[17 April 2021, by Sanna Raistakka]
It is a pretty crazy place this BC: hundreds of people living in tents strewn along the Khumbu glacier, surrounded by sheer rock and ice faces, which occasionally drop down thundering bombs of ice and snow. It is so vastly spread out that it probably takes you about 45 mins to walk from the last to first camp, if not longer. BC is regularly visited by trekkers and yak caravans bringing supplies, unless you made an order for some item or another with a helicopter, which buzz back and forth daily.
Our little camp is somewhere in the middle of the massive ice jumble and it consists of four client tents; a toilet and a shower tents; and a kitchen and a dining tent. We are a small group compared to some of the bigger players, but we prefer it this way, especially during the Covid times.
We are taken care of by a great three-man Nepali team who run the BC show with efficiency and smile. They whip out some incredible dishes from the kitchen tent (think pizza, cake, pancakes, soups, popcorn, salads, croissant, veggie burgers and the list goes on), at all hours of the day. If you are heading uphill on a rotation at 3am, they’ll make you breakfast, brew fresh coffee and even assemble a pack lunch for you and it’s not a slightest problem. Amazing guys!
They also chop the ice of the glacier for your hot showers, fix, arrange, organize anything you need and generally make sure that everything runs smoothly. These guys are absolute legends and we could not do without them. Simple.
We do not have Sherpas or porters of our own on the mountain itself, but we see them, of course, and they are incredibly hard-working people. A solid backbone of any expedition.
While we are resting in BC our daily routine is pretty much dictated by the feeding times: breakfast, lunch and dinner. And you don’t want to miss any of them — the food is too good ☺. In the between times we often read, watch movies, have a cup of ‘chia’ (tea) with friends in other teams, and communicate with friends and family as much as the wifi allows.
Roeland and I have two tents. It was suppose to be single occupancy in each tent, but we prefer sharing so two single beds got put together (having two beds means also we do not need to sleep directly on ice!) and the other tent houses all our gear, which is great.
It has been a little chilly since our arrival so while all the gear is still in BC, at night we’re using four out of five sleeping bags (two as blankets) so we are very warm. Although I cannot say the same about my toiletries, some of which have been frozen solid since we arrived. But who needs conditioner anyway?
Despite being in this incredible, bizarre, cool, cold, amazing place far away from home, BC is a fully functional, little, temporary ‘tent village’, complete with health services. We are well fed, warm and have friends around so what more could we ask for?