Dispatch—Day 51: May 16, 2009
Viesturs & Whittaker Arrive at Camp 3
Arnot Battles Illness at ABC
Team Hahn Plays the Waiting Game
By Seth Waterfall
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Everest Base Camp—17,530 feet (5,343 meters)
N 28º 00.336' E 086º 51.504'

Click here to zoom in on the route to the summit »

Today is our fortieth day in Base Camp. Everyone is still hanging in there, mentally—mostly due to our huge store of snacks and games. I won’t lie though, living in a tent for this long is a tough prospect, even for seasoned mountain guides.

Soon enough we’ll be heading back up on the mountain for our summit bid. Erica, Dave, and I are getting pretty excited for it. Our last rotation on the mountain presented some challenges, but we’re all healthy and in good spirits. After a few more days of rest we should be all set to go for it.

For now it’s all about resting, hydrating and eating here at Base Camp. The trick is to get a good rest without letting the legs stiffen up too much. We do this by going for little hikes around camp. It always ends up as a tea-fest though, as whenever you go by a friend’s camp they invariably invite you in for a cup and a snack.

Today, Base Camp has finally started to thin out. The weather is beginning to look good for summit bids and every morning a few more teams head up the mountain. This helps our strategy, as we are trying to summit after the main push of climbers. This will enable us to avoid big traffic jams on summit day. It’s all a timing game for us now.

So until we leave for the summit it’s going to be an endless stream of candy bars, Scrabble, card games, potato chips, iPods and sleeping—not necessarily in that order. Soon enough we’ll be heading back up, leaving the luxuries of Base Camp behind. It won’t be too tough for me. I really can’t wait to get a shot at the summit. All we need is a bit of good luck and some nice weather.

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