A tongue of glacier creeps down Nuptse.
The glacier in chiaroscuro.
The glacier in chiaroscuro.
Kim invents a new form of martial arts.
Kim invents a new form of martial arts.
Do-si-Do.
Do-si-Do.
Walking into the arms of the mountain king.
Walking into the arms of the mountain king.
Taking life very seriously.
Taking life very seriously.
Easy travel in amazing terrain.
Easy travel in amazing terrain.
Boulders block the sun's rays, preventing meltout beneath them, forming these odd situations. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
Boulders block the sun’s rays, preventing meltout beneath them, forming these odd situations. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
Some of the wreckage on the glacier.
Some of the wreckage on the glacier.
Freeze-melt cycles leads to amazing formations.
Freeze-melt cycles leads to amazing formations.
Siva.
Siva.
Bob.
Bob.
I really really hate sunburn up here. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
I really really hate sunburn up here. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
I think this is a Brazilian dance move.....  (Photo: Nicky Lowry)
I think this is a Brazilian dance move….. (Photo: Nicky Lowry)
No comment.  (Photo: Nicky Lowry)
No comment. (Photo: Nicky Lowry)
Team awesome, ice edition. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
Team awesome, ice edition. (Photo: Emily Johnston)
Justin has a dastardly plan in mind for Emily. But wait... what is Kim up to? (Photo: Steven Hess)
Justin has a dastardly plan in mind for Emily. But wait… what is Kim up to? (Photo: Steven Hess)
Is that an icicle in her hand? (Photo: Steven Hess)
Is that an icicle in her hand? (Photo: Steven Hess)
My god, where is she putting that? (Photo: Steven Hess)
My god, where is she putting that? (Photo: Steven Hess)
Touchdown! (Photo: Steven Hess)
Touchdown! (Photo: Steven Hess)
Oh no! Justin will have vengeance! (Photo: Steven Hess)
Oh no! Justin will have vengeance! (Photo: Steven Hess)
And the worst part: She knows where that icicle has been. (Photo: Steven Hess)
And the worst part: She knows where that icicle has been. (Photo: Steven Hess)
Definitely time for a shower after this. (Photo: Steven Hess)
Definitely time for a shower after this. (Photo: Steven Hess)
Heading back to EBC.
Heading back to EBC.
Justin looking for trouble.
Justin looking for trouble.

Feeling fit and well.  We sent some of our kit up the mountain early this morning with our wonderful Sherpa team mates.  Now we are packing for the trip.  One last shower, last blog, last civilized meal.  Excited to return to the Southern Cwm after all these months.

I will try to keep in touch briefly via InReach while we are up there.  Next formal blog should happen 4/23 or 4/24.

Phrase of the day: Beware brown icicles.

9 thoughts on “Glacier Fun

  1. Will be thinking of you, Paul, and everyone on the team. Know that I am saying special prayers and looking at the pictures and reading the blogs over and over again. Love and special prayers.

  2. Thank you, Paul! You are an excellent writer and photographer. I hope you have a good climb, and a successful one, overcoming each challenge along the way wisely and in good spirits. Two quotes to share:
    1. “I see a safe journey. I see a safe return.” (Tibetan blessing, as quoted in Kundun, the film)
    2. “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” (Ed Viesturs) And I’ll add my own little thought here, to Ed’s. Getting wisdom and equanimity in present moment awareness, no matter what the circumstances, is essential. There’s the lasting joy of it all. So, onward and upward! And keep an eye out for my sister Emily, please. You’re all in this together.

  3. Thank you Paul for posting all these wonderful pictures and comments. My brother Bob Lowry sent me your link. Looks like everyone is staying strong and healthy! Safe journey to all climbers!

  4. Nice job on the posts p2! Keep up the good work at nice to see you’re practicing your amazing sunburn avoidance system…. Best of luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *