20 Apr Adventures in Pheriche (The Adventures of Jaco Ottink Pt IV)
The Fourth part of our series from Nepal, as we follow the adventures of Jaco Ottink our mountaineer on Everest, as we are kept up to date in the words of his wife Daan.
10th April 2016
Tonight I managed to speak to Jaco, albeit it very haphazardly via Whatsapp Call. There is no phone reception, but funnily enough they do have WIFI in the camp albeit very patchy. Anyways, it was great to hear his voice.
Yesterday, the team arrived in Mount Everest Base Camp (EBC, 5364) and the two nights before that, they slept in Lobuche Base Camp for two nights. In EBC he has his own tent, which is nice. He’s going to spend enough time there so it’s nice to organize your stuff a bit and make yourself feel ‘at home’. Base Camp itself he thought is really impressive. There is the main base camp and Russell’s camp is a bit further away. Jaco said
their section seems to be in a safe spot, although there are glaciers everywhere and some look like they can break and fall down any time. In their camp, everything has been thought of: they have a kitchen tent with a lot of advanced equipment and the food they’re getting is fantastic. They have a dining tent, a Sherpa tent, a communications tent and even a shower, and the view is magical. Apparently their camp is the only camp with a view on Everest. In total they estimate that this year there are around 250 climbers, which is less than normal, but Jaco thought it’s more than enough.
Every day until approximately 2pm the sky is clear and with the sun out it’s relatively warm, but in the afternoon the Dragon’s Breath comes up from the valley, and then it gets cloudy and chilly. The nights are clear again and around -8 degrees.
Fortunately, the gastro is gone and despite having had some tough hiking days, he feels strong and recovers quickly (his obsession with getting his heart beat as low as possible here in Sydney did serve its purpose!). The headaches caused by the altitude come and go (which is normal) and his heart beat in Base Camp is 80 and lowering again. He did mention he would wish his oxygen level in his blood was a bit higher but hopefully with all the acclimatization that will sort itself out. His back and leg are OK and with the right exercises it is manageable.
They will stay for two more nights in EBC (of course they will do some hikes there as well) and then they will go back to Lobuche Base Camp, to climb Lobuche twice and sleep on the summit once (if all goes well).
I told him about all the people in the Netherlands, Singapore, Australia and other places around the world
who are walking with him in spirit. I passed on your best wishes and thoughts and he felt so good about that. He definitely has had his difficult moments already, amongst others when he visited the memorial for climbers who have died on Everest and the thought of all of you (us) supporting him gives him a lot of strength!
That’s all for now, will let you know when there’s more news or more beautiful pictures.