Christmas morning for me constituted getting out of my sleeping bag and tent, double-checking my day pack, having breakfast of porridge, pancakes and coffee, then trudging from Base Camp to Camp Two with food supplies to be left there.

At 5450 metres above sea level, and having ascended from 3400 metres, the air felt thin and I had to focus on my breathing as we zig-zagged our way up the world’s largest rock pile to the camp.

Once there we unloaded the good we carried and began the descent back down to Base Camp. I much prefer a speedy direct descent rather than slow, jarring descent, so sped down the hillside in a cloud of dust, accumulating many sharp stones in my shoes on the way. On that note, I never thought that I would reach 5450m in a pair of Scarpa Vortex GTX shoes, which are a sturdy pair of walking shoes, but not boots and not designed for such altitudes.

Tomorrow is a rest day and then it’s time to leave Base Camp for Camp 1, 2, 3 and hopefully the summit, weather permitting.

Right now it’s half six in the evening, and once I get this blog post out via satellite internet connection, it’s time to don my Santa hat and finally commence ‘normal’ Christmas festivities!

Happy holidays

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