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7.5.2009 The lake trek

Salutations to the sun
Everest summit, left behind
Antti and Jussi above White Lake
In the morning we woke up with the familiar feeling when the sun began to melt freezed humidy at the tent roof and water drops fell on our faces. Once again there would be another rest day at basecamp. Heikki and Timo had left for C1 a night before at 3am and today they continued further to C2.

Lack of movement began to make us nervous and we decided to have a short trek in the surrounding area with Antti and Jussi. We had heard that there would be three lakes nearby and we left to see them. In the beginning the way followed the path to Gorak Shep. The first half an hour kept our lungs working but soon after they got used to brisk walk. We did ascent on the first bigger ridge where the path crossed towards basecamp of Pumori mountain. The path up to Pumori was windy on the steepish slope while the ground was either firm rock or loose sand.

On the way we were looking for old fossiles but couldn't find any. Once on the flatter part of the slope we had a short break beside a huge flat rock. The place was perfect for a morning yoga session, so I decided to do a few salutations to the sun to give some more mobility to my joints.

We continued way up the slope. The higher we ascent the more Everest massive was seen behind Lho La mountain which is next to basecamp. We saw how very hard wind was taking snow off from the summit of Everest. Our first destination was a stone pillar we saw above us. Once reached the stone pillar we realised to be at Pumori basecamp and the stone pillar was kind of memorial. No one was around, only flat and empty tent places but soon we saw this year basecamp a little bit further. Here was a great view to Blue Lake which was the middle one of three lakes and our first aim was reached. Next we choosed a new direction towards. We had choise either Black Lake situating right hand side just below Pumori wall or White Lake situating left hand side behind the next ridge. Our choice was White Lake to get a little bit more altitude.

Before starting Antti tested himself about throwing rocks. He aimed to throw a rock straight through to Blue Lake. Between the throws he complained technical problems such as softness of the ground in the style of a true sport instructor. Finally the form was correct and the rock made rings on the lake.

Now we were ready to continue and we descended from the first ridge and ascended again up to the next ridge. Walking felt easy taking into account the altitude so we were well acclimatized at 5400 m. Well, all of us had spent couple of nights at 7100m in C3. Our next aim was seen on the next rock ridge. Antti chose the straight line up to the slope and Jussi followed him. I myself went a little bit longer but not so steep way up. Once on the ridge the view was awesome over the White Lake and the ridge was vertically very steep on the other side. I continued towards the highest point of the ridge and waited for Antti and Jussi a little while.

The view was totally brilliant. 360 view to left starting face towards White Lake was as following; Pumori massive was seen first. A big yellow advanced basecamp tent was seen on the ridge. We have heard that there is a Russian expedition on the mountain. The next view was Everest basecamp and Khumbu icefall and next to it a huge commercial camp of Himex. Higher above there was the black summit of the Everest behind Lho La mountain and Lhotse massive beside it. After 180 turn we saw Nuptse mountain in front of us. Further left and Ama Dablam was seen and little bit more there was Gorak Shep which is the nearest village to Everest. Here is trekking peak Kala Pattar very near.

Jussi took some nice panorama photos. Because there was no tripod with us, he fixed trekking pole to work as monopod and this gave a sturdy platform to shoot pictures.

Once seen enough, we started to descend the straigthest way down from the ridge. Far below the ridge we saw the path to basecamp. There were plenty of trekkers walking both ways and that seemed like a row of ants. Soon we hit the path and Antti was leading very quickly towards basecamp. Juha was stretching his legs and Mikko was lying happy in the tent when we arrived to basecamp. Tomi and Esa who had been visiting around basecamp arrived to our camp soon as well. They had met our 2002 Shisha Pangma expedition cook.

All kind of basecamp duties such as laundry, reading books, choosing high camp foods and resting in the tents took the rest of the day.

Tonight Mikko and Juha will leave for C1 and will continue further to C2 during the same day. They have to sleep at C3 and have a 5 - 7 days rest before final summit push.

Here was our 'rest day' .


All is well!